Before they own you.
The funny thing about failures is that they happen to all of us. From the little to the big to the very big – failure comes in all shapes and sizes – a forgotten work task, a struggling business, family disappointments. Sometimes, those things can seem overwhelming and difficult to overcome – I have been there more times than I can count.
Working through some transitions over the past year in my own life, I have learned a few things about failure and how you can ease the sting of life’s difficulties.
1. Own it.
Admitting failure – weakness – mistake takes strength. It takes honesty. But ultimately, it takes ownership. Sometimes, failure is out of your control, but in other cases, failure may lie with you. When you are struggling, consider whether you had a role to play in the outcome and how in the future you might be able to change the course.
2. Ask for help.
No one has all the answers. I don’t. You don’t. Not one person does. But we were not created for this life to do it alone – we are not an island and if you are operating solo, consider reaching out to your village and seeing how they can assist you in success.
3. Make changes.
Life is not simple or easy to navigate. Doing something passionately and living your life to the fullest takes a strong work ethic, persistence, determination, and you giving your whole self. If you aren’t seeing the results you want, stop doing the same things. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
4. Move forward.
One of the biggest lessons in failure can be the one that gives you the motivation to keep trying. I think often about the struggles I’ve had – you can cry, yell, scream, be angry, annoyed, frustrated – but you are not ever allowed to give up. Your failure does not define you, but your attitude will.
Failures are an opportunity for education and self-reflection. They are the promise that you get a second chance to get it right. The real question (and one that I always struggle with) remains:
Are you willing to learn from your failures and still find the oomph to reach for the stars?