What is Failure
At some point in life, everyone experiences failure. Yes, hitting the bottom it is a part of life. I’ve learned that lesson a few times. However, failure means different things to different people. According to Dictionary.com definitions include:
- Lack of success or proving unsuccessful
- Non-performance of something due, required or expected
- A person or thing that proves unsuccessful
What does failure mean to you? Does it mean losing a job, being in a toxic relationship or failing at business? For me, failure really took me for a loop when I was fired from a job that was very important to me. I was totally blindsided and defeated by the loss. I didn’t see it coming and couldn’t understand how or why it happened. After all, I gave the company years of loyalty, hard work and dedicated service. Was this the reward I received for being a good employee?
I was devastated! Despite the devastation, life didn’t stop. I had to snap out of my funk, anger, and disappointment. Then, I saw a post on Facebook. It said, “Sometimes holding on is worse than letting go.” Ding, ding, and ding! Wow, that post shook me up because I was still fighting hard for my lost job. I realized at that point it was time to reflect, rethink and restart my life. It was time to wipe away the tears and self-doubt. It was time to bounce back from the bottom. The failure I experienced taught me five important things in life. Here’s how failure can help you to bounce back.
Despite the devastation, life didn’t stop. I had to snap out of my funk, anger, and disappointment. Then, I saw a post on Facebook. It said, “Sometimes holding on is worse than letting go.” Ding, ding, and ding! Wow, that post shook me up because I was still fighting hard for my lost job. I realized at that point it was time to reflect, rethink and restart my life. It was time to wipe away the tears and self-doubt. It was time to bounce back from the bottom. The failure I experienced taught me five important things in life. Here’s how failure can help you to bounce back.
Learn from Failure
- Failure is a great teacher. Being unsuccessful will give you a chance to explore what lessons you’ve learned from the experience. Reflect on what you did well and on what you can improve upon. Think about why you responded to certain situations and how the response affected your life. Failure holds important lessons for us to reflect upon and move on to the next phase.
- Failure is a part of life. It will happen more than once. What’s important is how you respond to it and what you glean from it. Failure builds character and emotional strength to do better next time.
- Focus on the positive. Don’t focus on the negative because it will only keep you down. Even in failure, some positive things took place. Write down the positive and create a strategy for your new life plan.
- Try new things. If at first, you don’t succeed try, try again. This is an opportunity to find out what is important to you. Who do you really want to be? What do you want out of life? Start plotting your new course. Start a new business. Write a book. Change your career goals. It’s a whole new world for you.
- Extraordinary, successful people fail and never gave up. You are not alone, so pull yourself up. Think about these famous and successful people who failed on more than one occasion.
Successful & Extraordinary People
- Bill Gates is one of the wealthiest men on earth. He was not always successful. Did you know that he failed at his first business? He didn’t give up and went on to found Microsoft Corporation.
- Oprah Winfrey was once fired from a Baltimore television station. A producer thought her looks didn’t fit the mode for a TV personality. Well, Oprah went on to be the most successful talk show host in history. Now she’s still making history by owning her own television network, OWN.
- Steve Jobs co-founded Apple, Inc., with his friend Steve Wozniak. At one point he was fired from the company that he created. The Board of Directors voted him out. During the time away from Apple, Steve Jobs was the primary investor and CEO of Pixar. Later, he returned to Apple Inc., as Chairman and CEO. He took the company to all-time highs and profits.
- K. Rowlings the author of the Harry Potter series had a series of failures in life. She was jobless, divorced and penniless before writing the first book. Various publishers turned her down until one small publishing house took a chance on her book. The rest is history.
Float to the Top
Sometimes life will throw you into a tailspin. Failure is not the end of the world. It’s how you handle it that’s important. Do you want to hold onto what caused you pain and uncertainty? Remember, holding on is worse than letting go. As with the successful people mentioned above, they hit the bottom, bounced back and then soared to the top. They learned from the experience. Afterward, they took the failure as a part of life and moved on. Focusing on the positives helped to improve upon their ideas. They definitely tried new things because their creations changed peoples’ lives.
So, do not scrape the bottom for too long. Failures come and go throughout life. Just remember, that failure is an opportunity to reflect, rethink and restart a part of your life. Seize the moment to be exceptional and to be you!