The Upside of Failure

February 26, 2018

When the universe speaks to you you must listen and if you are a blogger, you must share!  I am in the middle of an evolution and in the last few weeks the universe has been beating me over the head with positive messages redefining my perception of failure.  Signs have come to me in books, a conference I attended last week, youtube videos, on my social media feeds oh and lets not forget Will Smith!!.. I mean they have literally been everywhere.  We define failure as a negative experience.  I was raised on, "failure is NOT an option". Have you heard that one before?  Well, I 100% no longer agree with that.  Failure is where it is at!  You want to fail and as Will Smith so wisely put it, Fail Early. Fail Often. Fail Forward.  I am no stranger to failure or what I have defined as failure, whether its in a personal relationship, parenting or navigating my educational and professional goals.  But I am nothing if not resilient and as an eternal optimist at the very core I wanted to share some insight I have learned about the upside of failure.

1) Its a Beginning.

I know that seems counterintuitive but it isn't.  We have all suffered through heartache right? And while in the middle of it life seems hopeless, you don't want to eat, you don't want to see friends, you just want to curl up in bed and sleep.  You can do that for a few days but what starts to happen after a few weeks?  You start to think of things that will get your mind off of the heartache.  You might start going to the gym, or try a dance class or get out there and meet some people.  You heal and at the end of it a new you emerges.  A stronger you, a smarter you, a more resilient and grounded you.  And you thought you would never get through it alive.  Pssh

2) A Fear Once Realized, Frees You.

Are there things that you think, "oh my god, if that ever happened to me there is no way I could get past it."  That is fear talking.  I have all sorts of fears, one of my biggest has to do with my son and his eventual growing up and moving out.  I have been his mom for half of my life, it was a sense of identity.  I remember telling my husband, "I don't know exactly who I am without him".  Parents can relate, once you have a child your life, your choices,  are not your own.  You realize that every decision you make impacts someone else and you are conditioned to think not just about yourself, but your child.  That is the deal.  I have been using this time to rediscover myself.  Call it "empty nest" syndrome if you'd like but this realized fear has cleared up space in my head to explore who I am, now as a woman in her late 30's with time, precious time on her hands.

3) Failure or Perceived Failure, is Where the Growth Happens.  

I am still very early in this "growth" stage as I am not completely out of the woods.  However, I have observed certain things that have changed in the last few weeks.  Gratitude, nothing makes you more grateful than failure.  It just puts life in perspective in a way nothing else can.  You look around when you are at your lowest and take note of the people around you. I am eternally grateful to the people in my life and I say it to them often (maybe too much?).  I have also let myself and others "off the hook".  We put all this pressure on how things should be, how a family should act or look and at the end of the day, who gives a fuck?  Really?  Who cares??  Why do we drive ourselves and our kids insane creating an image we think the world wants to see?  I am currently, really exploring this question.  We are all so special in our own ways, if we just allowed things to happen naturally without the complications of expectations we might be happier adults with happier children.  Just a thought.

I am beginning to think this post is a stream of consciousness and those normally don't make sense to anyone but the person experiencing it.  I hope this makes sense to someone out there. That is all for tonight.

Share your thoughts below.  I'd love to hear them.


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