For the folks who failure is never an option, let me tell you something. Without failure, we can not succeed. I have fallen flat on my face more times than I care to admit. There are some things that I am a perfectionist on and it’s because I don’t like to fail. However, I have learned that because of my failures, I will be more successful with different attempts because I have seen what not to do first hand.
When I was a kid, I was extremely serious about music. I thought I wanted to be a professional musician. I studied a lot and went to some of the most rigorous camps and truly thought that I had a shot. As I continued, I learned that my shot was never going to happen. I failed. It deflated me. I didn’t know what to do so I stopped trying. And you know what? I still kick myself for that action to this day. Not because I wasn’t good enough to go pro, but because I quit. I quit believing in myself when that happened. And that in itself was enough to keep me from succeeding. Success is a term that I truly wish didn’t exist. You can be popular, affluent, and professionally successful and still be a mess. You may look like you have it all together but I guarantee you, there will be a point in your life that you question your choices.
I’m going to let you all in on a little secret. Up until a couple of years ago, I felt like a failure within my own family. My cousins were all happily married with kids, I am divorced with no kids. My cousins all have professional lives, I’m starting mine back up. Even my ex husband had what I thought I wanted. But in truth, I was comparing my life to everyone else. I failed to see that my success was not their success.
I’m a survivor. I’ve survived rape, the loss of children, the loss of a marriage, the loss of a parent, the loss of employment, and even the loss of my home. I’ve helped countless folks when the chips were down to get back on their feet and whether or not they are grateful, I know that I did the right thing. I’m going to give all of you a few ways to rethink about failure and success. If you think it will help you, feel free to use these tips.
The first thing is to identify what your goal is. If you want to be a professional anything, then work at it. Quit making excuses as to why you can’t do something and just do it. My folks used to say that bad excuses are worse than none so don’t make the excuse. Come up with a plan or idea as to what you want to pursue. Once you do that, then you have something to work with.
Stop talking yourself out of trying. You’ve got this. No matter what the outcome, you are succeeding because you are trying something new. If you talk yourself out of it, then you will always wonder what if. We are all our own worst enemy. Don’t give yourself reasons to doubt your ability.
Learn from the past. Quit beating yourself up over past mistakes. Learn from them. Figure out what you did right and use that information. If you didn’t succeed in an area before, then re-assess what you did. You have the power to take what didn’t work and figure out ways to improve in all kinds of different areas. The main thing is to stay focused and not think negative thoughts.
Own your mistakes. This is really important. It’s really easy when we’re angry about failure to place the blame on others. This doesn’t really do any good. All it does is cause resentment and lots of anger. Own your part in what happened. Recognize that things can and do happen and move on. Once we own our part, then we can regroup. That’s important because sometimes when we own our mistakes, we take a breather and step back. A clear head does a lot to help us figure out mistakes.
Celebrate your failures. The first time I heard this I thought – why? Then I realized that it was just as important to celebrate failing as it was succeeding. If we don’t take the time to recognize our failures, then we are less apt to try. I would rather keep trying to do something I failed at than to succeed and stop trying. And even when I succeed, now I want to push myself to keep trying new things.
The main thing I want you to take away from this blog is never quit. You have so much to offer and if you fail then so what? It’s just another step to celebrating your success. No one wants to fail but if you do, don’t beat yourself up. Shake it off. Breathe. Move on and start again. Sooner or later you will succeed and that makes the trials so much sweeter in the long run.