I have failed. Many, many times. In fact, I can honestly say I’ve failed more than I have been successful. In the midst of all those mess-ups, goofs, miss-steps, fell-flat-on-my-face bombs, I realized something. I learned three life lessons that will get me back on my feet, ready to dust myself off and try again. Because that’s the only way to keep going forward. And friends, I want you to keep moving forward too!
First, accept that others are waiting, watching, and judging.
They saw you fall. They are waiting to see if it will happen again. They are watching to see what you’ll do next, if you get up or stay down. And they are judging every move you make, picking apart every single choice as if they are expecting or hoping you will fail. It’s a fact of life that some folks would rather cheer for your failure than your success.
Ignore those people. Instead, gather those around you whose voices are cheering you on. Even if it’s only one voice, or maybe just your own voice. Don’t let failure define you. Prove those watchers wrong and show them what you’re made of.
Next, assess what went wrong and make changes
We all fail. That’s actually the easy part. Fixing the failure is where the difficulties arise. If we are willing to step back and take an honest look at where we went wrong, we can see the places demanding change. But seeing isn’t fixing. Neither is turning on ourselves and falling into the bottomless pit of discouragement. Rather, take action. Research new strategies. Ask for help from someone with more expertise. I know these are simple and obvious, but the importance of them is they require ACTION. Don’t let your failure confine you in a headlock of discouragement. Break free from its, grip, push past it and find your solution.
Finally, appreciate that failure is one of our best teachers
We learn far more from our failures. It is reported that Thomas Edison made many unsuccessful attempts at inventions. When asked about failures he said, “Results? I have gotten lots of results. If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is often a step forward…” Failure can refine us by showing us where we can do better. Failure also gives us the opportunity to flex our muscles and show the world and ourselves just how strong we can be.
My favorite Bible verse is also my reminder when failure has me pinned to the ground. “Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1b NKJ)
Edison also said “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Don’t give up just because you failed. Many times. Everyone loves a good comeback story. Get back up and start writing yours.
Keep striving to thrive!