Failure is such a scary word for most of us. We shy away from it, run from it, hide from it. Anything we can do to avoid it. But failure is what prompts us to rise. It’s what makes us evolve and become better versions of ourselves. We need to work on getting comfortable with failure.
After my fair share of moments where I’ve deemed myself to fail, I’ve realized that they’ve always led me to something else that I wouldn’t have otherwise seen. I think of these times as my “rise up moments.”
Here are three things that I’ve learned from “failing” and why I’ve learned to get comfortable with failure.
1. Failing means I’m taking risks and willing to get outside of my comfort zone
I realized that if I always sat in my comfort zone, I wouldn’t be faced with failure because everything would always be safe and easy. But when I’ve had to work for something and failed, I’ve learned a lot about myself in the process.
When I moved across the country to a city that I had never been to for a new job, it was a huge step outside of my comfort zone. I didn’t know what to expect but I knew that if I didn’t take the risk, I would miss out on a new adventure and a great opportunity for my career. Ultimately, I ended up losing my job after the company had a massive round of layoffs. I felt like a huge failure because I went all the way across the country to seize this exciting opportunity and I felt as though I didn’t do a good enough job. But in hindsight, the opportunity taught me a lot about myself and it grew my career in a very positive way.
2. It’s not failing, it’s being guided in another direction that may be better for me
There have been so many instances in my life where I have had my heart truly set on something. Whether it was something as simple as a pair of shoes that I’ve really wanted to buy, a job that I really wanted or a relationship that I really wanted to work out. I’m a big believer that when you put the intention out into the universe, the universe will deliver. And this great quote from Kerry Washington sums it up: “the universe will always give you three answers: yes; yes, but not right now; or no, I have something better for you.” This was a life changing “aha” for me that took many years to fully understand.
That last one is a tough pill to swallow when you’re in that moment where you truly want something now. But when things haven’t worked out the way I wanted them to, I was always being directed on another path. Most often when this redirection happened, I was very resistant to it and thought because what I wanted didn’t work out, I had failed. But even though I was going down this new path begrudgingly, something that I didn’t even think was possible for me, has always shown up. And I found myself feeling glad that what I actually wanted didn’t work out. Something that’s a better fit for you will always come along!
3. It’s NOT an overnight process – it takes time and patience to get to where you want to go
When we’re working towards a goal like a promotion, being an entrepreneur or even learning a new hobby, when things don’t go according to the timeline that we want, we think we’re failing or that it’s never going to happen. One of the hardest lessons that I’ve had to learn is that nothing great comes without hard work and persistence. There will be many roadblocks along the way, but they’re all meant to help you grow and learn something.
As they say, it’s all about the journey, not the destination. I’ve wanted to do nothing but jump from point A to point B quickly and what I’ve learned time and time again is that life just doesn’t work that way. If we want to get from point A to point B we have to go through the peaks and valleys so that we can fully appreciate and understand our destination. We’re not failing because we’re not getting there fast enough, it just means that there are a few more lessons that need to be learned along the way. Stay patient, it will happen!
What are some of the lessons you’ve learned when you thought you had “failed” at something? Share your thoughts in the comments below!