What is Failure?

Many people are afraid of failure – often to the point of paralyzing them from even attempting something new. Failure quote

What if I fail? What if other people think I’m stupid? What if this turns out to be a dumb idea?

The “What If’s” of life can keep us from moving forward and becoming the women God created us to be.

Yet what often appears as failure is really a learning opportunity. How many times does a toddler try to stand up and walk? When he falls, is that a failure or is it just part of the learning curve?

Writers struggle to put the proper words on a page, then gather the courage to submit a manuscript, only to have it rejected with a form letter. Is that a failure or is it part of the process to find voice, marketing tools and a favorite niche?

The most common definition of “failure” is “lack of success” or “a subnormal quality.” Yet it is failure that can teach us how to reach for more, how to identify our core values, how to choose better relationships and how to set healthy boundaries.

It is failure that helps us define success and pushes us to make another attempt, to try again, to find that sweet spot where we feel better about ourselves and live more authentic lives.

The problem with admitting failure is that we forget that this is a concept and not an adjective for a personality defect. As women, we often see failure as a personal affront, a reason to be down on ourselves and compare ourselves unfavorably to someone else.

Failure is not the end, but it can be the beginning of something new – the opportunity to think of a different way to make a light bulb or sew a skirt. After all, chocolate chip cookies were basically a mistake when a cook chopped a bar into tiny bits, then accidentally dropped them into the cookie dough. Definitely not a failure!

So the next time you feel like a failure, remind yourself that failure represents an action; not a person. You are never a failure. You are unique, special, gifted and created for a distinct purpose in life.

Keep trying. Keep working at it. Keep reminding yourself that failing is just a way to learn something and become the wonderful woman God intends for you to be.

© 2014 GateWay of Hope – The Helping Place for Hurting Women