When you have failed as many times as I have and you have picked yourself up as many times as you have failed, and tried again, then like me, you may have tried to come to terms with failure and the impact failure has on your mindset and beliefs!
For many years, I worked in a pretty tough corporate role where I was in charge of managing large groups of people. A part of my role I wasn’t particularly fond of, was disciplinary procedures and then eventually letting people go. This hard task was, of course, made much easier if they had failed miserably at the task on hand and almost made themselves redundant in the process.
However, I often encountered that one person who
a) was either a fantastic person with an amazing personality and everyone loved (and who still could not do the work but his or her charisma made it so much harder) or
b) someone who believed to their core that they were indeed great in the role and would fight back with every ounce of energy they possess to remain in that position. (when it was clearly not what they were called to do in life).
In each and in all of the cases I handled and in every situation I found myself in over the years (yep, being sacked from jobs myself!) I realised that each situation was in reality just an opportunity to reassess your situation, your direction and your decisions. (Sometimes we need to check our actions too but more often that not, we don’t have a problem with being sacked for our actions or losing out on something due to inaction, because our internal navigation system tells us it’s wrong).
What is truly heartbreaking, is the situations when you least expect it. (Those buggers that hurt like hell.)
Why? Because we immediately believe that it’s because of who and what we are…we take it so personally and take it to heart….
It was only when I realised that each time I was sacked or asked to move on, or when someone lovely who worked for me and kept on messing up…was sacked by me, that it was simply life giving us feedback and pushing us into a different and new direction. It’s an opportunity to evaluate the feedback and adjust your sails. Not an opportunity to try again, to try harder…Not to be like a stubborn mule…and do the same thing over and over again! Not to dig deep and do EXACTLY the same thing just somewhere else!
Failure is simply feedback telling you that your directions are off-course. That your sails need to be adjusted or that you need to start sailing in an entirely different direction. Failure is an opportunity to step back and look back at the trail you have left. It’s an opportunity to build your house on stone instead of sand. It’s an opportunity to start fresh with better understanding, skills, knowledge and wisdom!
It’s time we started to embrace our failures and not fear them. It’s time we started to welcome failures as the key indicators to our success. It was only when I welcomed failure as a form of feedback, when I welcomed it as a part of my success, that I discovered what I was truly made of.
For it’s only by our biggest failures that we are pushed towards our greatest success.