Why failure happens in the same space where courage unfolds
Failure is not the end of the road
Failure develops within us, the resilience and perseverance to rise above our disappointments. This is the space where courage is deployed to rise above our failures. Before we begin, think about your recent failures. Think of one or two that stand out. What lessons did you learn from them? What risks did you take to reach these points of failure? Was it worth it?
Here’s an idea to consider: Failure sharpens the saw of our character and reveals the dormant strengths needed to rise above our challenges. Despite the negative failure we experience, it can help us decide what is important when pursuing our goals. Failure gives rise to unforeseen strengths such as hope, courage and optimism. When we are discouraged in pursuit of a goal or dream, we have no choice but to rely on courage to help us. And here’s the thing: failure is often a detour to a better destination. That’s why we shouldn’t consider ourselves a failure if our plans don’t turn out the way we expect them to. This is because we should not tie our self-esteem to the results, but consider the lessons learned from them.
There is courage in failure, because after risking everything, we develop the courage to start again, this time with renewed optimism. Passion, enthusiasm, and a deep commitment to honoring our purpose are at the heart of overcoming failure. Therefore, failure reveals the courage to try again, this time more persistently. It awakens in us the perseverance to rise above our failures and disappointments. This is where we find courage to help us overcome our failures. Accept courage as a quality of endurance necessary to fuel our efforts. The more stamina and commitment we give to our goals and dreams, the better chance we have of pursuing them with enthusiasm. Does this idea resonate with you so far? Are you comfortable knowing that failure is not the end of the road, but the beginning where hope meets courage?
Expressed differently: courage is the ability to rekindle our failures and turn them into focused attention to achieve our goals. Courage helps us clarify inspired actions to achieve our goals because we develop a renewed commitment to our aspirations. Courage literally does the hard work, and if you’ve ever needed courage, you’ll remember the inspired motivation towards your goals. It infuses him with something greater than our human qualities.
Failure is the space where courage unfolds
Similarly, courage and failure live in the same space because what we pay attention to determines whether we succeed or fail. The point I want to make is: we can choose to see failure as a dead end or a crossroads where opportunity lies. If we focus on what we have to gain, we see our challenges engender a deeper commitment to achieving them. In other words, we need to reframe failure as a worthwhile pursuit that brings us closer to our goals. We can ask ourselves, “What else do I need to learn, improve, to succeed in this goal?” In this way, we view failure through the lens of growth and opportunity, because it becomes a signpost for achieving our goals.
For example, I have written and published three books and finished writing my fourth book this year. I mention this because when I wrote the first book, the idea of writing 80,000 words scared me. I felt out of my class, especially since I had no formal education in creative literature. I thought of myself as a fraud and there were times when I wanted to give up. I compared myself to established authors, which scared me more. Can you relate to when you’ve taken on a goal or project and felt way over your head?
However, I defined the project into manageable chunks that I dealt with every day. I hired experts like editors to polish my work. I contacted those in the publishing industry and asked for advice on book layout, cover design, and other aspects of book publishing. I made many mistakes, including not correcting the book cover design. This meant I was left with a design I didn’t like, but after negotiating with the printer I rectified the situation with little fuss. In retrospect, mistakes and failures helped me write and develop subsequent books and learn how to become an author.
You see, if we are committed to our goals, we should not see failure as an end, but as an opportunity to improve upon our mistakes so that we can succeed. That’s why courage helps us refocus our attention on what we are likely to gain. This is what Carol Dweck calls adopting a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset. We look at our problems through the lens of growth and expansion, rather than believing that we are a failure or that our goals have failed.
With this in mind, I invite you to return to the questions I asked you in the opening paragraph. Spend some time answering them in your journal or wherever you write notes. See if you can get a clear picture of what failure has taught you? Yes, the lessons may be expensive, but they are priceless, so they are not repeated. Sometimes the lessons from our failures may not be immediately apparent. However, with careful research, you will find that the insights gained will help you succeed in future endeavors. After all, failure is where courage unfolds, because if we have acted on our deeper purpose, failure should not deter us, but generate the courage to achieve our goals.
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