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Falling Forward

 Merriam-Webster’s definition of failure is,” omission of occurrence or performance” or as the easier way to put it says,” A lack of success”. We all know failure. We’ve looked it straight in the eyes, lost sleep over it, and shook hands with it. It’s a compelling fear that we constantly have and can’t shake, even when we try. However, the key has never been about accepting what you have failed to do, but how you react to that overwhelming word we call failure.

Think back to a time you have failed at something. Not a tiny failure that you brushed off quickly, but something that really put a dent in your confidence. Think back to that moment. Now, think about where you are now. Think about what that failure did to you and what it has made you. Pick all the positive situations that came out of that thing you failed at – think about the moments after that were good. Now, you may be in pain or feeling a bit solemn just thinking about how you failed, but what came from it was good. Failure is never final.

Responding to failure:

  1. Don’t quit. Giving into failure is much easier than fighting against it. Accept failure as part of your life. We all go through it and it takes a large part in our journey. Failure is no reason to give up on your aspirations and dreams in life. Failure is inevitable, but so is happiness. You’re not always going to do the right thing, and in the end, you’ll realize that whatever failure you made, was the right thing. It brought you to either the end of a journey or it sealed a chapter in your life so maybe you can start over. Failure is also a place to learn from mistakes and challenges. In failures, you find yourself. It may hurt at first, but it’s all a learning process.
  2. Learn from it. Don’t sulk in your failure, all will work out and you can reassure yourself with that statement by thinking back to a time you were a firm believer in something not working out, but having it be better than you ever imagined. We’ve all had those moments of complete disbelief and triumph. We have to be wrong sometimes, to see what’s right. Failure will never determine your value or your ability to do things. Don’t waste failure by blaming other people. Realize you may have failed at something, but it’s just another opportunity to get better at that something. Don’t ever become lost in your failure.
  3. Surround yourself with love. I was tempted to label this “Connect with people who support you” but, not everybody has an easy time finding support. I’ve been through patches where it’s felt like everyone was against me or even that nobody seemed to care. So if that’s the case, be there for yourself. You only have yourself and that’s completely okay. Learn to bring yourself up and encourage yourself to do better. If you do have support, fall back on them. Be yours, but be theirs also. Do not become distant with people who you know truly love you, just because you’re having a tough time finding enough love to give to yourself. When we are isolated, we begin to tell ourselves things that are not true. Be around people who motivate you in a positive aspect. Do not let your own discouragement consume you, but your own love and reassurance. It’s in you, somewhere, and when you’re able to find it, you’ll have a much smoother time when failure gets in the way of your life.

Failure could end up turning into one of your biggest strengths.

Words by Emilia O. // Photography by Ash Bishop.

© 2015 Reef Magazine


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