I had given every bit of mental energy to figuring it out. I thought I should be able to do better. I realized that I must not have what it takes after all. It didn't make sense to me that I could try so hard and still not get it. I cried A LOT. I asked for help. I took breaks and came back to it. But understanding eluded me for what seemed like forever.
I thought "failure is not an option". As it turned out, it was. In fact it was several short-term failures that led to the end of this story.
The day that I finally felt successful was entirely unexpected. It would be easy to give all the credit to the person teaching me at the moment I finally understood. Today I know that my persistence and hard work primed me for the class in which I began to really understand long division.
Even though this was a relatively minor struggle in the big picture of my life, this experience really captures for me the thoughts, the desperation, and the eventual victory that may come with several failures.
In retrospect, I see many failures that coexist with success. I cried but I didn't give up. I got frustrated and I asked for help. I put in hours studying and I took breaks to enjoy myself. At the time, all of this just felt like failure even though I'm now proud of my younger self for hanging in there!
Failure doesn't have to be the end of your journey. You can choose to keep going.
What might you be proud of 20 years from now if you don't give up?
Whether you choose to persist toward an elusive goal or adjust plans toward a new goal, you can grow in your ability to bounce back. Take all you learn from the experience, failures and all, and apply that knowledge to your next step.
Being mindful of the ways you best operate, acknowledge what feels like failure and let it be the start of a new phase. You might start with questions like these:
What has worked well or not?
What is in my control or not?
What habits are showing up that I want to change?
What intentions are being met or not?
What can I leave behind or carry forward?
Sometimes you come to a fork in the road, right? Whether you choose to stick with a goal or start a new path I think it's okay to frame it as failure.
Failure is not the end of your story. Failure is not your whole story. But usually failure is the most relatable part of the story you'll share with others once you've succeeded. It's valuable and useful in its own way!
So many times we refuse to acknowledge failure as an acceptable outcome. Instead of living like failure is not an option, I'm inviting you to join me in letting failure be a rest stop that teaches resilience on the road to success.
Coaching Workshop | Learning Resilience from Failure
Join me to practice acknowledging failures and bouncing back in healthy ways.
Date: August 21, 2021
Time: 10 to 11:30 AM CDT
Location: On Zoom
NOTE: A recorded version will be available for seven days after the workshop in case you cannot attend the live session.