Is it failure or it is a lesson?

I have written about failure before and I am echoing the same sentiments I wrote in this post here No one likes to fail…at anything! which basically says I don’t like I HATE failing. I am so hard on myself when I fail and it spoils my whole day. I have to learn to teach myself that failure is part and parcel of this life thing, as long as you are human (I am not sure if animals process failure as a psychological thing the way we humans do).

Today I had to pause and ask myself, what is it about failure that makes it so difficult? Is it that we find it so hard to step out of our comfort zone that when we do, we want to succeed so that we justify stepping out? What is it about failure that is so hard to swallow? Is it actual failing at something- where there is no turning back, no redoing, no regrouping- an actual flop, or is it a moment to take stock and learn some lessons or re-strategise? I am learning that it is all about perspective.

Sometimes I fail because I am really not paying attention. Recently, I had a large stack of marking to get through and unfortunately I was recovering from a terrible flue at the same time. The result was that I entered the wrong marks for some students. The aftermath was having to deal with emails about the errors, which I know was unacceptable and I had to apologise to the students (cringe). I should have double and triple checked before sending, I have zero excuses. So, in this case, should I call this a failure? Should I now define myself off of one failure to check my work before sending or do I learn from this moment and move on?

The point I am trying to make is this- failing does not have to be the end of something. All hell is not breaking loose, contrary to what your brain is telling you right now. It does not mean you give up on what you were doing and take on a new identity as a failure. I prefer to look at failure as a learning moment, a humbling moment as well because no matter how infallible we think we may be, we are human and sometimes we do fall. The important thing is to rise every single time we do fall.

What are dealing with right now that feels like a failure? It might be your relationship that is failing right before your eyes…I encourage you to have the right mindset about this.

You did not fail, the relationship failed and that may be 50/50 your fault because it takes two to tango.

The important thing is not to stay in the place of failure because there really is nothing there. Learn the lesson and keep it moving. The negative messages on your mind are not necessarily the truth. Create space between yourself and the object of your failure, get some perspective. Time will definitely show you that it wasn’t as bad as you thought it was, especially if you take stock of the lessons learned.

Hope this encourages someone and I hope your Monday is not as blue as mine.

Photo by Vitor Koshimoto on

With love,


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