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Failure or Feedback?!

“Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.” – J.K. Rowling

If we made a resume that included all of our failures it would be longer than our resume of accomplishments and successes, wouldn’t it? Instead of celebrating our failures as wayshowers we hide them away and often become ashamed of them. I’ve also noticed that we don’t teach our kids to fail. Why is that? We push our kids to succeed and win, sometimes at all costs. We put ourselves down and we hold ourselves back for fear of failing. Sometimes we even cheat rather than risk failure! The fact is that we fail more than we succeed, so doesn’t it make sense that we should be taught how to fail? How to embrace our failures even! Instead of being congratulated on our failures, we hide them away so that we don’t have to talk about them. The last time you failed at a thing did you willingly offer up your failure for examination and discussion? “Hey! Guess what?! My marriage is falling apart!”

If we had a different mindset about failures and looked at them as opportunities for growth, perhaps we could be more accepting of failure as a normal part of life. The fact is that our failures are useful tools that reveal a lot if we can take a closer look without letting our emotions get in the way. For example, our failures show us what’s important. Every time we fail at a thing and get pissed off we learn how much that thing meant to us. If we want to succeed the next time we must find a way to improve. Bingo! Thank you, failure!

The first “failure” that I can remember is the failure to keep my mouth shut! From the time I was in kindergarten there was a consistent theme- “Kinda is a good student, but she talks a lot.” As a young child, I often failed to tell the truth, which usually resulted in a bar of soap in my mouth when my mother caught me in a lie!

At the age of 28, I left my first marriage. By the time I got the courage to leave my self-esteem was in the toilet. After years of mental and emotional abuse, I finally realized that things were not going to change. And even though my marriage “failed”, it was this failure that taught me that I needed to work on myself before I could have a healthy relationship with someone else. I finally did the hard work of examining my lack of self-worth. It took me many years of digging deep to uncover hidden beliefs, reprogram my thoughts, discover what I needed, and find my voice.

At the age of 34, I failed to reach my goal of running a half marathon. This failure taught me that I needed to LISTEN to my body rather than push myself harder because that is what someone ELSE told me I should do.