Failure is the opportunity to begin again.

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What does failure mean to you?

With time, I have come to realize that failure has always been my greatest teacher. Each failure pointed me in a better direction. Helped me to develop strength and authenticity. Ultimately unveiling who I was and what I was destined to become. 

  • The failing grade I received on my first exam in graduate school taught me how to ask for support when I needed it most. No matter how shameful I felt or embarrassed I was.
  • The end of a long-term relationship taught me how to value my time alone and make tough decisions for myself. No matter how weak I felt or lonesome I was.
  • The lay off from a job I loved taught me how to let go, look forward, and trust in something so much bigger than myself. No matter how scared I was or irrelevant I felt.

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What determines your reaction to failure?

Learning from failure is the ultimate goal. That said, not everyone responds to failure in the same way, at the same time.

Our reaction to failure is determined by several factors, including:

  1. The timing of the failure.
  2. The magnitude of the failure.
  3. The attribution attached to the failure.
  4. The level of support during the failure.
  5. The self-efficacy and belief in starting over.

Ask someone how they feel about failure in the midst of it; life as they know it is over.

Ask someone how they feel about failure one year later; life as they know it has been transformed.

The key to supporting someone experiencing failure is not to rush them through the healing process. Yes, in the long run, the gifts of failure outweigh the costs.  But we must be sensitive to how dark it feels in the eye of the storm. Only then can move towards the light.

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Is it possible to see failure in a positive light?

Under the right conditions, failure strengthens us, adds to our self-knowledge, and enhances the quality of our lives.

  • If it weren’t for failure, I would not have met my husband John.
  • If it weren’t for failure, I would not be a psychology professor.
  • If it weren’t for failure, I would not have written three textbooks.
  • If it weren’t for failure, I would not be the person I am today.

Your turn:

  • If it weren’t for failure _______________.
  • If it weren’t for failure _______________.
  • If it weren’t for failure _______________.
  • If it weren’t for failure _______________.

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5 Ways to Feel Strong in the Midst of Failure

  1. Take a long deep breath. Be still. Don’t Rush.
  2. Find a safe place to challenge your fears & beliefs.
  3. Rest. Take a long walk. Eat a nourishing meal.
  4. Learn something new. Have Fun! Self-Discover.
  5. Imagine. Envision. Explore. And….

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38 thoughts on “Failure is the opportunity to begin again.

    1. Thanks Melanie! I appreciate how you apply this strategy in your work. So essential for changing health habits.

      Clients need to feel safe in order to share their failures. Reframing helps tremendously. And your questions move them forward with confidence.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Failure has been really hard for me, but it’s taught me who I am. It’s also brought me closer to friends and loved ones. And without failure, I would not have started my blog! I read somewhere that “failure looks like a barrier but is actually a doorway.” Not my words, but I have remembered them. Thanks for this thought for today. 💪😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank goodness for failure! Because I have learned so much from your blog Jenna. As hard as it is (excruciating at times), failure does teach us so much about ourselves and our destiny (Wishing Well Inc.). Write on Jenna! Write on! 🙂 🙂

      One more thing…. thanks for the quote! I added it to this post!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Bernadette!

      This post was inspired by midterm week at the college where I work.It is a really tough time for my nursing students right now. Accepting lower marks than expected rocks their world.

      So every story I can share of my own school failures (including a 28% on my first grad exam!) helps them realize that they too will be ok (in the end).

      And that it’s all worth it! 📚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If it weren’t for failure I wouldn’t have the home I have now!!! I’m so happy and at peace where I now live. Great post! Now that I am older and wiser… ;-)…I embrace failure not as failure but as a learning process which was necessary in order to move me towards something better!! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you! You are so right and I sincerely say a thank you prayer everyday and before I leave for work I tell my home how much I love it and how blessed I am to live here. I will never take it for granted as I know where I came from to get here!!! xo Wishing you a day filled with love and blessings! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    1. If only you could see my smile! Thank you so much for your kind words. I have a very tender heart & sensitive soul (as I know you do too). Reframing challenges in a positive way & wrapping them with love helps me (and my clients) cope better with life’s struggles. Not everyone gets it. (You do!) But all that matters is the uplifting shift that it creates. Wishing you a day filled with love & good vibes. 💖💫

      Like

  3. Hi, thanks a lot for checking out my blog. This is a great post! I am currently writing a book on how to recover from serious mental illness, and one of my chapters is on searching for the positive, or finding the positive in situations, and this post has been very inspiring. Because finding the positive is all about learning from failure, or learning from hard times.. and I think my ability to do this has been so crucial to my recovery. Thanks a lot for the good thoughts 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My pleasure! I look forward to watching your ideas unfold in your book. Finding the positive in the midst of adversity is crucial to recovering from mental illness. Something I know far too well from my being a psychologist & professor. Which is why Positive psychology has been a healing force in my life & the lives of the people I work with. Darkness will always be there. Our job is to bring forth the light. 📝🌠

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes very much so.. thanks for your comment. I think it’s important to remember that there is also always light- even when it doesn’t feel like it, it is there just waiting for you to reconnect. I hope my book will be helpful for people- lol if I ever get off of wordpress and get back to editing it! Thanks a lot for your comments.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Amen Niki! I agree 100%.

      Failure + Adversity = Empathy + Gratitude

      Teaching Moment = I often tell my nursing students that adversity creates the much needed empathy for their work in healthcare. And that how their most difficult times are a reference point for how much they have to be thankful for & far they’ve come.

      (Life Lessons that I remind myself of daily.)

      📝💡🌟

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This reminds me of a book I just learned about and must read, The Broken Way. The author reminds us that wholeness and brokeness are not opposites, and failure/suffering is “never a meaningless waste of your life but a meaningful way through your life.” ❤

    Liked by 2 people

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  7. Naftali chirchir

    Very educative post. It is true that failure introduces us to ourselves. Hence giving us a chance to pick up from our state that we find ourself to where we were ment to be. Failure is good as it triggers anxiety that pushes us to surface the better version of us!

    Liked by 1 person

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