It’s Day 18-ish of this 30 day challenge and I have already failed. Instead of doing 30days in a row, I stumbled and missed two days over the weekend. I also, at one stage, accidentally posted twice in one day. Clearly a terrible mistake and another failure!
Or was it?
I suppose it depends on how you define failure. To get some insight into this I recommend that you spend 10 minutes (or longer) writing down what failure “is”. Once you have done that, come back and read the rest…
Really…go do it….
OK then! Before I continue I will state quite clearly that I used to hate “failure” so I did everything I could to avoid it. I was OK at things like schoolwork, because I was smart/quick enough that I didn’t have to work hard at that. What I didn’t do, though, was much of anything that required me to go out of my comfort zone.
Of course, you can’t live inside your own bubble forever so I got out and did some things that I failed at – and HATED it. I was humiliated, etc, although I often didn’t share how I felt, because that was failure, also!
So, I lived small and just didn’t push anything too hard. Therefore I didn’t get so far.
Then I decided I wanted to be a Leadership Coach, got made redundant (in that order) and took the plunge into my own business, where opportunities to fail abound! In fact, now I get to fail one-on-one, in workshops, classes and online! This was NOT initially a good thing until I came to understand that I hadn’t actually failed unless I gave up. So what if I make a mistake in a classroom? I can always send a follow-up email to correct my error. Technical hitches on a webinar? Reschedule. Miss a couple of days of a blogging challenge? Use it as an object lesson and keep blogging!
At any point you can decide that it’s too hard and you can give up. Alternatively, you can decide that you don’t yet have the sources you need to succeed and you can take a detour to go find them. You can keep pushing ahead or you can slow down. The trick is to do so with your head held high.
There is a secret that most people don’t realise about failure and that is that successful people fail more often than the rest of us (yes, me included – I am still learning). They fail because they try more. They push the boundaries to find out where they are. They fail, they learn and they try again, and again, and again.
There are a million stories of failure turned into success, such as Colonel Sanders and Kentucky Fried Chicken. He got knocked back HUNDREDS of times before he found someone who would invest in his product. That’s hundreds of times he could have accepted failure as reality but he didn’t. He just kept going. It’s the same with athletes, and possibly even more inspiring when it comes to paralympians, people who succeed in life with terrible “disabilities” and “hardships”. They are great as motivational speakers but do we learn from them?
You have never failed until you accept defeat.
Then again, to be honest, depending on the situation, walking away is sometimes a success in itself. My marriage “failed” and yet walking away was one of the best things I ever did for myself, so it wasn’t really “failure” at all.
PS. Doing a google search on “quotes failure” can be VERY enlightening. x