I failed. But I’m not a failure.

I failed. Several times. And I’m ok with that. In fact, I’m more than ok with it. If I hadn’t failed, I wouldn’t have the life I do now and I happen to like it. A lot.

Note: I didn’t say I’m a failure. There’s a big difference between failing at something vs. being a failure. Failing to get the job doesn’t mean you’re a failure; it likely means you aren’t the best fit for the job or maybe it means you need to brush up on your interview skills. A failed relationship doesn’t mean you’re a failure either. It probably means you made a shitty choice in a partner. Or maybe it means you made shitty choices in the relationship. 

Now if you choose to ignore the chance to learn how to improve your interview skills or how to make better relationship choices, you’re verging on becoming a failure. Failing is an opportunity to learn and to try again. Failure is giving up.

My first marriage failed.

I got married the first time when I was 27. Aside from the fact that my first husband and I were completely wrong for each other, I shouldn’t have got married in the first place. To anyone. I wasn’t mature enough for the commitment and I didn’t know myself well enough. So it was no big surprise when that marriage ended a couple of years later. It happened to end on my 30th birthday – not exactly the best way to celebrate. But in the end, it was probably one of the best gifts I ever received.

I like to refer to my first marriage as the “practice round”. Without the gift of my first failed marriage, I likely wouldn’t be married to my “forever husband”. We wouldn’t be approaching 20yrs together and we wouldn’t be raising 2 amazing daughters. So yeah, I’m actually grateful I failed at that first marriage.

I didn’t get the promotion.

I spent nearly 10 years working with at risk youth. Towards the end of that career, I applied for a new position – it would’ve been a clear promotion from my current position. I had the experience and the skills for the position and was a strong candidate. When I didn’t get the position, I was bummed and disappointed. 

However, even before I interviewed for the job, I was thinking about leaving and going back to school. I was bored in my current role and to be honest the pay and hours sucked ass. So when I didn’t get the position, I took that fail as a sign to get the hell out. And that’s exactly what I did. At the age of 32, I quit that job, went back to school and got an IT diploma. And I’ve never once regretted it. In fact, like my failed first marriage, I’m grateful I failed to get the position. If had succeeded, I would’ve stayed and I may never had taken the leap to go back to school.

In case you’re wondering, I’ve failed many, many, many more times. And I’m cool with that. It means I’m willing to try new things. I’m willing to learn. How incredibly boring life would be if all you ever did was the same thing over and over again.

How ‘bout you? Have you ever failed at anything? How did you handle it? 

Or is there something you’re scared to try because you don’t want fail? So what if you did? What’s the worst thing that could happen?

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