Why failure should not be a word we use

Posted by Robin Abel on

Perhaps you’ve heard by now.  We’re closing the store.  I know, you’re devastated.  Yes, we’re sure.  No, I don’t think we’ll be moving somewhere else.


Starting a business is fun, it’s exciting, it’s scary, but mostly it’s a rush of new energy. Closing one is the opposite.  It’s horrible.  It’s sad.  It’s depressing.  For an entire month, I woke up each morning with a new message of failure in my head. You’re not good enough.  You fail at everything.  There are so many things you could have done better.  What made you think you could do this?


One morning I was listening to the “Business with a Purpose” podcast on my weekly trip to pick up milk. The guest on that episode was Vera Schmitz who wanted to be an Olympic pole vaulter (how you wake up dreaming of that is beyond me).  She trained for years to make her dream come true but even made the team.  Think about that.  Not only did she not win the gold medal, she didn’t even make the team!  Someone asked her about her feelings of failure and she shared that she didn’t fail.  What she experienced in those training years just added to her journey.  Her story has a chapter that every few people have the courage to dream about, let alone strive to achieve.  While she didn’t achieve her goal, her life continues to move forward in unique ways that make her special.


I just drove and sobbed. I was so moved by someone who truly had every right to think she failed, that she wasn’t good enough, that there are so many things she could have done better. But she didn’t.  Vera continued living, knowing that while the specific aspects of her training might not directly translate into useable skills, her was a stronger person because of the experience.


We all get to make choices with unknown results.  Every choice, every path, every dream should lead us forward.  We are wiser, more experienced, and have the ability to make difference choices in the future.  Failure should not a word we use to define our situation, our lives, or our season. Life is a journey to be learned from, to connect experiences, and to constantly be embracing all situations regardless of how they turn out.  Cut that word from your journey!  Live life to the fullest.  And don’t be afraid of how things might turn out, be excited about what can happen.

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  • Failure is not pursuing you’re dream, you did that and that is what defines success. Don’t let the world tell you what you are or what your endeavors mean, you know better. Embrace your efforts and use them to strengthen your next venture!

    Ken Williams on

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