Rethinking Failure: It isn’t shameful

(Obviously, there are some failures you should be ashamed of. Especially, those you could have mitigated but hear me out.)

I think that somehow, our society has found a way to stigmatize failure. We all grow up hearing, seeing and thinking that failure is the worst thing that could possibly happen to us. Ask anyone, “what’s your biggest fear?” Most will say “failure”; that used to be one of my biggest fears too. I mean, it seems admirable that i want to succeed but if my fear of failure inhibits my ability to actually commit and work hard at the things that I love then we’ve got a problem.

You know what I think should be stigmatized? Not trying. Putting little or no effort into creating the life you want for yourself because you are afraid you will fail. Refusing to put yourself on the road to supposed “success” because you are so clouded by what will happen if you fail. And what if you do fail? You wouldn’t be the first to fail at something. It is impossible to go through life without some form of failure. Failure is one of the greatest teachers…one of the greatest pathfinders. Allow it to give the toughest backbone.

I should add that I am fully aware that failing/losing can be very painful but it is only temporary. Soon you will move past it and onto the next thing (I’m not just saying this, I’ve had my fair share of failures). One of the beauties of life is being able to look back at your failures and seeing how high they have taken you, because I honestly think that failure is a building block (a very solid one). Failure is not shameful, stay away from anyone who make you feel like it is.

I sincerely hope I can teach my children that there are many things worse than failure..things like living with regret and wasting the only life you’ve got, things like the waiter getting your order wrong when you’re in a hurry (and really hungry) and things like someone frying/eating your last plantain (the worst actually).

Like Roy Williams said “Make Peace with the possibility of failure and amputate your sense of shame.” This is one of my many life-mottos.

“May you live all the days of your life.”
May you live the best life possible.