I have been thinking about failure and whether failure is a lie or the truth. I know when I’m in the throws of failure, all the negative self-talk I tell myself feels incredibly true. But, then I’ve learned that those loud negative voices are never true. This lovely sunset photo was taken in the aftermath of multiple failures that led me to living in San Diego for eight months, but I don't want to get ahead of myself. Let's get back to, what if failure is a lie?
Let’s consider a few of my failures.
I didn’t get the job.
I didn’t ask for a raise.
I tripped and dropped dinner on the floor.
I ended the marriage.
I left a friendship.
A friend left me.
I forgot to pick the kids up.
I left my baby at home…alone…she was only a few months old! (Totally true)
I could go on, but you get the idea. No doubt, you could make your own list. We’re so good at remembering the failures.
And yet, is it true? Were they failures?
Every one of my failures took me to a better place. Even the whole thing with leaving the baby home alone. It turned out okay. She was asleep the entire time (about 10 minutes that felt like 10 hours!) and was safe and sound when we rushed home the second we realized we had left her in her crib rather than putting her in the car seat. Still, I don’t recommend leaving your baby home, but the truth is, I never did it again and I learned not to be judgmental of the mistakes any of us can make with our kids.
The end of a relationship started me on the spiral that took me to San Diego for eight months. Let's see, was that a spiral of failure? Or was it really success?
Do you ever feel like you have growth spurts in your life? Where you learn a big lesson and you look back and think, wow. I’ve come a long way! It’s such an awesome feeling! And when does it happen? Usually, after one of those failures.
When I look back there was always some event, or series of events, that preceded a big growth spurt in my life. How could it possibly be a failure if it was followed by something great?
I’ve discovered that failure is a lie. How about you?
Failure is a lie
Make a list of a couple of your failures. Then look at them and ask yourself, “what did I learn?” or “what opened up for me after that event?” You might be amazed, as I was, to discover the story you told yourself, about your failures, was a lie. They were successes. Not the variety of success we had in mind, but we are better because of them. And isn’t the very definition of success to be better than you were?
I’d love to hear what you labeled as failure that you can now look at as a success?
When you know that failure is a lie, what are you inspired to do or try or create?
Share your story in the comments below.