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Failures: Are they good or bad?

Failures: Are They Good or Bad?

Today, I wanted to talk about failure. As human beings, we tend to fail a lot. Some failures affect us more than others. We may feel like we fail other people or fail ourselves. We may feel like we are failing at life when we don’t reach a goal that we are working towards.

Why Failure is a Good Thing

As a business owner, I fail at a lot of things. I fail at helping other people to see my vision. I fail by not always taking care of myself. I fail at not being there for my family. I fail as a wife, sister, daughter, employee, owner, etc. My failures are constant. I’m pretty sure you can probably relate to that too (whether you would like to admit that is an entirely different story).

As I’ve been on this journey, it’s been a wild one, let me tell you. I felt lead to share a bit of my story and why I strive so hard to build others up. I know what it feels like to fail. I know what it’s like to disappoint other people and myself. I think it’s interesting that the intuitive part of my brain can see this in other people. I think that we are put through things to help us relate to other people. It gives us perspective on what worked and what can help others.

So anyway, getting back to my story, I do tend to go on tangents (at least this one was short). I was talking to a coach, and we were talking about how we tend to look at failures. Failures are often perceived as bumps or roadblocks. We get to them in our path, and we don’t want to back up to try something different. We are begrudging the fact that we have to change what we are doing. Our brains will tend to go to “why weren’t we warned about the roadblock in the beginning?’ or ‘why couldn’t someone just come in with a crane to remove it?’ It’s the way that failure is perceived is the reason that failure gets a bad rap. As human beings, we tend to strive towards perfection, and when it’s unattainable, we become frustrated, angry, or depressed.

One of the things that I do when I work with people is something called reframing. Reframing is taking an idea or concept and looking at it from a different perspective. For example, if someone were to come in and talk about not getting a particular job that he or she really wanted, he or she may think that they have failed. When I do reframing with the individual, I may something like- Have you ever heard of the phrase- No is protection. It’s protection because the job wasn’t a good fit for you. Maybe, it was a bad environment or you wouldn’t have done well in the position. There’s a reason that you didn’t get the job, and therefore, no is protection.

Failure can also be a learning lesson. I’ve had lots of failures in my business, but I usually end up learning how to do things differently when I’ve failed at something. For example, I’ve learned when I’ve worked with people that I need to have a couple of things in place in order to work with them. They need to provide value (whether it’s knowledge or skill sets that I don’t have), and they also need to have a personality with which I feel comfortable sharing with them or asking questions.

Concluding Thoughts

The reason that I wanted to talk about failure was due to a couple of reasons: Failure is not what it seems; Failure can be a learning experience; It can strengthen you in ways that you didn’t previously know. Next time you have a failure, try to celebrate it. As a coach stated, buy your failure a cupcake.

Want to Chat?

Want some time to chat to see what I can do to help you? Send me a message at: If I can’t help, I can refer you to someone who definitely can.

Creative Space Online Counseling and Coaching

Barbara Maulding, NCC, LCPC