Be Proud of Your Failures

Life is difficult sometimes. Is it just me, or is it true that when things feel as if they couldn’t get any worse something (or several somethings) else goes wrong? I was not joking when I said that many of the rejection letters I’ve received in my lifetime came on some of the worst days of my life. Coincidental? I think not…

I have probably failed more than I’ve succeeded. Hasn’t everybody? It’s a matter of statistics, really. If you want job X and they are only hiring two people but 100 people are applying for it, you have a one in 50 chance of succeeding and about 49 chances to fail.

Failing is part of life. You will be dumped, hurt, betrayed, rejected and disappointed. That doesn’t matter. It is what you do next that counts. Will you go back to bed and stay there for a week? Or will you say their loss, and try again?

Recently I spoke the phrase “I am proud of my failures,” and meant every single bit of it.

Below is a list of five reasons you should be proud of your failures too.

1. If it didn’t work out, it truly wasn’t a good fit.

I found that relationships, jobs and other scenarios that didn’t work out for me ended up being a blessing in disguise. Haven’t you?

2. At least you tried.

This is a biggie to remind yourself when you’re feeling down. You tried and failed. So what? A lot of people don’t even try. A lot of people are afraid to take risks mainly because they are afraid of failure.

3. What’s the worst that could happen?

You tried. You failed. Did the world end? No, it didn’t but I bet for a second there, you thought it would.

4. Progress and success sometimes happen slowly.

Often I get frustrated with the slow pace of reaching my goals. Like a brat in a toy store, I am often guilty of having an “I want it now!” attitude. “Little acorns lead to mighty oaks.” I got that from a fortune cookie. It is true. Life is a process, a slow process. Think of how long it takes for a little acorn to become a mighty oak — perhaps longer than your or my lifetime.

5. Cut away dead wood.

Sometimes when we lose jobs or relationships we are really upset because we weren’t ready to let go of them. More often than not, deep down, you knew it wasn’t working out and that you had to leave it behind eventually. If you are as stubborn as I am, you’ve probably found that the mysterious inner workings of the universe take care of this for you whether you like it or not. You may not be happy about it, but were you really happy before you lost it? For example, no relationship I ever had has been right for me, so should I be sad to leave them behind or happy that perhaps moving past them will push me forward in the direction of the right relationship?

Make a mental list of your failures. Some of the things you wanted but didn’t end up getting might be laughable in hindsight. You might realize that some of the things you think you failed at you didn’t really fail at at all. And sometimes we are just really hard on ourselves. Remember, one person’s failure is another person’s success. As Einstein said, “It’s all relative.”

“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” — Albert Einstein

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