Oh Yeah, I Embrace Failure…And What?!

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.”
W.C. Fields

If I have learned anything in my short time on this earth, it is that success and failure go hand in hand. At times this seems like a mean curse, especially when I am experiencing a bitter defeat; however, the times of failure I have endured (which trust me, have been abundant in my college career), have taught me a few valuable lessons about my attitude in life. First of all, even during a huge failure in one area of my life, I can always find another area in which I am succeeding marvelously. Now, it is true, on some days my great success is simply getting to class on time and with all completed assignments. But this is a wonderful blessing; to be able to appreciate the little things in life that go smoothly are to notice the successes around me. Seeing the positive parts of my day help soften the blow when I don’t live up to my own expectations in other areas of my life.

Another way to cope with failure is to be willing to reflect on the experience and identify areas of improvement. This can be painful because I don’t know about you, but I do not like to admit that I’m not perfect. Nevertheless, finding the broken parts of a machine is the key to fixing it. I recently had an experience at work in which I felt that I was way in over my head and incompetent for my position. After reflection, I realized that the greatest problem was that I was extremely fearful. My fear led me to passive behavior and unwillingness to take initiative. Once I noticed that, I was able to act more proactively which afforded me more positive results.

The moral of the story is, when failure comes, which it will, be willing to find other successes even if they are smaller in scale and reflect on your failure to produce an asset: knowledge that can help you succeed in the future!

How do you cope with failure?

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