Dear Failure: Thanks for these 9 Lessons

Dear Failure: Thanks for these 9 LessonsDear Failure,

You probably didn’t expect to hear from me so soon after everything that went down. I was devastated for sure. But now I’m moving forward with encouragement from well-known people who have overcome failure as well, and I really need to thank you for all you have done for me.

1. Thanks for pushing me out of my comfort zone. “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” That’s from author J. K. Rowling, and reminds me of my commitment to fearless living.

2. Thanks for reminding me of my courage and enthusiasm. You helped point me to the sage words of Winston Churchill: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts,” and, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” As I move forward, my courage and enthusiasm is getting a good workout.

3. Thanks for resetting my mindset. You made me reconsider my expectations of myself and others, and reminded me of the importance of a safety net. I’m in charge of my expectations; no one else is. As Oprah Winfrey put it: “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.” I’ve got this!

4. Thanks for pointing me in a better direction. If not for you, I might be settling for less than what I can do. Like Henry Ford said: “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”

5. Thanks for sparking my problem-solving skills. “There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period,” says Brené Brown. Those mental muscles are engaged in a way that they wouldn’t be otherwise, and I have you to thank.

6. Thanks for inspiring the people who are watching. On my team, failure opens the door to honesty, vulnerability and greater understanding of one another. Amelia Earhart believed that we “should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others.” As a parent, my way forward is teaching my kids and helping shape generations to come.

7. Thanks for checking off another way that won’t work for me. Believe me, I do not mind at all being in the same boat with Thomas Edison. “I have not failed,” he said. “I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Bingo.

8. Thanks for building my empathy and determination. I have taken a hard look at the lens through which I see the world, and these words from Michael Jordan sum it up: “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” Thanks for the nudge to my human-ness and persistence. (PS from Abe Lincoln: My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”)

9. Thanks for positioning me for greater things. If I am really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. “Nobody goes undefeated all the time,” Wilma Rudolph said. “If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday.” I won’t list failure-proof on my résumé, but that confidence will shine through how I present myself going forward.

Your Game Changer Takeaway

Failure, you’re an unwelcome visitor that we all have to deal with. But you are just another form of feedback.  When we can see the gifts that you give us, we open ourselves to a deeper understanding of our values and resilience. By moving forward, we inspire others. Failure, thanks for all the lessons that have help build our fearlessness!

The Molly Fletcher Company inspires leaders, teams and organizations to kick-start growth. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working as a sports agent. Her company’s Game Changer Negotiation Training workshops teach business people the framework for successful negotiating, so that you can close more deals while building stronger relationships. Sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter and subscribe to the Game Changers with Molly Fletcher podcast on iTunes.