Failure, it’s a word we have all been taught to avoid like pineapple on pizza. A word that triggers countless memories of bad grades, burned food and rejected hearts.
The dictionary provides several definitions, from “falling short” to “omission of occurrence or performance” to a simple “lack of success”.
I’m here to tell you none of these are right. Failure does not imply something’s lacking. Failure is the existence of bravery, optimism and courage.
Most importantly, is not to be avoided nor to be ashamed of. Failure is a badge of honour, a big gold shiny star covering you in fairy dust and bright prospects.
See, avoiding failure is exceptionally easy: never attempt anything. Hence why going through life cloaked in success is hardly something to be proud of. Ironically, one might call it an act of failure. Failure in trying, failure in taking risks, “falling short” on experiencing those moment that teach you the most.
You can see falling flat on your face over and over again as a sign of foolishness, nativity or plain stupidity. What about perseverance, hope and strength? You can only fail repeatedly if you repeatedly pull yourself back up. And it’s there, in the moment where you drag yourself out of the mud and straighten your spine once again that you reach real success.
It’s time we let go of the overly competitive soccer dad. We don’t need his verbal abuse from the side-lines, foaming at the mouth telling us a baboon would do a better job. What we need is the team mate that pulls us up and pats us on the back after having missed yet another goal.
In the end it is not our life experiences that define us, but the way we react to them. So next time you burn your crème brûlée or cave 54 seconds into your plank know that there’s solace in the fact that you dared to try. Collecting yet another gold star, until you’ve created your own twinkling milky way.