Most of us are told to stay persistent if we want to achieve our dreams. We’re advised by successful people, like Gary Vaynerchuk, to “do the right thing and put in the fucking work!”

And it’s true. Some of us do get what we want if we work hard enough for it. But for every success, there are likewise hundreds of failures. Call it bad timing, unfortunate circumstances or sheer bad luck if you will, but most of us will fail despite trying everything and giving it our all; and as a result, we feel like failures.

But let me tell you, that’s where you’re wrong:

It’s not about the results.
It’s not about the accomplishments.
It’s not about meeting expectations.

It’s about the experience itself and the knowledge you’ve gained throughout the process.

Because most of us focus only on our goals, we often forget the most precious part of our journey: personal growth. The things we’ve learned, the insights we’ve gained, the skills we’ve developed are all a result of the hard work we’ve put in and are all things that benefit us in more ways than expected.

A founder failing his startup can choose to write about his experience and use that instead to generate growth.

An author having being rejected 36 times for a book publishing can choose to write on the Internet and make millions instead.

A bodybuilder despite not winning any competitions will still be in the best shape of his life.

So what if we fail? At least we’ll have learned something in the process.
Every experience, good or bad, can double down as a learning opportunity. It just depends on what you choose to make of it.

Be proud not of your failures but of the experiences that come with it.

  1. David
    May 17, 2018

    Someone very wise once said, “Being right only reinforces our superstitions.” It might have been Einstein. He meant we should almost never expect to be right on our first try. We learn only from being wrong, then either changing our approach or revising the goal. We are taught to have a Fear of Failure, but it’s probably universally true that those who succeed are not afraid to fail, and try again.
    And again. Failure is no fun, but if we learn to embrace it as part of our learning process, perhaps the stigma, and the fear, will slowly diminish.

    Reply
  2. Dan
    Jun 19, 2018

    Tiffany,

    GREAT … GREAT …. GREAT!!! I have been reading and responding to your blogs ALL DAY ever since I found you from an early-morning Google search of, “I don’t know what to do with my life”. Once I got myself out of bed, my day began in deep despair with this horrible feeling that I’ve been cursed with perpetual failure in my life. In short, last week I was once again dropped into a “back-to-square-one” scenario after pursuing a relationship that required me to uproot my entire life here in Orlando and moving 1000 miles away from all my family, 1000 miles away from the city in which I was born and raised. I packed my car to the gills and moved to a tiny town in the remote Hill Country of Texas (actually a very pleasant, quaint little town with huge rolling hills and beautiful sunsets). It felt SO right at the time, I was SO motivated, excited and SO confident that I was approaching my checkered flag of success, companionship and happiness.

    Well, over the course of a short six months in Bandera, TX, there was an obvious, steady trend in a BAD direction in the relationship. It suddenly became such a toxic situation that, while she ran errands that last day, a deep gut feeling told me to pack up my car, just flat-out DISAPPEAR and get as far away as possible before she ever got home that evening. So, that’s exactly what I did, immediately beginning my journey back to Florida. I have NO regrets about that decision as every part of my being was in 100% agreement that it was the right thing to do at exactly the right time.

    Many times (if not every time), it can be next to impossible for us to instantly unmask the truly wonderful thing which is being cloaked by what looks and feels like defeat and failure. That wonderful thing is WISDOM; plain and simple.

    We are all pretty much hard-wired to experience those five stages of grief before we can begin to emerge from the abyss, but you (Tiffany) have helped me snap out of it MUCH sooner and begin to understand that our failures, no matter HOW disappointing, are simply vessels to greater wisdom. But, the only way to get to that place which allows us to reveal these fantastic truths initially hidden under darkness is the power to move on, or forgive, or let go, or even to own up and apologize; whichever is most appropriate bring us there. “Failure” is what God, our soul, our consciousness – whatever you believe – uses to speak to us, to educate us about ourselves and nudge us further along the path that will lead us to our own unique happiness (whatever that may be for each individual person.)

    We’ve all heard that we should “prepare for the worst and hope for the best”, but some opportunities seem so, so right that it would almost feel as if even the THOUGHT of preparing for the worst would be some sort of bad omen. But, I believe that we should try to NEVER lose sight of this old adage no matter how perfect a new endeavor may seem.

    Tiffany, I want you to know that if you are hoping to help just one person GET BACK UP and live life by understanding that our failures – ALL of our failures – are mere ILLUSIONS of defeat, then you’ve got a hand raised high right here! It’s been amazing how essentially EVERYTHING you say in your columns are so exactly on point with so many thoughts I’ve believed for many years. You made me realize how I lost track of those beliefs in that murky hypnosis of grief and disappointment and reminded me of the indivisible relationship between failure, defeat, experience and wisdom. Indeed, I believe every thesaurus should should supplement the words “wisdom” and “experience” with two more synonyms: “failure” and “defeat”.

    If this simple awareness is considered by virtually ANYONE struggling to make sense of their despair, they will most certainly come to recognize that if it seems they have been dealt a life filled with failures and defeat, it only follows that their life MUST ALSO BE a life filled with a unique wisdom and experience personalized for them and ONLY them. This is the absolute KEY to finding your happiness … life’s MOST PRECIOUS state of mind.

    -Dan

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