From Grand “Failures” to Great Victories
By Nikita Yefimova
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.
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 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.
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