Don’t be confused by the title. If you have experienced failure you know what it means, and if you haven’t experienced failure, let me explain.
When I look back at my life, so far, I can give you examples of times I have failed and how those failures led to different paths or better successes. I can tell you about how failures led me to redirect, to reflect, and to deal with hard truths that I was ignoring. But I can also tell you that I never celebrated a failure in the moment. I never felt great when things fell apart. I never knew in the moment of failure what would be next. I never felt like I had it all together. More often than not I felt the opposite of that, I felt disjointed. But eventually I kept moving forward because if failure gives you nothing else it will give you the ability to persevere.
So here is the truth: Failure is worth it but how we ‘sell it’ to people could use some work. What we keep forgetting to mention (or just won’t be honest about) when it comes to failure is that it sucks. We are so worried that we are raising generations who are afraid of it, or worse will never experience it, that we are trying to make it seem like the most amazing thing that could happen to them. We are sugarcoating it and that isn’t fair. It isn’t helpful when trying to explain to someone who is stopping themselves from doing something out of fear of failure. Because failure isn’t amazing, at least not in the moment it occurs. In the moment it sucks. Failure does bring new opportunities and the teaches us determination in the face of adversity but it still hurts, it still devastates for a time being, and sometimes it is really hard to move on from. Failure isn’t fun. Yes, there will be lessons learned from it and unexpected opportunities will arise from it. What is gained is usually so much more than what is lost. Failure is not the end of everything, often times it is the beginning of things we never imagined. But we don’t have the right to tell people it doesn’t suck. And while no one should be frozen in to inaction by the fear of failure, everyone has the right to fear it because no one sets out to fail. If you approached life excited to fail everything I would worry you don’t really want to accomplish anything. No one really knows what is on the other side of failure when it first happens. It can even take years to really see the full picture of what was gained by it. What is amazing, and I promise you will see this one day, is that even when some of the steps sucked along the way the growth your life had to due to them will astound you. You may even look back and realize how blessed you are that life didn’t go exactly to your plan.
It cannot be said enough that the greatest thing we can give to any generation is the permission to fail. To not run in and pick up the pieces or blame others when failure happens but to just let it happen and let them gain the lessons from it. The greatest thing we can bring to our own failures (and to life in general) is an unrelenting belief in ourselves, trusting our process and decisions. Everything in this life worth accomplishing requires actually stepping out and doing it, putting in hard work over time, and being ready when our moment arises. We must be willing to approach the next path(s), while unknown, with an open mind and a bold heart. We must be willing to be vulnerable and deal with repercussions of failure but know that they are not definitive and that we cannot allow them to be destructive to our life. Failure is not the end of a dream but the beginning of a new design to get there, or may be to somewhere never imagined. Failure sucks and it can difficult to deal with but you can pick yourself and move forward. It will be worth it. Believe, learn, and know that.