Sunday, February 24, 2013

Redefining Failure

In my life I have failed at many things. I have failed to stay in touch with good friends. I have failed to finish projects I have started. I have failed to keep my cool. I have failed classes, and I have failed to work on broken relationships.

Failure can be crippling.

As a Virgo and a Snake (yes, I totally buy into the whole astrology thing, sue me), I have a particularly hard time recovering from failure. It is often the case that I allow failure to define me.

Failure does NOT define you.

Tonight I had a talk with my good friend and ex-boyfriend. He mentioned, in what he meant to be a passing remark or joke, that I had broken his heart. I won't get into the many things that went right or wrong in that relationship, but his words stung because they reminded me of my failure.

As my mother pointed out, most relationships fail, especially first relationships like this one. Of course I already knew this to be true, but hearing it made me think a little more deeply about this truth.

Relationships fail. Communication fails. Classes and projects and emotional control fail. This is totally normal.

Maybe you think that failure is too harsh a word for these situations, but I disagree. Failure is not a big scary end-of-the-world thing. It is simply a part of everyday life. Failure only has the power to defeat us if we let it.

So, I have a new task in my search for meaning. Cut myself some slack. I have failed before and I will fail again, but my failures do not define me. Failure can happen for many reasons. Maybe a lack of effort, or a misunderstanding. Or maybe whatever it is just wasn't meant to be. Whatever the reason, the important thing to do in the face of failure is accept that it happened and move on. Learn from the mistakes, forgive yourself and move on.

I'm sure this is another one of those easier-said-than-done things, but it's worth the effort anyway. I am going to redefine failure. Failure will no longer be the end. Failure will be the beginning, a new direction or just a bump in the road. Here's to redefining failure!


  1. I like it. And I agree. What we usually think of as failure is a social construction at best. And "failure," in my experience, is usually the path to a new, better opportunity, one we never considered or thought possible.

  2. Good Post. Broken Hearts are only the fault of the one who;s heart is broke. I like the piece on forgiving yourself,i'm glad your seeing that.

  3. Thanks for reading! I agree. Failure is what we make of it. Although, I admit it's easier said than done...but that's where cutting myself some slack comes in. Thanks for the comment!


  4. Aaron, thanks for commenting. I think forgiveness is essential, even though it is difficult! Thanks for reading!