Do you see failure as the end or the beginning?

I am sure the majority of you have read about Michael Jordan’s plight to becoming a leading basketball player. What stood out for me is he did not give up on what he knew was the right path for him.

Failure is inevitable in this life unless of course we decide not to take any form of action or risk. How dull would our lives be if we only lived within the remit of what we could easily do?  Our comfort zone is not the place to be, though it feels cosy it brings nothing but the same of what you already have.  For the majority of us there is an element of excitement we derive from trying a new activity or starting a new venture. It is this which makes us feel alive.

Failure is not necessarily the end. If we do not try a new venture/join a course, how will we know it is in fact not for us? Some know exactly what they are good at from a young age and go on to excel in this.  Others will take various opportunities and find a particular course or career is not suitable for them. 

There are stages in life when we close the door on a business or career path and this too is fine if we are 100% certain we have to change course.  Perhaps we did not understand the sacrifice it would take; financially, emotionally and physically.  Perhaps we walked into it with the wrong motives.

Looking back to my school days, I looked forward to English, History and Geography class and had a strong dislike for mathematics.  I was and am able to understand basic mathematics but struggle with the likes of deep mathematics. It just did not click for me no matter how much I concentrated. I desperately wished to understand the formulas and refused to accept answers without knowing the “how”. I even retook GCSE mathematics and received the exact same grade – who does that?!!

I have shared this with very few people as for years (over two decades to be exact) I felt utterly ashamed and embarrassed that I could not master maths. This no longer has a hold over me so I can be vulnerable and share it. Thankfully I have passed all my assessments on applying for jobs – whether or not my strength in English influenced my results, I will never know and certainly am not complaining.

I shared my experience as it is often easier to relate when you know others have tried and failed and also tried and succeeded.  If you do not take a step forward you will never know. Why live a life of “what if?” when you can use the knowledge and expertise you have today?

I made a decision to push forward in order to reach my goal, if one road is blocked, I will try another. If I need to move on then I will with no guilt, shame or a need to justify myself to others.  Every experience I have had, both painful and pleasant, I have learned from even if it is how NOT to do a thing. 

What do you class as a failure?
How have you overcome failure in your life?