I’ve been thinking a lot about failure lately. Why we’re so afraid of it. How it affects our decisions and how to raise my children to embrace this in their lives. For me, I think failure comes in a couple of different forms; trying something and not being “successful” or being told NO. Either of those can be a hard pill to swallow for both kid and adult alike.
It really hit home when I was sitting in the audience at the Rise Conference in Dallas a couple of months ago. My girl, Rachel Hollis, sat up on the stage in front of thousands of women whom had just spent the last three days digging into what makes them amazing leaders and women and read a children’s book to us all. Yep. A Children’s book. To a bunch of grown women. Not only was this a profound moment, but there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. As she read the words of Rosie Revere, Engineer to us, I sat back and realized that this is not only something that we need to instill in our kids, but also in ourselves. How many times have we given up becuase someone told us NO or stopped doing the thing because it got too hard?
NO is a word that often shuts us down or stops us in our tracks. I have never been one to take no for an answer, (just ask my husband) but in all honesty, no one likes to hear it. It’s what we do after the NO that defines us and determines if the real magic is going to happen. Do we keep trying? Push harder? Ask again? Find another solution? Explore another avenue or angle? OR do we just give up? My sister-in-law and I were having a conversation this past weekend about what failure in the workplace and in life looks like and she said something that I will now be using for my entire life. When you FAIL it actually just means First Attempt In Learning. F.A.I.L. I love a good acronym so for me this was a slam dunk. Smart words from a smart woman. When you look at a failed attempt like this it certainly shifts your perspective.
To quote the book, Rosie Revere, Engineer, “Life may have its failures, but this one was not it. The only true failure can come if you quit.” “Your brilliant first flop was a raging success! Come on, let’s get busy and onto the next!”-Andrea Beaty
There is no greater joy for me than when I read this book to my kids at bedtime and I see their little eyes full or wonder and promise for the future. The message I am able to convey through little moments like this and our very own actions in life are exactly what I hope will help to shape them into amazing individuals that will go on to pursue their passions with persistence.