Failure, whether you like it or not, is the reason why you will succeed!
One time at a local mall, I slipped. It was a climactic fall from grace. I recall several rather attractive young ladies gawking at the handsome fellow who had just entered the store. And this was no ordinary fall, mind you. This was a full-on, face-to-the-linoleum kind of fall. It was the most embarrassing moment of my life (well, except for that time I peed my pants in high school). But at that moment, I only had two choices: stay down, or get back up. Like most of us, I got back up. The only other option would have been to stay down, face flat against the ground, until the mall closed. It was at this cancerous moment that I realized: how many times do we fall and forget to climb back to our feet? We all need to learn how to rise from the ashes. In essence, failure defines us.
THE VALUE IN FAILURE
What good comes from staying face down on the ground? We all face failures in life, and we all have the contingency to get back up, brush ourselves off, and rise once more. As an old friend told me once: “Fall forty times, get back up forty-one times.” I opened with such a dramatic poise because I wanted to culminate an advantage to metaphorically correlate a physical fall versus emotional. There really is no difference between the two, except that in one case, all we have to do is climb to our feet; the other requires a cultivated reason to get back up. You see, failure is inevitable. Henry Ford is a classic example of how failure can breed success.
HENRY FORD’S FAILURE
Believe it or not, Henry Ford burned through all of his money, tried to enter the political arena, and faced detracting sales in the 1920s. However, if he had succeeded, he would not have been the famous inventor of the modern day assembly line. He would not be the man he is known as today. That famous quote: “If I asked what people wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses'” is the lifeblood of many MBA programs to this very day. But that quote, and that iconic figure of a man who overcame many obstacles in his time, defined the modern-day production of cars. What, then, can we say about failure? Rather, why must be suffer in failure to begin with?
STANDING BACK UP
Backing up to the debacle at the mall, there is a piece of the puzzle I left out: one of those attractive young ladies approached and asked if I was okay. I ended up receiving an awkward semblance from this girl, and for three months, we actually became friends (yes, she still makes fun of me for that slip…). You see, failure can breed opportunities. Now, if I had stayed down, I would have not received that friendship. I am in no way insinuating that a physical fall is the same as an emotional one. In the physical space, when we fall, we have a naturally hardwired tendency to stand back up. It is a reflex, given to us from birth. But emotionally speaking, failure can be much more difficult to fix. After all, we are all human, and we take our failures rather harshly.
BUT WE MUST RISE!
I wrote a blog about giving oneself credit for mistakes, and for being less hard on themselves. An emotional failure is much harder to get back up from. As an example, if you trip, you may break a leg or a limb. Compare that to an emotional fall, where perhaps the receding failure can lead to depression. Obviously we can insinuate that a broken limb is easier to fix. You simply get a brace or a cast and it will heal. However, depression can lead to a lost job, a broken soul, or a crushed spirit. In fact, it is ten times harder to get back up from something held dear to you.
AT THE END OF THE DAY
There are monumental differences but, at the end of the day, even if you are experiencing emotional turmoil you need to learn to rise back up. Henry Ford succeeded because he never gave up. When faced with adversity, he monumentally found solutions, and that is the point of this post (sorry for the ramble, but I had a lot of caffeine today). I can help fix some of the damage as a Life Coach, but I try to tell clients that there is only one way to fix failure. It is a rather simple exercise: learn that the floor below you is much colder when flat on your face than when standing with two shoes on the ground. In other words, your failures define you, and that is a good thing.
TO CONCLUDE THE CONCLUSION
With every failure comes success. If I can fall flat on my face and gain a great friend from it, you can climb back to your feet, too. I have a strong feeling that we are all watched out for by a universal force. We need to find reasons to stand back up. The advice I can give you is endless, but in the absence of it, you must begin to see every fall as a chance to get back up. There may be someone watching from afar, and they may approach you to make sure you are okay. That is the lifeblood of the human experience. Let failure define you, and achieve success with every trip you make.