What is failure? Can we live a life without it? Why is it something we fear? Why do we run from it? How many successful people do you know have never experienced any failure?
I’m sure you’ve heard it to death that failure is a necessary hurdle on the road to success. I’m sure you’ve heard the stories of all the successful people who had years of “failure”before they succeeded in whatever they were trying to accomplish. (aka: Bill Gates; Steve Jobs; Oprah just to name a few)
Yes, failure can be disappointing. It can bring stress especially when you’re not prepared for it. It’s the unpopular part of doing anything in life. But it’s necessary… We learn from it. We become better because of it. We become more aware of what needs to be done to succeed.
When I think of myself and my life, I know that everything I have ever tried to do has been met with failure first…
The failures when I was learning piano, or learning how to sing properly. The hours I had to practice; the amount of time I had to go over a certain section of each piece because I kept making the same dang mistakes over and over! Sometimes I’d be practicing the same piece for 6 months! It was really frustrating at the time, and tedious, but boy am I glad I didn’t give up… Because I kept going despite each and every failure, I was able to teach voice and piano for 15 years, making a supplemental income for my family so that I could be home during the day time when my kids were little… I was able to teach voice and piano in music schools which eventually allowed me to start a music school in Ontario.
The failures that I had to walk through when I started my photography business. The time and practice it took to master my craft (which is an on going process by the way - there are always new things to learn), the failures I experienced when I messed up because of lack of experience, or even failures in creating a website properly and pricing guides that would actually make sense… oh man the list can go on! All these seeming failures, or mistakes have taught me so much! It has taught me my worth as a photographer as well as the ability to think on my feet and be creative on the fly. It has allowed me to photograph weddings and command the attention and respect of large families without fear. My husband, to this day, still says,” I have no idea how you do that, and you look like you’re having fun!” And you know what I totally am! It is one of the elements that jazz me during a wedding session. But that would never be the case if I was never willing to put myself out there and face possible/inevitable failure in the face.
The failure that I had to face when I started my online skincare business. Although this business is simple; it has all the back end taken care of for you; All the training is FREE and available as I need it; I don’t have to worry about returns or shipping or websites or anything like that. What I did have to learn is to face the inevitable failure in the selling process. I had to learn to be ok with people saying no sometimes and I had to be willing to not have all the answers right away. I needed to be teachable and willing to follow the tried and true processes, and figure out who I was within that system. I had to be comfortable with being vulnerable at times and being able to develop trusting relationships with people.
That’s not easy for an introvert like me.
I’ve always been taught to not offer too much information about myself to others, to be careful, think small you don’t want to get your feelings hurt, that it isn’t anyone’s business, best foot forward etc… but I believe that what I have truly learned through my failures (trials and errors) is that people like my authenticity, that being true to who you are and not overthinking that will help you in the end, that putting your true self out there is exactly what will draw people to you AND you can never say the wrong thing to the right people!
I get it. I do! Failure isn’t fun! It’s difficult… but you won’t succeed in any area without it. So you might as well get used to the idea, anticipate that it very well may happen from time to time, and take the steps necessary to get you where you want to go.
Learn from people who have been there. Ask for advice and actually listen to what they say. Be teachable and move forward.
Always move forward.