You know, as far as "F" words go, FAILURE is a big ugly one, don't you agree? However, it's something all of us deal with in our lives; possibly more than once and in different ways. Most of us feel the burn of failure early on in our lives when we are learning to crawl, walk, learning to ride a bike or maybe a through bad grade in school.
However, the worst failures we experience seem to be when we are adults--when we have some measure of confidence in accomplishing things, so when it happens, the cut can be extremely deep and hard to get over. In fact, for some people, a failure at this stage can change the course of their lives in such a way they feel they may never recover. BUT, I am here to tell you that NO FAILURE is the end--it most likely is just a detour or speed bump.
I remember reading years ago all these facts about Abraham Lincoln and a list of things he failed at before he became one of the most remembered presidents the United States has ever had. He kept going in the face of all sorts of failures (look it up...it's truly amazing). Now, we all seem to remember the great change he made in the history of our nation. BOOM. Great success! But, that success wasn't met with everyone being happy with him. He had a lot of political enemies--so much so his life was cut short. He had a lot of personal loss in his life and he never saw what a real difference he made in our history. His failures made him stronger and able to endure a lot of the hard things he had to in his short life.
I have had some great failures in my life...some are personal and I have dealt with them, but, I have had some professional ones too. The personal ones felt like at times they would be the death of me, but, they weren't. I kept going because I HAD to for the most part. When you are responsible for other people, somehow you can deal with failure and move on. However, professional ones--as far as a normal job goes--are new to me. Most of my life my job was about people:kids, husband, parents, pets. Now, I have a job that I love and doing well is very important to me. But, whether I fail or succeed honestly doesn't matter as much to anyone else but me. So, if I quit, I only hurt myself. No one else. In the beginning when I couldn't figure something out or just felt like I would never remember or get something, it was so super discouraging. There were so many times that I felt like I would never figure it out, that I was wasting my time and failure was going to be how it would all end. Honestly there were times I couldn't get out of my own head and just felt like I would never measure up. It could be very easy to give it all up.
Fortunately my boss (and son) forced me out of my shell and had me listen to, follow and read some others ideas about failure and it turned around my thinking. What I learned was that failure is the way we learn things. The more we fail, the more we learn about ourselves and even about whatever it is we are trying to conquer. Failures should be looked at like something good in our lives because if we never failed, we'd think no one could teach us anything and we'd miss out on so many things that make us who we are. Failing is part of the process in general. That just blows me away to even type it out. It's PART OF THE PROCESS of whatever it is we are doing. Humans are flawed. We all make mistakes. Sometimes big ones. But, the strength of our character is what makes our lives successful--in spite of our flaws. Strength is gained by consistently working muscles in a certain way until they are made stronger. Usually some sort of resistance is involved. Failure is the exercise our character must do/take to gain strength. To learn something that is hard to learn. To be the best at whatever we are trying to accomplish.
Do I like to fail now? No, not really. It doesn't feel as good as when I figure out a work puzzle or finally remember every detail I need to in some paperwork, BUT those "wins" feel even better when I have struggled with them before. If I could just do everything right the first time, things might get pretty mundane pretty quick and honestly, with every obstacle I overcome, the stronger I feel and the more I think I can accomplish. Sometimes, I get knocked down a bit with another failure, however, looking at that differently gives me the drive to keep on trying. To NOT give up and even-- have a dream or two now and then. Some may be ridiculous, but, who cares. Maybe they aren't. Maybe I can do whatever I set my mind to. Maybe I can't and will do things I never dreamed of before. How awesome would that be?
So hang in there when you fail. It's just another step you need to take to be great at something you are learning to do!
Until Next Time!
Jen Lush--Associate Realtor Broker and Mother of Managing Realtor Broker