I have started many things and failed at many things, this is a fact! Failing repeatedly can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Let’s explore the bad first. Many people look at failure as the worst thing ever! For them, to fail is to be defeated, to lose and to give up. I have experienced failure in exams, relationships and business ventures, in learning a new language and a new instrument as well as in many other ways. I could look at all these past failures and come to the conclusion that I AM A FAILURE! I mean the evidence is there right, my past is marred by my attempts to try and the fact that I have failed repeatedly.
The thing that’s difficult is that people look at those failings and forever hold you in that place; family and friends no longer trust you or your judgement and question whether you are capable of making good, sound decisions. This is understandable to an extent, but I have experienced that it can also be crippling.
There is another side to failure that I have discovered, which I now embrace and celebrate. I’m not afraid to keep on trying different but new things over and over and over again, which unfortunately most people refuse to do. My failures have brought me to a place where I now know what I am good at and what I am not good at; I now know what my purpose is, what makes me come alive and what I simply don’t like. I have always been that girl who dives right in and learns as she goes, that’s just how I operate.
You see, I’ve learnt that the important thing is not how often I fail but how often I get back up and try again until I get it right. True failure is not the failing in itself, true failure is when you never attempt or try anything again because of fear. I absolutely love this quote: “If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.” – Nora Roberts
If you have got to the end of this blog I want to encourage you all to read the speech below by Theodore Roosevelt, entitled ‘The Man in the Arena.’ You see, you will always have critics, failing is part of life but what really matters is that you get in that arena and dare to do great things. So what will you do in 2015 that scares you? What will I do in 2015 to get me closer to living a life worth living for the benefit of myself and the world? I can honestly say failing is one of the best things I have done and I’m thankful for the learning and growth that has resulted from all of my past failures.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt (Delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910)