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From Grand "Failures" to Great Victories

By: • 1 month ago •

From Grand “Failures” to Great Victories

By Nikita Yefimova

 

We all know the age-old quote, “When one door closes, another opens.” What most don’t know is the other half of this famous quote by Alexander Graham Bell. “But we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” The first half of this quote is meant to be aspirational, but the second half hints at the reality of how we often face failure. Nobody likes to fail. It is in our nature to aim higher and bigger, searching for greater things. When the door is slammed in our face, it can be difficult to see opportunity in the wood grain. So how do we make a conscious shift towards feeling more empowered and aligned with success?

The problem is not in the failure itself, it is the defeat that we experience as a result of it that makes success seem unattainable. When you shift from getting defeated by failure to learning how to manage it, you step deeper into your potential. In my practice I utilize four essential components for sustainable success management: integrate the neuroscience of success with mindfulness, practice engaging in strength, develop Growth Mindset, have a mentor and/or a network of support.

 

There is a biological phenomenon called the “winner effect” that links the feel-good hormone dopamine to winning. In nature when an animal wins a fight against weaker opponents, its nervous system produces a large release of dopamine. A few victories over time change their brain structure and chemical makeup making them more confident and thus more likely to win against stronger opponents. This applies to the human

brain as well. According to a cognitive scientist Ian Robertson,“Winning increases the dopamine receptors in the brain, which makes you smarter and more bold. Success and failure shape us more powerfully than genetics and drugs.”

 

In a sense, a little success produces more success. When you accomplish small tasks throughout the day, you experience a steady release of dopamine. Experiencing these successive dopamine infusions creates a positive feedback loop resulting in a steady flow of dopamine that helps get things done. Consistency trains your brain to attach a dopamine burst to the task you want as a reward. Breaking a big goal into smaller ones and setting realistic timelines will assist in rewiring your brain for success.

 

How does mindfulness play in to this? Mindfulness, essentially is awareness that arises through the intention to be in the present moment. The question I often offer to my clients and ask myself is, “What is the best thing that can happen right now?” This question is an instant way out of stuck-ness. It links present situation with long term goals. It brings clarity and focus by aligning our decisions for short term goals with the grand vision. A regular meditation practice builds the capacity to stay present. Coincidentally, recent studies on the effects of meditation concluded that having a stable meditation practice significantly elevates dopamine levels.

 

In addition mindfulness can facilitate a shift in mindset. It takes an incredible amount of self-awareness to be able to look past failures to see the potential that has not yet been actualized. In a fixed mindset, you believe that our traits are unchangeable. You rely heavily on your strengths and try to avoid situations that are challenging. Alternatively, individuals with a growth mindset believe in the ability to change with time and experience. They understand that growth requires effort. This extra effort and flexibility leads to more and more success.

 

Next, is to see challenges as opportunities for growth. By avoiding discomfort caused by challenges, you deny yourself the opportunity to learn new ways of being. As you teach yourself to lean into discomfort wholeheartedly with innocence and curiosity, you start to recover your original sense of Spirited Wholeness. You recognize that victory is an attitude and a choice. This takes us back to brain chemistry. Deliberately choosing the hard, more laborious route, (i.e. tasks requiring more work), stimulates dopamine release in the regions of the brain that encourage motivation! Persistent engagement in this process is what I call engagement in strength: intent followed by congruent action.

 

Mindfulness can facilitate a shift in mindset. It takes an incredible amount of self-awareness to be able to look past failures to see the potential that has not yet been actualized. In a fixed mindset, you believe that our traits are unchangeable.

 

Lastly, at the foundation of mindfulness is non-judgement which sets a whole different context for managing failure. By acknowledging areas that may not be your strong suit, you can start to see your latent potential. In fact, with enough awareness and proper support what you originally perceived as “weakness” often turns out to be a special ability, talent, or even a superpower.

 

This is the fourth key component in my success management strategy: no one succeeds alone. It is a well known fact that social support fosters positive emotions and can serve as a buffer against stress. Mentors, coaches, and peers keep us accountable. They are indispensable when it comes to reflecting your strengths, pointing out blind spots, and inspiring you to move forward. Ask any successful entrepreneur and they will tell you that somewhere along the way they got mentored, inspired, challenged, encouraged by another person.

 

Every individual’s journey is unique. By sharing these four principles of holistic success management, I hope to inspire you to start seeing your grand failures as nothing more than stepping stones in the journey to great victories.

 

 

Nikita Yefimova

Nikita is a successful San Francisco, Bay Area based somatic coach and psychologist who works exclusively with mindful entrepreneurs, community leaders, and startup founders. What sets her apart from other coaches is her deep dedication to her spiritual path. In her work Nikita integrates her passion for meditation and energy work with cutting edge techniques in the field of psychology and human development. With over 15 years of experience under her belt, Nikita’s mission is to support her clients holistically so they can have a greater impact on their communities.

 

Having a great appreciation for creativity and individuality, Nikita has designed a hybrid system composed of different modalities of human development work that helps people she works with to step deeper into their authentic creative expression and leadership. Nikita believes that there are no shortcuts to quality. She custom designs each program for every client or group of clients creating the perfect blend of engaging practices aimed to improve EQ, develop new skills, and engage in life and work in ways that promote healing and growth.

 

In recent years, following her passions for international travel, Nikita has been focused on being able to offer her services internationally. She has worked with clients in the US, UK, Canada, Europe, and Central America. Her latest project involves building a community of mindfulness oriented entrepreneurs that meet around the world for one of a kind co-working and co-living experiences. These retreat style growth incubators encourage the attendees to learn and play together, get inspiration and support from each other, and provide them with new productivity and mindfulness tools. Within this community as well as in her personal and professional life, Nikita is always looking for ways to facilitate more growth, collaboration, and connection.

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