It feels good to get back to writing, I had taken a little break to refocus on my health. But I am back and ready to talk about something that really hits home for me, which is failure. I have dealt with my fair share of failures in school, career, and relationships. I think that, over the years, I have gained thicker skin and just become much more resilient and am learning to cope with failure as well as all the baggage that comes with it.
I was listening to this really awesome podcast episode on the Rise Podcast with Rachel Hollis and her guest speaker who was renowned author John C. Maxwell. There were discussing growth and mentioned something that really didn’t stand out to me until I heard it in the podcast. Basically, they said that we all want to experience growth and we see that product of growth in successful entrepreneurs who have achieved financial freedom and abundance. However, we miss the fact that the process of growth is actually very ugly and uncomfortable. That process consists of ongoing tests and failures and things that work and don’t work out.
It made me appreciate all the tough things that I was going through these past few years. I had taken on student debt for my graduate degree and have been struggling to find my place in my field of choice. In addition to that, I had stopped putting in an effort into my friendships and nurturing those relationships that actually brought me happiness and a feeling of empowerment. I lost three family members in the span of a year and a half and I stopped taking care of my health. It was just a roller coaster of constant chaos.
Looking back at it now, part of me still wishes things could be a little different but part of me also understands how much all those experiences have shaped me and pushed me way past any limits I thought I had. I have had to become mentally strong to get past these failures. So think for a second about everything in your life right now that is giving you a tough time that you’re not happy with. Think about anything you are struggling with or failing at and really truly understand how that experience is preparing you for a better you in the future.
Your life will not always be “peaches and cream” but that’s a good thing. Yes we want to get to that “end product” that we envision as growth and in order to get to it we have to go through the ugly part of growth, it’s a package deal and I honestly believe there is beauty in the struggle.
So I just wanted to share a few things you can takeaway and think about in regards to dealing with failure:
- Breathe & Accept it – I think too often we get into a defensive mode or victim mentality and think that the fact that Mercury is in retrograde is messing with our success. Whenever you are dealing with failure, recognize it and accept it. It is a part of the process. But also, think about what you can learn from the current situation.
- Can you correct it? – Once you have reflected on the situation see if there is anything you can do to correct your mindset or situation. For example, I am in a job that is not in the field of study I chose but I have learned a great deal from my job experience. Focus on the positive aspects to the situation and always be grateful for your current state because it could be way worse.
- This moment in time does not define you – Our failures do not define us. I think this is something that a lot of people can have difficulty with, including myself. So often we assume that our failure is what people will associate with our name. That is not true and you may have to remind yourself that everyday. What does define you is who you are as a person, How do you treat the people in your life when things are down? Do you cheer on other people’s success even when you’re failing? Are you resilient? Do you get back up even when life has knocked you down about 5 times in the last week?! If you carry the right mindset then you will not let the wrong thing define you.
- Who is validating you? You have to ask yourself if these failures matter because of your goals and expectations of yourself or because you are not being validated by others: your parents, your friends, etc. This is something I still struggle with because of the culture I was raised in and it is a tough spot to be in but you have to break away from trying to please everyone and only then will you be able to successfully cope with failure.
- Fail Early, Fail Often, Fail Forward – I heard this in a motivational video by Will Smith. Make your mistakes early on and learn from them. It’s okay if you make a million mistakes because each one will redirect you to a different path. Reflect and move on!
Just remember: you have a lot to offer to this world and failure is part of the process. Learn from each lesson and get smarter, more resilient, and better each time. You got this!
All photos are courtesy of Unsplash