Updated: Oct 22, 2020
I'm not able to sit out on my patio today and sip my tea because my first story apartment is getting an (unwelcomed) yard makeover. I'm pretty fortunate to have a cozy yard all to myself in my apartment life, but unfortunately that still comes with some limitations. We're going to dig up your garden, plants and flowers to put in bushes without telling you kind of limitations.
Instead, I climbed on my sofa and buried myself in the soft cushions. Feels good. As I'm relaxing in my comfy spot, I'm thinking about all the stuff I went through to have peaceful mornings. Despite the loud hums of the mowers and trimmers and the clucking of the shovels digging up my plants and flowers, my life is peaceful. I'm not commuting on a highway, stuck in traffic, or rushing my way into an office somewhere across town. I'm relaxed and feeling grateful.
For me, peace is a HUGE win.
I never forget that I had to encounter failure to gain that win. I have hands-on experience with working tirelessly on something only to have it crumble in my hands and turn to dust. I'm not talking about little things; I'm talking about seemingly monumental failures.
Show me a 6-figure earner or self-made millionaire that didn't fail at something and I'll show you somebody with an absolutely perfect life. It doesn't exist.
In our success-driven society, high value is placed on winning and competing. We base the value of our children's education on perfect performance, our success as human beings on how much money we make, and the success of our relationships and marriages based on how many years we can stay hooked in, no matter how miserable we may be.
We've translated failure into weakness and vulnerability, when in actuality (IMO) it's just the opposite. A lot of people might not agree with me. They believe failure is not an option. If you've said that before, raise your hand. I'm raising mine. Failure just sounds so bad, doesn't it? It wreaks of negative connotations and slippery slopes of excuses just waiting to happen.
Maybe you've asked yourself, at some point in reviewing your success in life, this question: Who determines what success is or isn't? There are millionaires who never finished school, people who don't earn much money, but are successful husbands, fathers, and mentors, and entrepreneurs who invented some of the products we use every day only after several failed attempts.
Failure is an inevitable part of life. No one likes to fail, and I don't know about you, but you won't find me bragging about it anytime soon. Obviously, failure is not something to aspire to, however, it's impossible to live without failing at something. As disappointing as failure might be, the truth is, it breeds success. Having a healthy perspective about it is what helps you stay humble, learn from mistakes, and embrace change.
I don't see failure as failure at all. I see it as your guide to recreating, redeveloping, restructuring, re-imagining, reapplying, and recovering.
Here's what can you do with failure that the guy next to you hasn't figured out yet: You can learn from it. Failure is life's greatest teacher. It's students use it as a steppingstone for growth. They become stronger and wiser because of it.
Having a spirit that can't be broken is a blessing.
The most impactful thing you can do; the thing that will conjure up new and brilliant opportunities for you, is create the perfect opening to fulfill a need. Your failure is their failure. Your failure answers their questions. Your failure provides them with solutions.
Hold failure like clay in your hands and shape it into something useful. People pay for solutions because they haven't figured it out yet.
What mistake can you teach others not to make?
What has failure taught you not to do?
What solution have you developed because you once failed?
What system have you put in place?
Failure is not the problem. Not taking failure as an opportunity for success is.
Using myself as an example, it took me several tries throughout my life, trying this and that, to find my niche. It was a grueling process, but I learned what worked and what didn't. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that doing what I love and loving what I do was what would catapult me forward and finally allow me to establish something solid and rewarding. Now, I enjoy helping other women work through that.
It's what you do with failure that matters.
If you've failed at something, get back up, tackle it head on, readjust some things, and keep going!! That's what I mean when I say failure is not an option. It doesn't mean you won't fail. It means you won't succumb to failure and that failure you experienced will be flipped on its head.
What are your thoughts? If you have an experience, a success story, or a different perspective to share, I'd love to hear it. I'm sure other readers would appreciate it too.
Have a fabulous week!
Until next time.
Wanauma Graham is a creative and lifestyle entrepreneur, author of "Totally Unstoppable", and creator of BossFreeMedia.com. She's dedicated to helping women work through fear and do something they’ve always wanted to do.