When Is The The Last Time You Failed? If It Wasn’t Today, It’s Time To Step Up Your Game!

When Is The The Last Time You Failed? If It Wasn’t Today, It’s Time To Step Up Your Game!

Where did I ever get the notion that failure wasn’t an option?

I picked it up somewhere and carried it as a weight around my neck for most of my life.

It left me paralyzed because if I wasn’t sure I would succeed at something, I wouldn’t do it. It also left me stressed out because if I was failing at something, I sure as hell wasn’t going to own up to it. What would others think of me? I was the one who didn’t fail. Wow! That makes me chuckle now.

Years ago, as a young leader, I was tasked to write a manager training program. With the information and understanding I had, I worked hard at it, and finally sent it to my boss when I felt it was perfect. Because, really now, if failure isn’t an option, then it must be perfect, right?

A defining moment in my life was when my boss called me up after reviewing what I had sent, and in the nicest way she could, told me it sucked. Those weren’t her words, but it was what I heard.

I was devastated. I don’t fail. The stories I began telling myself were crazy. I’m no good at this. Who was I to think I could do this job? I’m going to get fired. I’m such a disappointment. (You know the drill.)

Of course, none of that was true, and I didn’t get fired. What I did learn, though, is that not only is failure an option, when we change our story about it, failure is an important key to success.

I flew to Texas the next day to meet with my boss. I got a better understanding of her expectations and what would really get us to the outcome. I went back to work. The result was exponentially better and it was a huge success! And all it took to get there was a little failure.

I will admit this is a lesson that I’ve had to learn over and over again because failure never felt good to me. And it didn’t feel good because I still saw it as a failure. I might have used it to fuel me, however, initially, it still set me back.

And even now, when things don’t go as I want them to, I might have a moment, but that is usually all it is … a moment. Now, I recognize it’s those failures that bring me one step closer to getting what I want. Just like Thomas Edison figured out a whole bunch of ways how NOT to make a light bulb before he was successful, I just keep learning and growing with every failure. In fact, I grow more from the failure than from getting it right the first time.

Make failure an option. The quicker you embrace the failure, the quicker you’ll see the lesson and the path forward. Stay focused on the outcome and be grateful for the journey that gets you there!

I wish you many failures on your path to success. There is as much JOY available in the failures as in the success.


Has the success you’ve achieved in your life not brought you the joy and happiness you thought it would? I know that feeling, and I had some help seeing a different perspective that led me to authentic joy along with the success. I would love to pay it forward to you! Let’s talk. It’s free. Email Barb at barb@high5leadership.com to set up your call!

High5 Choices lead to High5 Moments to create your High5 Life!