I learn a whole heap of lessons from my kids. Today, I learned a really important one from my daughter about failure; what it is, and what it isn’t.
Brent gave her the challenge of swimming the entire length of the pool without coming up for air, and she didn’t make it. Not the first time, or the second, third, or fourth time. Nor the fifteenth, sixteenth or seventeenth times. She probably made it on about her twentieth attempt.
For the first lot of attempts, she made it to the halfway point. So then she practiced her diving, to make it more shallow (without belly flopping), and cover more distance that way.
Still, that only got her a couple of metres further along.
And then, on that one attempt, you could just see the determination kick in. She had made up her mind, and this was it.
So, she stood at the end, toes carefully curled around the ledge there, crouched down with her arms behind her, staring straight ahead. She mentally counted down, and literally launched herself into the water. About halfway down the pool, she surfaced, but this time she kept her head down and swam as fast and furiously as she could. She kept on going, and she made it!
To say I had a bit of a proud Mama moment, is an understatement. My daughter was awesome. It was her moment of triumph. She overcame the fear that she couldn’t do it, and she tried, tried, and tried again, until the moment and belief and determination kicked in for her. And then she achieved what she had originally thought was impossible.
But here’s the question:
Did she fail because she didn’t make it the first time?
How about the second?
Did she fail on the tenth attempt?
Or the nineteenth?
Obviously not. I mean, it was just a process that involved twenty steps. Right?
The only time she would have failed, would have been if she had given up and not tried again.
She suffered temporary defeat, but didn’t give up. So it wasn’t failure. In the end she had a resounding success.
It’s the same in life. We might be trying to get a new business off the ground, or trying to change something in our own lives. But whatever it is, it is a process with many steps, many attempts. And just because we don’t get it right the first, twentieth, or fiftieth times, it doesn’t mean are a failure.
We just need to refine, hone, improve what we are doing, and how we are going about it. And we have to keep doing this until we succeed.
No one has ever failed, until they’ve accepted that their temporary setback is a permanent defeat. Or believed that something which is just a step in a process, is actually the end of it.
So if the going is tough, hang in there! Change your approach, tweak the process a bit. But keep on keeping on. You’ll get there in the end, and the sense of achievement when you do, will be worth all the steps it took to get there.
Thanks for reading!
Find out here, about why writing down your goals is so important.