Choices, Chances, Changes

_Failure I can live with. Not trying is what I can't handle._ SanyaRichardsRoss (1)Win as if you were used to it, lose as if you enjoyed it for a change.

  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

At some point in our childhood we start looking at trying and failing, as being a loser,  because we did not do it perfectly the first time we tried.   A baby learns how to roll over; then crawl; then walk.  A baby learns how to say words.  Think of any 1 – 2 year old and they do not pronounce each word perfectly.  I remember my boys saying truck, but the “T” blended with the “R” sounded like an “F” and peoples heads would turn when they said the word, like they were swearing.  My boys didn’t decide that because they couldn’t say the word perfectly the first time, that they would never attempt to say the word again.  A baby who stands up for the first time and then plops back down on their bum doesn’t decide that crawling is safer, so that is all they are going to do forever.

If you believe the doubts in your mind you won’t achieve the dreams in your heart.

  – Marinela Reka

A girlfriend and I were discussing this, and I thought that it must have something to do with peer pressure.  When we enter daycare or some other classroom experience and discover that some kids can do things better than we can.  At some point the comparison starts shutting us down.  We don’t want to risk the possibility of being wrong, so we don’t raise our hands when the teacher asks the class a question.  We put a label on not being perfect, as being a total failure.  In our minds we see kids with mean faces, laughing at us.  Or maybe we see our parents or teachers telling us that we are just stupid or dumb.  That we can’t learn anything.  That we will never be anything.

Failure is not the opposite of success; it’s a stepping stone to success.

  – Elli Stassinopoulos

What if we were to consciously try to change that meaning in our own head.  What if failure is part of success and something to be enjoyed?  Just as much as we celebrate crossing the finish line in a race as the winner, we were to celebrate crossing the finish line even 1 second faster than we had before, even if it was 100th place in the race? 

Winston Churchill had that kind of thinking.  I think that if he had been of a different mentality, WWII for England might have turned out differently.  One of my favorite quotes of his –

Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.

  –  Winston Churchill 

The reality of the situation is that each time we try something new, it is going to be full of things that we can do differently to be more successful the next time.  They say that it takes 10,000 hours to become a master of something.  So each time we do it, we are a little more successful.  We can look at what happened and determine what we can shift, take out, put it, tweak the next time to make it even better.

What makes someone talented successful?  Michael Jordon summed it up with,

I’ve never been afraid to fail.

    – Michael Jordon

We have to be willing to take the leap of faith off the cliff.  We may not land perfectly, but when we replay it in our mind, we can determine what we did, and what we can change.  Then we can go back up to the top and try it again. 

If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original.

  – Ken Robinson

Everything can be improved.  10,000 tries allows for an awful lot of improvements, step by step.  Step by step, we place each thing that didn’t work as the stones that we step on as we try it one more time.  Failures are part of the process of living a life that is worth living.  It is how we grow, by changing something and trying something new.  True success can only come from doing something new, failing at it and doing it again, just differently.

Never let success get to your head, and never let failure get to your heart.

  – unknown

Like the irritation to the oyster, which gets coated over and over again, each new thing we learn becomes a pearl of priceless beauty.  Can you look back at your life and say thank you, for the mistakes you made that taught you to laugh at yourself?  Those stories that felt painful at the time.  Now they are the funniest stories that you and your friends tell each other.  It always starts with, “Remember when I . . . ” and then ends with laughter.   

Don’t worry about failures, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t even try.

  –  Jack Canfield

How many opportunities in our life have we walked past, because we were afraid to try? There is nothing worse than a life that you didn’t even try to live.  That is where the true regrets in your life come from.  The things you did not do.

Love this quote (which didn’t have who wrote it, so unknown)

I AM STRONG

because I know my Weaknesses

I AM BEAUTIFUL

because I am aware of my Flaws

I AM FEARLESS

because  I learnt to recognize, illusion from Real

I AM WISE

because I learn from my Mistakes

I AM A LOVER

because I have felt Hate

and . . . ,

I CAN LAUGH

because I have known Sadness

Sheryl Silbaugh

I am married with 4 grown children who are all married and currently have 14 grandchildren and two great granddaughters. I work fulltime as a Director at Bank of America and I am the founder of LemonadeMakers.org, which is a website and Facebook page dedicated to personal transformation and growth. We all have life's lemons show up in our life, this website helps us to make them into lemonade.

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