17 Jan

Failure.  It is a scary word with negative implications.  Failure can be defined as:  “An event that does not accomplish its intended purpose”.  Well now that does not seem too awful, does it?  Progress can certainly be made even when not accomplishing an intended purpose.  Sometimes a new purpose can emerge.  The word failure is more daunting than its definition.

I have failed.  Many times.  We all have.  But failing does not make you a failure. If you haven’t failed, you haven’t taken any risks.  So take risks, because if you are taking risks, you are succeeding.  Failure has come in big ways and small ways in my life.  But I try not to let it stop me from trying again, and again, and again.

There have been times when I have had a simple failure, like a recipe has flopped.  I have lost good ingredients, time, and been disappointed by making bad food.  I get mad at myself even for something like a small failure.  Then I come around the bend and put things into perspective.  If a recipe flops, it would only happen once.  The next time I try that recipe, or another recipe, the lessons I learned by having that recipe flop will help me succeed the next time.  So how is that a failure?  Learning something is always a success.  The experience of making a recipe well as well as having one go wrong both make me a better cook and increase my understanding of the culinary arts.  Either way victory is mine!

I have also failed big.  When I was first out of college, I had a great job.  I had a good position with a national company.  I got a little too caught up in office politics.  I listened to the wrong people in the office.  I, at times, did not let good business acumen dictate my behavior.  It did not end well.  I got fired.  But I have only been fired once!  That “failure” was a huge life lesson for me.  One I have never forgotten!  That experience not only helped drive my behavior and business ethics in a positive way, I have had more patience and understanding when I see coworkers getting caught in that web that I once found myself in.  It can be easy to get caught up in office drama.  But now I know when to back away and stay out of that hornets nest!

Failure, whether real or perceived,  can produce many reactions.  Fear, doubt, and depression to name a few.  We need to shake free of that, because failing can lead to success.  In other words, failure can, and should, drive us toward feeling empowerment, a step forward.  It may not be immediate though.  Sometimes success takes time to grow out of a mistake or failure.  So failure can also produce the opportunity to learn patience.  Wow!  Fantastic things can come from “failure”!  So lets not fear it.  Take it for what it is.  It is an opportunity.  Success.  Confidence.  So go take the risk!  You can’t fail!

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