TIL 15: Failing is good for the soul

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Mondays are ‘headology’ day in my TIL curriculum – for me that means psychology-type topics, sort of.

Today’s article is courtesy of Psychologies magazine, which I used to read a lot – it’s much better, imo, than the usual ‘women’s’ magazine obsessed with make up and dieting (although it did start to have articles about those kind of things, with a bit of psychological slant!). Anyway. A recent online article which caught my eye was titled, “Why failing is good for the soul.”

The article’s author tells of a yoga class she’s terrible at – but also that freeing feeling of being able to be bad at something, and no one caring. She celebrates ‘surviving’ each class, not mastering the perfect headstand.

The modern world is driven by achievement. Do well at school, pass those exams, get to the top of your career field, be slim, be muscular, be a perfect spouse, parent, child, be a master of time and mindfulness… urk!! o_O

As well as the stress, this constant ‘must be excellent’ mantra is hugely limiting – how can you grow if you’re too afraid to try anything new, in case you’re rubbish at it? Indeed, it’s almost a guarantee that you will be rubbish at it – I’ve noted before that the only way to become good at something is to work through being bad at it.

The other benefit of being willing to fail at something is that it teaches you to be brave at failing at other things. Life needs a few risks – and by starting small, you can learn that the risk of failure isn’t always that awful.

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