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What I Learned From Failure

Hello loves!

Lately, I've caught myself thinking about failure. Of course, that means I've been reflecting on my own failures, such as bad grades, not getting a job I wanted, or a launched dream that crashed and burned before it could fully take off. But I've also been thinking about failure as a whole.

Specifically, the way that we view failure, especially when we are trying to accomplish something.

I think it's a safe bet to say that the word failure has a negative connotation for most people. According to the dictionary, the definition of failure is simply just "lack of success". Usually, everyone wants to be successful; in life, their career, their bank account, etc... So it's not too much of a reach to say that nobody wants to have failures.

Or worse, be viewed as a failure.

As a recovering perfectionist, I completely get that. It can be terrifying to try something you aren't good at right away or to share a created product or dream that you poured your heart and soul into. Being vulnerable and taking a risk means you have to face an unknown outcome, and most people are afraid of the unknown. I know I certainly don't like to give up control.

But sometimes in our attempts at avoiding failure, we avoid doing anything at all.

And that's honestly worse than a failed attempt or two.

I'm sure everyone knows those people who seem to never stop talking big about their plans, while seeming to never accomplish anything. They're the type of people who have circled the same minor detail for weeks on end, tweaking and editing every little thing of whatever their plan or dream is. They read countless self-help books, download all the apps, go to the seminars, but they never actually take that first step into the risky unknown. And without taking that first chance, they're guaranteeing they won't fail, sure, but they're also guaranteeing they will never succeed.

Perhaps you are this person now. I know I've been this person until a recent mindset shift.

For the longest time of my life, I was afraid to put myself out there or take a risk at getting what I wanted on the off-chance it could blow up in my face. I kept looking at the people who had gone before me and only focused on their success, rather than look at their journey as a whole. I was afraid to try and not succeed on the first go, because that meant I would experience failure.

However when you look at successful people, whether they be fictional superheroes or your business role-models, they have all experienced countless failures before getting to where they are now. Every good story follows the protagonist facing trials and tribulations before getting their reward.

Odysseus was stuck at sea and fighting monsters for ten years before he returned to his home as king, and during those years he made countless mistakes that cost the lives of his men.

Walt Disney was rejected nearly 300 times before Mickey Mouse became the success that saved his company.

Even the world renowned Serena Williams has had her fair share of failure. But when asked about her losses, she stated: "I really think a champion is defined not by their wins but by how they can recover when they fall. I have fallen several times. Each time I just get up and dust myself off and I pray, and I’m able to do better or I’m able to get back to the level that I want to be on.”

And isn't that what failure is really about?

It's not supposed to hold us down or petrify us from making a move. A failure is an opportunity to learn, to brush ourselves off and try again, even better than before.

I know it's scary and it's hard, especially when it feels like no matter how hard you try, you keep failing. But you know what? Sometimes people fail 100 times, just to succeed on the 101st try. If you stop after attempt 99 or attempt 100, then you will never give yourself the chance to succeed.

Surround yourself with encouraging and loving people who can give you the support to keep going. Take care of yourself mentally and physically as you push through the challenges and rough patches.

And remember why you set out to succeed in the first place.

Love y'all!

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