I dare say the feeling of failure will affect every person at least once in their life – whether it is losing a race in kindergarten or not passing an exam in university, we will all experience this saddening reaction to some life event at some point and it sucks (to say the least).
There have been many days in my life that I felt I was not good enough, or that I would not be able to accomplish a goal I set out to do, or that I am not a good enough mother or wife or daughter or anything else that I expect myself to be better at than I am. It is hard to accept failure, it is sometimes hard to move on and even harder to start over if that is what has to be done; getting pass the initial reaction of feeling like a failure when something did not work out the way you wished it would have can take a hefty dose of self-control and boost of confidence and strength.
We cannot always look within us to find the strength and confidence we need to overcome a trial like this; it can take a few pep talks from trusted friends and family or even something quick and easy like reading a blog post (imagine that!).
Unfortunately, failure comes at differing levels, like failing that kindergarten race was pretty minor and I can bet your parents would have cheered you up five minutes later with your favourite candy or ice cream – there, it’s all over. Failure like starting your own business and running in to debt – sometimes only a prescription can pull us out of that one.
I have learnt that the most important thing to remember when going through a tough emotional period is to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There is always someone, somewhere feeling the same way that you are and wanting the same comfort that we lack too – better yet; some of those people are right now in the list of the world’s most successful simply because at one point in their life – they FAILED! Many failed big time, probably bigger than any of us failed; remember Jim Carrey and Tyler Perry were both at one point totally and completely homeless in every sense of the word – I am sure you know who these two guys are. It is amazing what we humans can achieve when we do not allow failure to drag us completely in to the depths of absolute despair.
Failing at one thing can be the open doorway that we needed in order to see the opportunity on the other side that we had never considered; failure can many times provide us the strength and experience that was missing from our initial effort so that when we do get off the floor we are ready to charge ahead. Failure to properly manage a sudden financial reward in one instance can provide us that keen wisdom we need in order to ensure all goes well should such an opportune moment arise again. The failure of one marriage can very often lead a person to meet and marry their soul mate after the turmoil and madness of divorce before.
Nobody likes to feel like a failure or deal with the feeling of failure; in fact, we do not like to experience any negative emotion or experience – why in the world does it seem that life is 85% geared towards throwing us a bad hand as the majority? Maybe so that we can truly appreciate the good that we do get? It is no secret that we humans are very quick to take advantage of a good situation (check out Adam and Eve for example, geesh, why did she eat that blinking apple!!). The more good we do get the more difficult it becomes to appreciate it, whereas, if we first have to face the struggle, feel the pinch of failure, lift ourselves above the rubble and trek onward through it all; when we do finally get out on the other end alive, even the littlest blessings are enough to make us smile.
My life was never a bed of roses, and it was generally because of my failure to plan, failure to budget, failure to have patience, failure to appreciate – complaining was a specialty and I do believe it is true that in this life “like attracts like”. It is so important to learn how to keep your cool and to have faith in yourself no matter what.
Fighting the feeling of failure can be a battle of sorts; but it is a battle that leaves us stronger when everything has passed. Taking the time to be grateful for what you do have and to remember other times in the past that you felt the same way will help with overcoming these bad moments. Depending on the level of what you consider a failed attempt at whatever; you have to take some time for yourself to plan the way forward, consider the next steps to getting pass this stage in life. If it was a failed investment – how bad did it hit? Are you losing your home too? Research your options, know what is available to you. Can you stay with relatives or friends? Any refinancing available? If it was a failed exam you should know what to do, schedule a retake if possible at a reasonable time in the future, give yourself ample time to review and get super confident with the lesson, work hard, lose sleep over it if you must. Get on the internet and look for other people’s stories who have faced a similar situation, what did they do? How did they cope? Where are they now?
You really have to believe in yourself to get through any issues in life; but hearing a compliment or encouraging word from elsewhere can certainly provide the push it takes to get by at times as well, this is why having a strong support network of trusted people (even if you have never meant them in real life and only speak online) can be the ultimate boost in these situations.
Nobody ever said life would be easy, it was never promised as a simple ride and the best thing to do is never think you deserve the easy way out; remember some of the world’s most successful people faced the most distressing situations, but they never gave up on themselves even if they gave up on one particular goal or dream – they NEVER gave up on their ability to establish their life the way they wanted it to be, their ultimate goal was to succeed and that should be our ultimate goal.
Sometimes a business idea may fail us, but that does not make US the failure, it may be an investment or getting laid of from a job that sends our lives spiraling out of control – that does not make YOU the failure, the investment failed, the job failed – you DID NOT fail. You only fail when you completely give up, throw in the towel and lie down every attempt to get the success you are looking for – don’t do it, especially if your children are watching. If you’re a parent, fail and fail again if you must – two failures or more means you are still trying regardless and THAT is what is important, especially with your little people watching and learning from your every move – give them the hope and confidence to know that regardless of what happens, failure does not have to determine when you actually give up.
You can do this, if I am still typing and breathing right now despite the things I have failed at, then I am more than confident that you have what it takes to make it through whatever you are facing. May you find the peace and happiness that you seek today and tomorrow, may all the powers and resources of the universe be provided to you to succeed with the goal you have set for your life, may you gain the faith and strength to know that you are equipped with the strength and courage to fail, and fail again – but to NEVER give up!
Peace and love,