It’s Okay If You Failed
Failure stings, but there are so many ways to leverage it and benefit from it.
This month has been my try-hard month for a long time. Over the past several months, the government released a supplement package to help with financial relief for those who had fewer hours or lost work due to the pandemic.
I leveraged the funding for five months and used the generous amount of money as an excuse to not work so much. The fact I wasn’t that active caused me to make some money, but not a significant amount.
This month, I wanted to make up for it and start working hard again. Seeing if I can effectively replace the extra income that I was earning thanks to that program.
In short, I failed.
I didn’t even come close to earning my target and decided to leverage that program one last time.
Even though I’m good financially — especially with this final cheque from the government coming in — there is still that sting of failure. I couldn’t make enough money to not rely on this program — what my initial goal at the start of this month is.
Failure is something that we all experience. But as many other people have said before me, you can learn from those failures. Yes, there are certainly lessons you can get from it, but failure can be moulded in different ways than simply a lesson you can learn and grow from.
Failures Prompt You To Reflect
First comes reflection before you learn a lesson from failure. Whenever you experience a setback or a failure, it’s important that you learn to ask yourself:
“What can I be learning from this experience?”
It’s these sequences of behaviours that I’d like to be looking at as you can go deeper into that reflection. Of course, if you want to learn something from that experience, ask that question.
But other questions are able to come forth and enrich that reflecting experience.
Why did you fail?
What behaviour or decisions have you done to bring yourself up to this point?
Are these behaviours things that you wish to change? Have these decisions and behaviours hindered you in the past?
These are strong questions to be asking as you are broadening your scope of this failure. Because one thing that I’ve realized about failure is that it’s not often one big event. It’s often a sequence of events that lead up to that climax of failure.
A basic example that pops up in my life more often is through the card game I play: Magic The Gathering. While there is certainly luck involved in the game, there is still some level of resource management involved. Do you dump out your entire hand? Or should you be more reserved and deal with potential issues as you slowly build up?
Those questions depend on the state of the board of course, but oftentimes when a big card is played and no one has a way of dealing with it, it can show signs of the game being over real quickly. It’s during those times where you can look back and think “I should’ve saved that kill spell” or “I shouldn’t have played that card this turn and had a way of dealing with that card immediately.”
You can use those same kinds of strategies in your own life as we normally experience a number of smaller failures before a bigger one. The only thing is we don’t realize these are failures until we reflect on them and look over the sequence of events.
From there, you can begin to assess yourself and make small changes in your life and decisions. Being more conscious of your decisions will help you have more control over your life.
Failure Moves You On To Other Things
But the biggest thing that makes failure okay with me is the fact you can move on to other things. Failures bring lessons, but they also bring new opportunities to you. New ideas that you can explore and work on little by little.
Even though Medium hasn’t been a huge contributor to my income, I’ve been wanting to make this a strong source that I can count on. As such, one of my ideas is building myself back up again, relearning the habits that I had that brought me up to a better position.
I’d like to make money in the thousands from this platform, however right now, I’ll settle with working harder and building stronger habits to get me up to the hundreds again.
Things like reading articles that give me energy and insight. Refining my writing little by little and having a stronger focus. And above all, posting more articles than I have been in the past several months.
While I do have other more dependable sources, this failure stems across all of my income streams. The effort that I’m putting into all of my income streams is insufficient. Things need to change from what they were during this month if my aim is to grow and achieve better results.
After all, I can’t count on a bail-out next month.
When you spend time reflecting on what’s wrong and what needs work, you can immediately come up with solutions. I already know what I must do to boost my income streams — not just on Medium. These new solutions allow you to move past your old ways and set the groundwork for you to build or redefine your habits.
You don’t want to be hitting the same roadblock every time, nor do you want it to come back to you. Instead, it’s an opportunity to find out a solution from that experience.
While solutions and lessons are close to the same thing, solutions provide more action and direction than lessons can ever hope to achieve. This helps us more than a vague lesson as it can be mixed up and taken out of context. Instead, distilling experiences down to simple actions that you can take every day is easier for us to process and to do.
Failure Isn’t The End
Failure is never the end as many of you very well know by now. But do remember there are other aspects to failure that you can explore. Failure has a way of bringing out the truth about us all and puts it on display for ourselves to analyze.
Take advantage of that opportunity wherever and whenever you can. That way, you can gain more from your failures than lessons.