Our third installment in our embracing failure series will be the briefest, but may be the most important for you to hear.
We know that people that embrace failure have three trademark characteristics. First, they turn their setbacks into switchbacks. When life steers them in a new and unexpected direction, they realize they can still make forward progress towards their goal. Second, they learn from their failures instead of lamenting them. They don't let drama and excuses dominate their attitude in the moments following a failure. Instead, they embrace a learning attitude and glean lessons from their failures, furthering their chance at succeeding in the future.
The last characteristic of a person who embraces failures is giving yourself grace. This became almost a cliche statement during the last few years as the pandemic drove a disruptive spike through most of our personal ambitions. It trended as a hashtag on social media as people began to use it as a way out of feeling guilty for not making progress on their goals.
If that was helpful to you, I won't disregard its value. However, that is not how I intend for that statement to be interpreted. For me, the meaning is simple.
Failure is a part of the process of personal growth, it is not a part of the person. Failure is meant to be used as a ruler, to measure where you are at. It is not meant to be used as a dictionary, or a way to define the person who failed.
People fail, they are not failures. Give yourself some grace. Allow room for failure, but don't be defined by it.
Do one thing today that you're proud of. Make a mental note that you are defined more by that accomplishment than any past failure.
What is one failure you're holding onto and need to move on from?
"Success is not final. Failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
- Winston Churchill