Failure is described as:
“The lack of success”
in the Oxford English Dictionary and that’s exactly what it is - not achieving something we worked towards and therefore not succeeding.
There are times in everyone’s life when they experience some sort of ‘failure’ whether it be financially, in their career or even their relationships. It’s easy to get caught up in the negative surrounding that word especially as there is so much negativity attached to it in the first place! Lets face it, it’s never said in a positive context is it? Well that’s where we need to change our mind set.
Yes, we can find it upsetting, and yes the fact we didn’t succeed in what we wanted to may bring us down, but ultimately what we should take from failure is only the POSITIVE in order to help us move forward.
There are so many times in my life I feel like I failed and yes it really got me down. For example:
Then there’s other types of failure:
Feeling all the negative takes you into a dark space that’s hard to come out of and if you only see the negative, then that’s exactly what you will be - negative. I became so afraid of failure after a while because it just made me feel awful, that I just stayed in the ‘safe’ zone, not moving outside my comfort zone and just staying in a rut.
The biggest lesson is this:
It may suck at the time, and make you cry or wallow in self pity. But ask yourself this:
‘Don’t you want to see what the positives are that have come out of it?’.
Changing the way you think and the way you believe can only come from yourself, but once you make that decision to see life more positively, everything around you (including failure) becomes more positive.
So rather than sitting down and having a pity party with myself I started to ask myself questions about what I had learned from all these experiences.
All these questions start the same….
’WHAT DID I LEARN?’
Failure is a noun, that’s all it is…so why should we attach a negative connotation to it when we can attach a positive one. By experiencing all these ‘failures’ we continue to learn. We learn more about ourselves, what we believe in, what we want, the way we want to live our lives, we expand on our wisdom and our knowledge. If all of this is happening every time we don’t succeed, then surely failure can’t be a bad thing – As long as we do take what we have learned and apply it to our lives. In the end we learn from our mistakes and move forward. All we are doing is growing as an individual and that is definitely not a bad thing! The only shame would be not to embrace our mistakes and failures and instead let them take us to a negative space in our minds.
An example is this: When we are younger we love to play in the school playground with our friends. One day the teacher brings out the hurdles and places them over bouncy mats and asks us all to jump over one to the next. We trip the first time because we didn’t jump high enough, so we land on a bouncy mat and continue. We trip over the next one because we didn’t jump far enough, so we land on the same mat and bounce right back up and continue. We fell over the third one because we misjudged timing, no problem, we bounce back up and carry on. This keeps happening and each time we learn. We learn to jump higher, further and at the right moment, then before we know it we are jumping over every hurdle with a euphoric smile on our faces. We learned from our failures and mistakes and achieved our end goal eventually.
We need to learn not to be afraid of failing and to embrace it for what it is and learn from everything we didn’t succeed in. Next time you feel that you have failed in something, think to yourself ‘this is only a hurdle I fell over and I’m going to bounce right back up and learn for next time’. I LOVE this quote:
“Fall down 7 times, get back up 8.”
That’s exactly what we should all do. What happens to us in life are just hurdles you have to jump over, and even if you fall it’s a bouncy mat you land on, full of lessons to learn.