Petra's Parelli World - Follow my Journey as a Parelli Professional Instructor

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Failure - How to appreciate it!

If I were to ask you "Do you like failure?", what would you say?

FAILURE! The word in itself had once a very negative sound to me. I actually used to hate this word, just thinking about it made me feel small and insignificant. Whenever I failed in something, or in somebody's eyes, it was a horrible feeling and I beat myself up over it.

Then I started Parelli and listened to Stephanie Burns and it finally dawned on me that there is no learning if we don't fail. If we always do things right, if we always clear the bar, how do we know how good we really are? Once you raise the bar, then you know... you might clear it, you might not. If you don't, you have two options:
1. give up, feel sorry for yourself and retreat
2. take it as the opportunity to become better, to grow and try again!

According to the dictionary a failure is " The condition or fact of not achieving the desired end or ends". Ok, so what. You didn't achieve the desired end. But you just found out, what didn't work and now you can get one step closer to what will work!

Did you know that Walt Disney filed bankruptcy seven times before he finally succeeded? What would have happened if he had chosen the first option!??!?! Like him, I chose the second one and boy, did it make a difference for me! I remember there was a day, where I told myself: "From this day forward I forbid you to feel bad when something doesn't work out the way you planned. You are no longer allowed to beat yourself up. Instead, regroup (how does Pat say: separate, isolate, recombine), look "why" it didn't work and then make a better plan and execute - again." It made a profound difference in my horsemanship and in my daily life.

Now, I would call myself a solution finder. Give me a problem, I find a solution. Well, actually, I probably come up with several and then I'll pick the one that seems to suit best. If that one doesn't work out, I check it off as a LEARNING EXPERIENCE and move on. I learned that beating myself up is wasted energy, it's absolutely useless and doesn't get you anywhere.

Even if you don't know a solution, do SOMETHING instead of NOTHING. If it works, great, if not, you just accomplished to scratch one thing of your list. Try the next one! Never, ever give up!

When it comes to relationships, we will fail. There is simply no way to ALWAYS succeed. The important thing is to make daily deposits in our emotional bank account. Then when you do fail and make a withdrawal, you still have a balance and you didn't bankrupt yourself! With your horse, spend quality time, be fair, be compassionate, don't expect perfection... It's not about the trailer, the obstacle, the show.. it's about the relationship. With your family, partner and friends... it's really the same thing. Be confident, you will "screw up" eventually, just make sure about those daily deposits to have a big enough positive balance to make a withdrawal once in a while...

Appreciating failure changed my outlook on life and it will change yours! As always, have a fabulous day and engage in never ending self-improvement...


  1. Great/positive way at looking at things! Thanks!

  2. Einstein said, "Nothing happens until something moves." (Could be just a shift in attitude.)
    And Churchill, "Never, ever, ever, ever give up." (Even if things don't work out the way we want, if we're open to the situation, there will be a shift.)
    So life is just like horsemanship--it's simple, it's just not easy!

  3. That's the learning process. A nicely written post Petra.

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