I was chatting with one of my best friends about success and failure. I can say that these last few years, especially this last year has been a life lesson on overcoming failure. I had learned to avoid failure at all costs. If I didn’t think I had a really good chance of succeeding I wouldn’t even try. I thought of it as not being competitive, but that was a cop out. That wasn’t really true. The truth is that I was super, paralyzingly afraid of failing…and failing in front of everyone.
I can still remember my 5th grade graduation. Everyone was getting fancy awards for honor roll, spelling bee winner, geography wiz and all of these special awards. It crushed me that I was a good kid, but ended up with only average grades. My mother tried to comfort me. She looked me in the eyes and said, “Baby, some people are just meant to be average.” I know that she was trying to comfort me but it absolutely crushed me. I grew up hating the word average but not knowing how to become above average. In the privacy of my room, I daydreamed about being a famous singer one day and that everyone would finally know that I’m way more than average. Somewhere in between then and now I lost the dream, I believed the lie that I was just average. Those feelings of insecurity grew and grew over the years.
It all began to change after I joined a mlm. I started selling Advocare to make money. I had just found out that I was pregnant with our 3rd child and needed to bring in some extra income. The life lessons that I learned were far more valuable than any profit that I made. I began going to the conferences where they would have successful people get up and teach. I listened intently and took notes. The biggest lesson I learned was that failure is not to be feared, it is actually something you look forward to. Failure is necessary in order to learn what works and what doesn’t work.
I wish that I could say that I learned the lesson fast and jumped right in and started failing right away. But I didn’t. The seed was planted but it didn’t grow for a couple of years. Even while Im writing this, at this very moment, I still struggle with doubt. The devil and my insecurity feed me with all the reasons that Im not good enough and that maybe I AM just average. Maybe even after all of the hard work I put in I will figure out that it was a waste because I just wasn’t “meant” for more. I can’t say that failure gets easier. It doesn’t. It will always be tough. Im learning how to recover faster so I can get through the next lesson. If I take just a little bit of time to recover, come up with a better game plan then get back to work, I will go as far as my heart desires. Failure is a step UP not a step DOWN. It will make you step back, but if you really want success, you will continue to search for the next solution.
I have read many quotes about successful people who failed big and failed often before they finally got it right. People like Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, Robert Kiyosaki and Bill Gates all suffered huge failures before they achieved success. In fact, if you talk to any “overnight success story” you will find that it was not overnight. It came with lots of blood, sweat, tears, and lots of failures. My goal in this post is to encourage myself as I encourage you. DONT GIVE UP! Fail, Recover, Move On!