I saw this video clip and like so many other things it inspired me to write my article for this week. There are so many topics that I want to write about and quite honestly cannot wait to share my thoughts each week with the hope that my thoughts and words will touch someone or make a difference in some small way. This video touched on what I believe to be a very important word – FAILURE. Failure is a word that can mean many different things and it can mean different things to different people but in the end failure is something that most people fear.
We are born in a state of perfection if you will and in those first moments of life and for days to come we are flawless, adored, loved and in the eyes of most, perfect in what is an imperfect world. In those early days and even months of life we do not know the word failure, do not fear it and have no perception of what it means. We begin life feeling invincible and believing that there is nothing we cannot do or achieve. There is no such thing as failure.
Somewhere along the way, life steps in and we begin to lose ourselves to the outside world. Everything that we are and believe ourselves to be starts to become defined by everything and everyone outside of our own hearts and minds. Identities shift, roles change and we start to question our own beliefs, values and dreams. Self esteem falls, confidence is shaken and at times people sell their souls just to fit in or to feel loved and accepted. In short, we begin to doubt who we are and what we are truly capable of. The world teaches us that failure is negative and something bad. Failure at one thing can leave someone feeling like they have failed at life and can set off a downward spiral.
One of the challenges with failing at something is that society is very good at focusing on the negative versus the positive. If a child comes home and their report card shows three A’s, two B’s and one F what do you think is going to be the grade that stands out the most and receives the most attention? The immediate concern and focus will tend to be on the F versus focusing on all of the areas that the child excelled in and where their potential strengths lie. Most of the time spent in a job review focuses on an employees weaknesses versus their strengths. In relationships it is human nature to focus on everything a person does not have versus everything that they do have. Failures whether big or small are, in the minds of most, equal to losing. So what do we do with this negative way of thinking and how do we fight against feeling like a failure when something does not end up the way we had hoped? What if failure was not about losing but instead could somehow be viewed as winning?
Some will question how I could possibly suggest winning in lieu of a failure. I have always believed that to truly lose or fail is when nothing is ever tried or if when we fall we do not get back up. Failing at something or with someone can be extremely difficult to take but is it truly a failure if we learn from it, grow from it, become better because of it and ultimately gain timeless wisdom that when shared can ultimately help others? There is no doubt that most of what we do in life and the decisions we make involve some level of risk and with risk sometimes comes the potential for failure. However, it is sometimes life’s failures and because we took risks that we eventually learn to fly and become who we are meant to be. Perhaps it is sometimes necessary to fail because there is something far better around the next bend in the road.
The video clip I shared is a powerful reminder of how failing can truly lead to winning and it is not in how many times one tries but in the trying itself. It is about heart, perseverance and never giving up even in the face of adversity. It is about believing in yourself and your dreams even when others don’t believe in you. It is about getting back up regardless of how many times you fall. To fail something means you tried in the first place, had the courage to take a risk and the strength to face your fears. Where would we be today if people were unwilling to try, to fail but then get back up and try again? We must sometimes fail to open the doors that will lead us to where we are supposed to be.
We are taught that to fail at something or with someone means that we are a failure as a person. I have lived my life with the belief that no matter what happens and regardless of what failures may come my way I will survive, I will be okay and I will never give up. Hopefully, I have taught my wonderful girls the same. Remember, it is not about failing but getting back up when you do and believing in yourself enough to try again. If you have failed – you HAVE lived and we are all in this journey together one step at a time. Believe in YOU – your dreams are always waiting for you!