Embracing Failure

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When we are small children we learned how to crawl, walk, and run, by first failing.  We failed by falling over and over again.  Bumps, bruises, eggs, and knobs were our trophies as we finally made our way across the floor.  This is where we met our parents and gleefully laughed in excited accomplishment.

Later as we learn to ride a bicycle or roller skate we fall, many times over but we then got back up.  As adults many times we have lost that “get up” part.    Do you remember things you would tell yourself when you were a child and fell due to not being able to hit the brakes?  I’m sure there was a groan, maybe a tear or two, and then a pep talk of how you are going to do this.  How you are going to Tour de France or going to be the roller derby champion.  Then what?  You got back up and tried again and again.  Soon you were doing tricks and showing off, right?

Nowadays we aren’t so resilient, our failing isn’t just a scraped knee or skinned elbow.  We have a lot more to fear losing.  We have many adult pressures; spouses, kids, pets, eating, judgment from our peers, and having a roof over our head.   Our failures, at least in our eyes are monumental, gargantuan failures.  We take so much to heart and believe WE are the failures, but we aren’t.

Failures are Lessons.

I know that it doesn’t seem that way, but they are.  Things don’t always work out the way you planned because maybe the lesson was in the planning.  Maybe you had to learn how to plan out the steps to get where you wanted to be.  Maybe using a goal oriented planner would help.    Maybe the lesson is in the strategy you use in obtaining the goal.  Many times we must reflect and reassess our position and plan along the path to our goals.  Maybe the lessons are in the relationships you make or break along the way that were perceived as failures.

Failures are Blessings.

I know that it is hard to believe, but it’s true.  Our toxic partner left us for someone else and we agonize over the breakup but soon realize that we are free of their domination over many if not all aspects of our lives.  Maybe we lose our stressful job, at first we are beside ourselves in grief over how we are going to pay our bills and take care of ourselves.  Then we realize how much we really disliked that job and we don’t miss it at all.  Now we have a lot more time to look for a replacement job, to go on interviews, or finally pursue our passions.  While before we were at our stressful job and couldn’t make it to the interviews to find something better.  Nor could we work on what we hold near and dear to our hearts when we had a full plate.  It’s all about perspective.  There is almost always a silver lining, the key is just finding it.

Failure is a Feeling.

Many times we take on the feeling of being a failure thru our expectations of ourselves or of situations that are beyond our control.  For instance that perfectionism lurking in your mind about how you have to get something just right and if you don’t, you’re a failure.  Perhaps it’s that anxiety you feel when company is coming over and you have to make your home absolutely spotless before they arrive to feel accomplished.  Maybe it’s letting other people tell you what they determined your worth to be.

I really need to tell you that this feeling is a dang liar.  The truth is nothing is perfect, ever, but doing your best is what matters and knowing that it is good enough.  People who judge your home or presume to tell you that you aren’t enough or too much, more than likely struggle with the same thing themselves.  You have two choices, let it roll and take nothing personally or let them go.

Most importantly, love yourself and continue to learn.  Introspection and reflection are great tools to expand your knowledge and wisdom after a failure.  Write it down, so you can see it to work it through, if you are a visual learner.  If you are an auditory learner, take voice notes on your phone or other recording device and play them back to yourself.  Many times this new perspective helps you identify where things went wrong.  Having the tools and habits you need to succeed will make navigation through this life more enjoyable.




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