A Few Thoughts on the Word Failure

I am coming to you all from the couch today. I am currently down with another daycare germ my sweet daughter has brought home for me, but I thought I would take some time to write a little bit anyways. Writing always seems to make me feel better and something I have learned about writing is that you can always be practicing. It also doesn’t take a TON of energy which is what I need right now.

It was, however, in my sickness while scrolling social media because that is what I basically did all morning (that and napped) that I stumbled upon this beautiful concept of failure. It is a new account that I literally started following today called @inspiredtowrite and her name is Amy and I love her account – like I am pretty sure it is a new obsession – but within her highlights (and please feel free to read them yourself) she has a highlight listed “Failure” and for me it was very interesting to see other people write out their “failings.” It really got me thinking and started me on this rabbit hole of the discussion of failure and so I wanted to shed a few thoughts on it…

The first is this: the word failure has a very negative connotation. People don’t really like to hear it and/or experience it because it feels like its a really bad thing. In fact, people will actually encourage you to not use the word failure to describe something and I think that is part of the problem. Admit failures, admit mess-ups, and use the terminology so that we can start accepting it as necessary and good.

Secondly, I think we need to start getting more comfortable in the act of failing. As a society, we have gotten very comfortable and when anything is out of our “comfort zone” whether that be physically, mentally, emotionally…we want to scale back and move away and move back into comfort. We need to be better at getting uncomfortable.

Next, I think it is so imperative to understand that it is through our failings that we learn. I think about my daughter with this… kids are such good learners. Like they are sucking everything up like a sponge and they keep trying time and time and time again at ALL THINGS, until they get it. I had this conversation recently with a friend about how good children are at LEARNING and in my opinion a huge part of learning is failing. Just think about a kiddo learning how to walk. They fall and fall and FALL over and over again, but we don’t call it a failure, even though in theory that is what is happening. And as a child, they don’t consider it so. They just get back up again.

Lastly, I think it is imperative to understand that no matter what we are attempting failure is at the root start of everything. You will never be able to DO ANYTHING without messing it up once or twice. No one is perfect at something the first time they do something and everyone starts somewhere. Admit your failures and realize they are OKAY and that we ALL experience them. It was through reading some of the failures in that highlight I mentioned earlier that I felt really seen. People don’t really like to share the imperfections because they are hard. I get that. But when I read those, I was reminded that what I am doing (no matter where I am it with it) is a good thing, it is a success, and everyone has to start somewhere.

I would love to know your thoughts on this, so please feel free to comment below.




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