Turning “Failure” Into Opportunity

Here’s the fact about “failures” – they happen. They happen to all of us. Every single person you know has had a “failure” pop up in their life.

By definition, failure means “lack of success”; however, society seems to view failure as a final attempt. Once something fails, it fails. No success. That’s it. We learn nothing, chalk it up to a failure as we see it, and move on.

But I feel like failure needs to be re-defined as “an opportunity to try something different”. Failure is NOT an end-all-be-all in a situation. It simply means that the current method being used to solve an issue or problem is not currently working for that particular problem. It doesn’t mean it just doesn’t work, period – that situation simply warrants something different.

I used to look at failure as the end-all-be-all. “Well..failed at that. Guess I suck.” or “I suck at life.” was something I commonly said, and meant 1/2 the time. Reading John C. Maxwell’s “Failing Forward” is really what created the mind shift that I have now. Failure to me is now something that needs to be celebrated, because if I “fail” at something I am doing, that is just me figuring out a method that doesn’t work, and moving onto a different method that might. It’s not about defining me as a person, or my skills in a particular area – if anything it forces me to grow and learn in that area (which is NEVER a bad thing!)

ACTION STEP: Think of something you have “failed” at. Did you just stop after that? Did you try something different in regard to solving the problem and it worked? How did you grow from that situation?


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