I failed BIG at school, at work, on my relationships. I failed so bad that it drowned me in despair, frustration and disappointment.
The epiphany came when I looked at the big picture: failure does not define anyone!!!! How many times does a baby fall on his butt before they start walking? How many times did you practice your strokes before you mastered writing? It’s the same with failing. The process is rather natural: you try – you fall – you accept it – you deal with it – you try again – you fail – you don’t give up…and next thing you know, you learn the best lessons from it and when you try again – you win. Just look at Abraham Lincoln’s path in life (click here) and you’ll get the idea. 🙂
Our society has us so ingrained with values based on competition, success, promotions, etc that from an early age, we are afraid of bad grades and not measuring up.
My point is that failure is normal and necessary. And the best part is that we are in good company because it happens to ALL of us. Breakdowns are simply the result of avoiding failure and refusing to acknowledge it.
My journey to confronting and accepting my failures started when I was able to put things into perspective – who I am is an average of my failures and accomplishments.
The positive change I experienced when I stepped back and stopped avoiding my mishaps, opened new possibilities for me. For example, I failed 3 job interviews in a row, despite the fact that I really wanted each job. What I learnt was that I needed to present myself in a more authentic way, spend more time cultivating relationships, improve my analytical skills, work on my persuasion skills. All these steps were totally under my control. And the 4th time, surprise – I got the job.
Now it’s your turn to reflect on being less judgemental, more compassionate and more courageous in the face of adversity. Allow yourself the time and soul searching to draw your on conclusions. I will leave you with this simple exercise meant to get you to thoroughly analyze and learn:
Identify 2-3 failures you experienced in the past 5 years:
- why did it happen? reach out for insights
- what did you learn from it?
- what can you do to improve? how can you push your limits?
I know it’s not easy, but I promise it’s worth it! Good luck!