Seeing Failure in a Different Light


We live in a culture that hates failure. Every time something goes wrong we curse ourselves, the situation, or others. However that is not the right way to go about

failure, as we all fail, every single person on the planet fails. There is no perfect way to be, or to do something. That doesn’t mean you can’t get that perfect score, or bowl a perfect game. What that really means is that if we want to achieve those things we have to accept the failure that comes along the road to success.

Learning means failure, but not forever

Anytime we pick up a new hobby or enter a class to learn a new skill we have high expectations for ourselves, even though we have no pervious knowledge or experience in what we are about to dive into. We end up angry and frustrated with ourselves because we didn’t do it right the first time, or it didn’t come out “just so”.

We need to let go of this idea, great masters in any art didn’t come out of the whom with the skills they needed to be a master. They had to learn, painstakingly, step by step, failure by failure until they had the skills to be called a master.

Accept that you are going to fail

We never accept failure, ever. Doing so means that we have been defeated in some way, either by ourselves or by a situation, on some level we think it means that we aren’t good enough. How many times did you fall down when you were learning to ride a bike? You knew you were going to fail and when you did you got back up and started all over again. You accepted that it was part of the process of learning to ride your bike. It’s also the process of going through life.

Own your failure

Now that you have accepted that failure is a part of life you can own it. Take the situation and say, “I failed, oh, well.” It sounds silly, but by doing this you are not letting the failure overtake your life, but you are saying “Yes, I did fail today, but I will try again tomorrow.”

Let go of the preconceived notion of failure

Let me give you a few examples:

Your child gets in trouble with the law, you’ve failed as a parent.
You don’t do something as well as someone else, you’ve failed yourself

What these actually show is that our culture is obsessed with perfectionism. You do not control your children, they make their own choices. Just as you may not have as much experience as another person, that means that in time you will be able to do something just as well as another. Just because it wasn’t done the way you wanted the first time, second time, or eight hundredth time doesn’t mean that you will never get to the level you want.

Letting go of the preconceived notions means no longer comparing yourself to others. What someone else does you may never do, what they have you may never have. That doesn’t mean that you’ve failed, it means that you are a different person with different goals, ideals, and life. In the end all that really matters if that you are content with yourself.