When I was in fourth grade I almost learned to ride a bike. My mom had bought me this turquoise beach cruiser that was a touch too big for me and I decided it was time. After I got the initial balance down, I hadn’t quite figured out how to actually stop and ran into my grandma’s brick mailbox and fell. The next time? I crashed so bad that I flew over the handlebars, sprained my wrist and got a really great bloody nose. I thought I was the biggest failure and gave up learning for over six months. Instead of being patient with myself, I was frustrated.
Have you ever been there? Maybe you lost a client in your business. Maybe you felt like you failed as a mom because you had a deadline at work and didn’t make bedtime. Did it eat you up inside? Did it start a spiral of negative thoughts about what you didn’t do right? Did it discourage you from stepping into something bigger than you thought you could handle because you were scared of the failure? Of judgment from others? Of the anger at yourself for not succeeding?
What if instead of viewing failure as a negative, you looked at it for what it really is - a gift of learning. When I finally learned to ride a bike? I learned to wear kneepads and try on a bike that actually fit me. When I lost a client? I learned to create better processes and communication skills. When I missed bedtime? I learned that sometimes it’s okay to give myself grace. Guys failure isn’t just part of growth. It is growth. You can’t have the really beautiful, dreamy sunsets parts of life without the ugly, brutal and messy parts. You can’t have success without failure. You can’t have the light without the dark. Instead of fearing failure and looking at it as something to avoid, welcome it with open arms. Live in it and accept that it will not last forever.
Because falling down and getting back up again is really where the magic is. Having the courage to own all your parts gives you the freedom to step into who you were meant to be. It’s where you find your why. Where you create genuine relationships. Where you allow yourself to grow It’s the stuff that your story is made of. Sure, the fall might hurt but you know what hurts worse? Pretending and suffocating yourself because you’re scared to be authentic and real.
Lean into your failures and wear them proudly. Let them fill you up with the strength that you can preserve and the knowledge that you can do hard things. My challenge for you today? List five failures and the lessons you learned from them.