Okay so I sort of fell off the “Thankful Thursday” wagon, but I crawled my way back on. It’s not that I haven’t been grateful, it’s just that I’ve been busy. Not a good excuse. Believe me, I’m well aware. Regardless of my excuses, today is a new day to start fresh and keep commitments with myself, right? Right. This Thursday I’m thankful for failure. Yep, you read that right, failure. Without failure most of us wouldn’t be where we are today. We wouldn’t have seen, felt, or experienced the raw emotion you feel from failure.
Most people think that failure is a bad thing. I think the very opposite. Yes, failure hurts. It hurts your ego, it hurts your soul, it can even hurt your heart. But, I think failure is vital to staying in the game. And by game, I mean the game of life. No, not the board game, the actual game we live each morning when our feet hit that floor and our day begins. Failure affords opportunity. I’ve written about my thankfulness for opportunity in the past. Without failure, you wouldn’t have opportunity.
See, failure is the best way to learn. Failure teaches us about humility. And through humility comes opportunity. As humans we have a tendency to think we are a lot more awesome than we actually are. I’ve had some experience with this recently and while it is a hard pill to swallow, I’m glad I’m embracing failure. By not allowing it to knock me down, and instead pull me up, I’ve found out things about myself I wouldn’t have otherwise known.
For instance, with my current workload I was starting to miss things, make mistakes, forget, become unorganized. That just isn’t me. But because I can’t work the hours I once could, these “things” were starting to occur. They were throwing me into a tizzy. And then it happened, I failed. I had a misstep. I forgot. I looked like a fool in a meeting. But unlike most people, I was okay with that. I realized that I needed to change the way I had previously handled my workload. I found the flaw in my “system” and I knew I had to change, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to sustain. I owned up to it, admitted my lack of capacity, the fact that I should have written it down, and followed up earlier. Hello humility! I showed an SVP that I was human and willing to admit my faults. Because of that, I was given a second chance and more. In marches our friend opportunity!
While failing isn’t always going to be a great experience, it will always teach you something. Don’t let failure get you down. Failure is part of learning and growing. Experience means more in life than anything else. When someone speaks of their experience, that’s real. You can’t read in a book, you can’t learn it in a class. Failure is how you experience. Failure is life. Failure is good. Don’t let failure be your crutch, let it be the spring in your step.
So on this Thankful Thursday, I’m thankful for failure. Have you ever had an experience will failure that has shaped who you are? Helped you overcome? Been a life lesson? I would love to hear from you!