Through the previous articles in this series, you'll have learned how to build your personal values and how to let go of your past, including your past mistakes. Learning from failure is a skill that, while difficult, can have longstanding benefits. Many submissives, myself included, get stuck on failure, wear them around our neck with a heaviness that lasts, and impact us and how we submit. Still, more submissives are so afraid to make mistakes. They second guess themselves, apologize before they've even completed a task, and sold themselves short for fear of not finishing a task in the vision that the Dominant desires.
If we embrace failure and accept that we have lessons to learn from it, it's a natural part of our experience. We can find more fulfillment and continue to become the best submissive we can be.
If you'd like to catch up on the series, check out these posts:
- Don't Let Your Big Goals Intimidate You: Break Them Into Smaller Steps
- Prioritize Your Submissive Goals With a 4-Box Matrix System
- Three Key Elements to Fire Your Motivation for Change as a Submissive
- Identifying Unmet Needs and How to Reprioritize Them In Your Life
- Three Types of Values and How to Figure Out What's Significant to Your Life
- Letting Go: How to Let Go of the Past and Be a Happy Submissive
Failure is a life skill that can give you information on what is working and what isn't. Understanding how to learn from failure can show you the value of that failure in future success.
If you were to make a list of your failures, what would make the list? Don't be afraid to look them in the face. Remember, some of our greatest inventors faced failure. As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, "How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?" Edison replied, "I didn't fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps." Many of our great people of history have significant failure stories, only to find that monumental success that we talk about today.
We need to take that mistake, that failure, and learn from it as they did. There is much to be gained by learning from them.
In the event of failure, ask yourself the following questions:
- What wasn't working?
- What can I do now that is different from before?
- What skills has the failure highlighted that I have?
- What skills has the failure highlighted that I don't have?
- What part of my life has failure opened new opportunities?
Failure Should Motivate Change
Let failure motivate you. Find out what didn't work and try again. Life is always changing, make the most of what you have learned. Failure offers an opportunity to appreciate our successes. Learning about yourself as a submissive is going to involve making mistakes and failing at tasks. What we should try to do is accept you will make mistakes and then grow above them.
1 Find the Lesson
Failing teaches us lessons that success never can. How would your submission grow if you never made mistakes? The lessons we've found hidden in mistakes push us to grow and find a better way to achieve our goals.
It is vital to accept failure and embrace the lessons it teaches us humbly. Making mistakes moves you forward in your dreams if you allow them to.
2 Be Brave
If you find that you are timid and afraid to make mistakes, you don't apply yourself to the task your Dominant has given you or choose not to go a direction in submission because the change feels too hard you need to take a look at bravery.
Bravery is a learned skill. It develops over time as we take risks, make mistakes, and learn from them. Becoming the submissive, you wish to be will require you to make changes that will make you a better person, which can be scary. You need to see the goal and reach for it bravely.
3 Redefine Yourself
You've made a mistake; you may have been reprimanded for it somehow, or taken it all out on yourself though guilt and pity (you know who you are). It's time to take stock of your dreams, the reason you submit, and the future you wish to have with your Dominant partner. Realizing your dream of submission that is fulfilling is filled with trial and error and even failure. Use the lessons in failure to redefine the direction you are taking. Do you need to work harder, take a class, find a mentor, or ask for support?
Coping With Failure
Do you take failure personally? Changing is easier said than done. Feel your feelings for a short while, but get yourself back on track as soon as you can.
Failure is accompanied by various emotions - embarrassment, shame, sadness, anxiety, to name a few. These feelings make you feel uncomfortable and want to do anything to make those feelings go away. But, you shouldn't try to ignore those feelings after failure. It's okay to feel bad. It's motivating.
That's right. It can help you work harder to do the task right next time, to succeed where you failed previously. So go ahead, acknowledge how you're feeling. And then, adopt a healthy coping skill to move through your emotions.
Call a friend, meditate, take a long bath, go for a walk, or play with your pet for a few minutes are a few examples of healthy coping skills.
Once you're less emotional, it's time to develop realistic thoughts about failure. If you find yourself thinking you're hopeless, or doomed to fail repeatedly, reframe your thinking.
Remind yourself with thoughts such as:
- I can handle failure.
- I can learn from my mistakes.
- Failure is a sign I'm challenging myself to do something difficult.
Then, accept an appropriate level of responsibility for your failure. As submissives, we often take on total blame for when something goes wrong, and this also manifests when we make a mistake. When you think of failure, look for explanations, not excuses. Identify the reasons and make accurate corrections to improve and grow.
What can you learn from mistakes?
Think about what you will differently next time. Prepare to succeed and achieve what you want. Create a plan to make sure you've put in place what will help you avoid future mistakes.
Sometimes, failing becomes debilitating. As a submissive, we will make mistakes, and how we deal with those mistakes will show us if we intend to grow or flounder. You aren't defined by your mistakes, but by your effort. Keep trying; it's in the number of times you were willing to try that you succeed.