Why is it that we hate failing so much? Why is it that we avoid it so much by never venturing into the unknown, instead staying in our comfortable, fail-safe place?
There’s no doubt about it, losing sucks. With failure comes disappointment. The endless “what ifs?” The ego-bashing. The self-doubt.
I’m not good enough.
What will people think of me?
There are others better than me.
It will always be this way.
But to step forward in life in a new direction, you have to make peace with failure. Better yet, embrace it. Failing is a form of winning. Well, sort of.
Why? As I get older I am starting to think that it is our struggles and our failures which give us room to grow. A close friend of mine has recently ended – not her choice – a four year relationship. It sucks. It hurts. It’s bloody disappointing if we’re all really honest. And I know, for her, it feels like failure.
But it also means starting again. “Failure” is in many ways a win, as it gives us a rare opportunity to see our weaknesses and improve on them. Like my friend, it’s an opportunity to see what worked in the relationship, and what didn’t and what to improve moving forward. In some weird way, getting through this will also be a reminder that she is strong and capable no matter what life throws her.
As difficult as it sounds, next time you fail, rather than retreating, stand firm. Pause and evaluate the reasons you failed. Make the changes you need to make to improve.
Then step forward. As Samuel Beckett said: Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.