“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley
Failure is one of the hardest things to talk about, mainly because we’re conditioned from birth to believe failure is all bad and no good. But in order to truly succeed in anything, we need to come from a place that believes failure is often one of the best things that can happen to us.
Our “failures” have a tendency of coming up to breathe over the holidays, when familial and self expectations hold us to new highs, simultaneously bringing new lows in how we view our self worth. This is the time to be selfish. Generally, unless people have been by your side the whole time (in which case, keep them around as much as possible because that’s awesome), they usually don’t know the day to day struggle that you go through to reach your goal or keep your goal. I don’t have to tell you that those daily struggles on the road to and of success are journeys within themselves.
When it comes to lifestyles and health, even those people who seem to be 100% on top of it have their off days. Too often, we get so wrapped up in trying to be “perfect” that we forget how normal, useful and human failure is. And when we really look at our so-called “failures” we can turn them into something positive, even major life lessons. Without failure, there are no true experiential lessons that can help us on the road of success. As much as we would love to say we learn from other people’s mistakes, we don’t really absorb those lessons until we make mistakes of our own.
We almost always blow up our “failures” to oversized proportions (ever heard that saying “making mountains out of mole hills”?). In reality, they’re nothing more than setbacks, varying in size and intensity but no more than a delay in getting you where you want and need to be. In reality, every step we take, whether forward or back, is progress. Even if it’s a step backward, it’s always helpful to look at it as free learning experience instead of the end of the world.
So when you feel like you’ve failed at something, take a step back. Failure is success’ best friend, so greet it with gratitude and accept it as it is. Always have the ability to forgive yourself and move on. Remember, no one really “succeeds” in anything until they’ve made it through a few mistakes on the way.