You never gonna keep me down.
Getting back up when we stumble or fall is one of the hardest things we do as human beings. Failure can be our most defining moment or the darkest place that we collapse into. If you're able to grab hold, harness it, and turn it into something good, then you're one of the lucky few. Most people are terrified of failure, they worry about what people will think of them. They get caught up in the idea that we're supposed to be perfect humans that never falter. We were never meant to be perfect creatures, the human experience is completely built on failing, falling, and figuring out how to get up again. The only way to even get close to perfection is to be persistent and resilient in our quest for accomplishment and personal success. Whatever that may be.
The reason this topic came about is that a few days ago I was talking to a coach of mine and we were talking about core values. There was a chart with 40 or 50 values on it and I was supposed to highlight the ones that resonated with me. One of the first to jump out to me right away was a success, it was one of the first ten I highlighted. After ruminating on it a bit over the past couple of days, though, I realized what I value most of all is not success at all, but failure. Yep. Failure. That lovely in-between place where your dreams exist only in your mind and the real world, where they crash down around you in a blaze of fire and just sometimes glory, too.
When it comes down to it, success is where we think and believe we thrive. But why is it that when we reach the success we often feel the urge to continue chasing it? Because the beautiful parts of our lives are found in the 'aha' moments, the road to getting there, and the journey itself. Those are the moments that make us who we are. They force us to look deep inside and ask ourselves the tough questions. Who are we? Why are we doing this? We're much more likely to learn the answers to these questions when we're staring down the barrel of a loaded gun. The one that we pointed at ourselves.
Failure has given me much, much more drive to continue than success ever has. It has lit a fire underneath me. Failing has always felt like the first step towards #winning. If it was easy, it wouldn't feel so good once you get it. It doesn't even feel like failing anymore, it just feels like part of the game. Sometimes getting to the next level takes going back two steps before you can go forward three, but you'll get there. While you're still figuring it out it feels monumental to watch your dreams collapse and fold in front of you. Sometimes your dreams have to fall apart so they can be put back together in a way that ties together all the special and unique things you want from the world.
Failing means you've tried something that didn't work out. It means you tried, though, and more than not, that's what matters most. Some people never get the courage to give it a go. You cannot succeed in a vacuum. You cannot win if you don't lose once in a while, and losing is absolutely one of the most important features of becoming a graceful winner.
Failure is a funny thing because it's not all bad, it's not all good and it's certainly ever-changing. In order to ever understand what we're made of and the depths which we can reach, we have to face failure head-on and accept the lessons it can teach us. Failure is never final unless you allow it to be. Turn it into something good. Make it move you to new places. Shift, #pivot, maneuver around it if you have to, but don't let it stop you from going on. #justkeepswimming