The Gift of Failure

Failure. Failure is one of the greatest fears of our society. As human beings, we have this innate need to succeed and have come to believe that anything that even remotely resembles failure is unacceptable. We think that if we fail at something, we are worthless. We are bad people. We may as well just give up because we aren’t good enough. Sometimes, we sit back and watch “successful” people and wonder what we ever did to deserve anything short of that same success. But what if…we thought of failure as a gift? What if we accepted the fact that failing at something isn’t really failure? What if we redefined failure as when we don’t get up and try again after falling down? In this day and age, there is so much pressure coming from everywhere and from everyone. There is pressure coming from your parents, school, college, and pressure from your friends, teammates, and coaches. But the pressure that is the strongest is the pressure you put on yourself.  These pressures are all telling you that you need to succeed and you need to be the best. Here’s the thing: you can’t control the pressure that others put on you, but you can control how you deal with the stress. We all strive for “sweet success.” What we have to remember, though, is that failure is what makes success so “sweet.” If you fail at something, be upset about it. Go as far as to cry about it…but then wipe the tears from your face and harness that fire in the pit of your stomach and use it to fuel yourself to try again. The American author Orison Swett Marden once wrote, “Don’t wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great.” Life is hard. And life hurts people, a lot. But do not let life discourage you from persevering. Instead, accept what life is throwing at you. Grasp it whole-heartedly. Embrace life. Embrace success. Embrace failure…embrace it as a gift. You have a purpose, the drive, and countless opportunities to succeed. You’ve got this.