Failing Doesn’t Mean You’re A Failure

This week has been one of reflection for me. Certain triggers, as I am sure you have experienced too, pull us back to those moments and we remember and feel the emotions along with that memory. Too often we look at our lives as a disappointment rather than an achievement.

Fail: Be unsuccessful in achieving one’s goal, a mistake, failure, or instance of poor performance, neglect to do something. To fall short of, be unsuccessful in passing

“Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure… it just means you haven’t succeeded yet.” – Robert Schuller

I have always been a person who takes life seriously

I make plans, set goals, plot a way forward then just do it. It gives me such a sense of achievement when I know that from inception to completion I have done a good job! I like to pat myself on the back and know that I have stood on my own two feet, asked nothing of anyone and done what I set out to do, and done it well and completely. There was never a time that I have failed in that respect.

It has been the unexpected, unplanned, unwanted twists and turns of life that has left my head spinning and my heart in a quandary

It is in these instances, where there is no time for planning, no moment to reflect, no goal setting  – just a flurry of activity, a grasping for a foothold, a heaving for breath and a knee-jerk reaction to survive that seem to unsettle me somewhat.

I am sure that in your life, when things have not turned out how you had planned, when those goals you set have had to be shelved or changed completely to accommodate the new situation, that you realise you have let yourself down.

Some days our expectation of the day is high, expectation of ourselves and others are high and WHAM! Out of the blue, we have failure

Or do we? The thing about failure it that whilst in the midst of it we cannot see a way out. We cannot see that perhaps there is a turn in the road that will lead us to a better place.

I believe that both Edison and Einstein failed on numerous occasions, yet he kept on trying to find a different way, a better way of achieving what he set out to do. I suspect the attainment of the goal was so vivid in his mind that his will to succeed superseded his disappointments that arose when he didn’t get it right the 59th time. So he set about doing things a little different, a little better the 60th time.

I am no different to any of you reading this – we are all faced with challenges day by day

And as such we rarely put our heads on our pillows at night feeling that we have achieved all we set out to do. We sometimes have sleepless nights pondering over why we failed, what we did wrong and how on earth we will fix things.

  • Are you the kind of person who always tries to be better? Or are you the person who knows that they ARE better?
  • When someone challenges you, do you retaliate with a barrage of defensive words and excuses?
  • Are you someone who will reflect on the day and find ways to have a better tomorrow? Or are you that person who blames everyone else when things fail?
  • Have you looked back on life – NO, REALLY looked back on your life and seen only the good that has come from the failures?
  • Have you taken the lessons and learned how NOT to do things again and again, expecting a different result?
  • Are you someone who would rather run away than try again, for fear of failure?

I would like you to think of the failures in your life, then tell me how you have coped, what method you used to overcome and where are you now.



Written by How South Africa

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