images-1SUCCESS! GOALS! OUTCOMES! GRIT! Trendy words like these resonate with people days. “Make it happen! Dig in your heals! Show grit!” they say.

While these concepts may drive and motivate people, I can’t help wondering, Where does failure come in?

Recently a client shared that because she didn’t meet a goal she’d set for herself, she didn’t feel whole. “I don’t feel whole because I failed,” she said. An uncommon jittery demeanor surfaced and her eyes avoided mine. Normally this woman is energetic and vivacious, so her discomfort with failure obvious.

“I have no judgment on the success of your goal,” I clarified to make she wasn’t trying to please me. “How are you judging yourself?” I asked.


When experiences just become experiences instead of attaching expectations to them, failure doesn’t exist.

“You didn’t fail if you learned,” I assured her, “What did you learn?”

What she learned was that the goal she’d set for herself was too high. Unrealistic. She learned that starting smaller would be more motivating. She learned that she was putting her self-worth into one huge accomplishment. She learned how quickly she judges herself. She learned how to redefine success…and failure.

When you feel you’ve failed, stop looking at the OUTCOME and ask what you learned in the PROCESS.

How many times have you beat yourself up for “failing”?

What is failure anyway?russell_crowe_in_gladiator_by_rayety-d3h5i46

Sure, there’s probably a place for grit, for digging your heals into the ground, jutting out your lower jaw, squinting your eyes and focusing on how you will win your next battle.

But there’s also a place for reflection. For failure. For UNsuccessfully accomplishing what you set out to do.

Failure is a part of success.

Learn something, readers. Fail. And learn something deep.

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Twitter: #INLteam @TamaraKonrade @MikeSanders19 @RachelThalmann @tjfellers


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