Lets face it, we all want the best for our family, friends, and ourselves. It’s just a part of human nature. Life is a fantastical roller coaster of emotions, joys, stresses, the full gambit of improbable events that have led us each here to this moment. And I know we’ve all suffered a setback here and there, but the important thing is to never let that define us, to not let it stop us, to rise above.
I’ll personally never forget one failure I had a few years ago, the first major failure I had when it came to theater. I was directing a short piece in a play festival, and just a few days before opening my Producer pulled the plug. To be honest I was devastated, I had put everything I had into this project and I failed before even going in front of an audience.
For some people the story could have ended there, and they’d never get back on their feet and try working in that arena called theater again. It was at that moment a close friend came to me and told me a phrase that I have never forgotten; “Ultimately, we learn more from failure than we ever do from success.”
I’m not going to lie, at that time that advice wasn’t exactly the most helpful thing in the world, nor did I feel like I could learn anything from failure, I just wanted to lie in that pit of despair and wallow for a bit. But you see that’s a trap, and you don’t go anywhere if you put yourself in that metaphorical pit. Whenever you experience a failure, you have two choices, let that failure bring you down to your knees, or find a way to learn, grow, and succeed in spite of that failing.
Is it painful when you fail? Yup, but that doesn’t have to define you, learn how to accept it and move on (and YES that is much easier said than done). I’ve often found it helpful to remind myself that failure is just a temporary thing, not something that will last forever. And while I may be a perfectionist, it’s always helpful to remember that perfection, while a worthy goal, it isn’t always obtainable. Evoke the muscle memory to curl the sides of your lips into a smile, for today you may not have succeeded, but tomorrow is another day and another chance to go forth and conquer.