Reframing Failure

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I was going to do January blogathon. A new post every day.

But life.

My mom came to town to visit for two weeks. I got a third job. I am moving house. And I think I’m coming down with…

Enough excuses?

My normal inclination would be to settle into a comfortable state of self criticism (for isn’t it easier to see our own flaws than it is to acknowledge our strengths?). I could have watched less TV. I could have snuck in time to write on the weekend. I could have skipped that nap. Who do you think you are trying to blog every day? 

It could be viewed as a failure. But I can also choose a different outlook.

We expect so much of ourselves, we plan and arrange our lives in such a strict way that whenever circumstances bring us a few feet off the trail we’d planned to take, it is a big deal. We become blind in our panic to return to “the plan,” and miss out on enumerable opportunities that were not part of our preconceptions of our life.

I’ve learned many times over these past few months that taking risks and stepping out of my comfort zone brings many rewards. Sometimes the reward is a lesson, sometimes it’s an exciting opportunity and sometimes it is simply another chance to see what I’m made of.

Blogathon was a noble idea. But I’ve been practicing something greater than writing.

LIVING.

There’s a saying “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” The more I let go of my expectations and desires, the more I find myself in serendipitous situations. Every time I stop my overactive brain to honestly converse with another person, I grow. Each breath I exhale and footstep that hits the ground is a chance to change my direction and my attitude.

Whose scales was I using to measure my success? 

Whose scales are you using? 

I believe what we so often view as failure is simply an event in our lives that we lack the discipline to relinquish control of. The tighter we hang on to the idea that we have control over things in this world, the more “failure” there will be. When I feel the need to control or micromanage, I only feel more out of control. When I need things to go according to plan, I am stressed beyond reason.

Once you realize the unpredictability of life, and that true marks of success can only be defined by yourself… Failure isn’t failure anymore. Use your own scales to see what the day was worth.

Be bold in your undertakings, work hard for opportunities that come along and be open. Take the word failure out of your lexicon. Replace it with LESSON, GROWTH or CHALLENGE. See how it changes things!

If you enjoyed this, agreed or disagreed with what I said… please comment! I’d love to hear from you.

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