I’ve talked a lot about failure before, and the more I do so, the more convinced I become that failure doesn’t actually exist. It’s just a construct we’ve made up.
What we are talking about when we consider the idea of failure is how far the outcome we created lies from the intention we had in the first place.
For example, if I am learning a new movement with my horse, I have an idea in my head- a map of sorts- for what needs to happen for that movement to take place.
The action that I then take is one in support of that desired outcome.
When I take the action, what I’m left with is information.
My brain then asks, did the action I just took create an outcome that matched up with my intention?
It then assesses what happened and what needs to be tweaked and changed for both intention, action and outcome to all line up.
This process is the nature of learning.
The idea of failure and success, then, is nothing more than a judgement call in the observation phase of the cycle.
We have an intention, we take an action, and that action yields a result.
When the result is neither good nor bad- it’s just the result- it carries no emotional charge.
We are free to simply try again. To revisit our intention, take another action and all the while, our brain is changing, growing, adapting so we can get closer to the outcome we are working to create.
When we have an intention, take an action and label the outcome a success or failure, we interrupt the learning cycle of the brain, and activate our survival nervous system.
In this way, failure is very much a choice. It’s the choice to not allow yourself the required time, repetition or investment that it takes for your intentions to match the outcomes you wish to create.
It’s the choice not to allow yourself to learn by the very means you are designed to do so.
Through constant repetition, observation and adjustment.