lack of success.
I used to work on Ropes Courses. From the low rope elements to the high rope elements, the challenges on the course provide the participant opportunities to learn through failed attempts how to be successful. It was always incredible to watch someone remain in a challenge and work through their struggles and failed attempts and persevere, empowering them to overcome and succeed.
Failure is an event that happens, sometimes repeatedly. Failure is not the person.
Often in life we need to fail at a skill before we can master it. Here are a few basic examples:
- a baby who is learning to walk falls
- a toddler learning to feed him/herself drops their food
- a child learning to ride their bike gets scraped knees
You would never say to a child who was trying to walk, feed him/herself or bike that they are a failure!
When does that line of defining failure as an event get blurred to seeing failure as a person?
As a culture, we are putting so much pressure on ourselves, and others, to succeed we are forgetting that failure is a natural part of the learning process. A prime example of this is in education. "Teaching to the test" is a well known statement in education these days. There is so much focus on school rankings and numbers pressing schools to succeed they are missing the growth opportunity that happens you "teach for the child" and allow failure to be a part of the equation.
We need to get back to the basics and let our children know that it is okay to fail. It is okay to not know something and get something wrong. It is okay to not get a medal, trophy or not make the team. It is okay to not get an A. It is okay to come undone. It is okay to experience heartache. It is okay to be imperfect. It is okay to not get into that college, or get that job.
These moments of failure (which can also be seen as successes) give us the opportunity to help us build character, coping mechanisms, and skills we will need to tackle life. It doesn't mean the person is a failure but somehow people feel they are failures when they don't initially succeed. Let's work to change that mentality and help build people up by recognizing their struggles and failures DO NOT define them.
WE ARE NOT MADE TO BE GOOD AT EVERYTHING!
Therefore, naturally we will fail at things. And even the things that we are individually gifted in, we will fail at times along the way which can help us learn survival, endurance, perseverance and renewal.
Look at it from a different angle, when you exercise, bringing your muscles to failure is a good thing. It is then that change happens. I too have noticed in my life that it is the moments of struggle and failure that have helped me grow deeper into the person I am supposed to be.
I invite you to come beside me and encourage people to look at failure as an event, a stepping stone, helping them grow deeper into the best expression of themselves. Feel free to share with me a story of how you grew from a moment of failure! I share many of my failing moments, as a wife, mom, about being in debt, poor use of time (darn fb), and more in my book so feel free to grab your copy to hear all about mine:-)