It’s hard to believe that anything about failure could be important. But you’d be surprised.
I can tell you without a doubt that I have failed many, many times. I’ve failed both personally and professionally. My gut tells me you probably have too. So today I want to talk about failure and why it’s so important because there’s one thing in particular that stands out that I want to make you aware of.
To start out today, I want to tell you about one of my biggest failures. Maybe the biggest failure I’ve ever had.
Back in 2016 my husband and I bought our first home together. It wasn’t much, but with two little kids, we wanted to make sure that we had a home for them to grow up in. It was important to us that they had that.
We when through the nail-biting process of getting a home loan, putting in an offer and closing on the house.
If you’ve ever been through it, you know it is one of the most nerve-wracking, scary and exciting processes of your life. But we did it. We made it to closing. We signed what seemed like a million documents, and we were handed the keys to our new home. And we moved in the next day.
Now, I’d like to tell you that our home purchase was just like everyone else, and in many ways it was. But in one big way it wasn’t. And that big way is an orange sticker.
You see, when we first looked at the house, it had this giant orange sticker on the front and back of the house. The sticker said that the house was uninhabitable.
Before you ask, of course, we asked about the sticker, and we were told it was/would be taken care of.
You see the house was being sold by a guy that was flipping it. He had bought it at auction and was fixing it up to sell. Which he did, to us.
Before closing, we were told everything was done and we could move on in. So the day after we closed, my husband, my kids and I moved in. That was December 16th, 2016.
Less than ten days before Christmas. It was a chaotic time, to say the least! Trying to unpack, put up decorations and do all of the fun, festive things you do, especially when you have young children.
Fast forward to January 18, 2017, and the city comes for the final inspection we were told would happen. We were asked by the city why we were living there and they asked who told us we could live there. Three days later we received an order to vacate.
We were kicked out of our house almost a month to the day after we moved in.
I was in shock, I was in disbelief, I was so many other things that I won’t describe here. But I can tell you there were many angry moments, tears and cuss words.
Finally, after an over two-year legal battle, my family and I are finally back in our home.
The legal battle was long, hard and more frustrating than anything I’ve ever dealt with before.
And in the end? We lost so much. The settlement didn’t even come close to making us whole again and no one can ever give me back that time.
In other words, it was a big, fat failure.
I felt like a failure. I felt responsible for what happened even though there had been no way I could have known.
And one day it hit me.
That same failure I felt with our legal battle is the same failure I felt with my blog and business.
And the biggest thing I learned? And that important point I want to share with you?
Your mistakes and your failure does not define you.
How’s them apples? (Do people still say that?)
But it’s SO TRUE!
I let my failure or my feelings of failure dictate how I acted, what I did and how I felt about myself. So much so, that they started defining my life.
I started to withdraw, I wouldn’t eat, and then I would binge eat. I just became an unpleasant person to be around.
It wasn’t a pretty sight, I assure you.
When I hit my low point, all I wanted to do was stay in bed, all day.
I had utterly given up.
And I realized I hadn’t learned anything!
I realized that if I didn’t do something, I was going to be like this forever. And that is no way to live. So for whatever reason, I decided to pull my big girl panties up and get the fuck over it.
I had to move on. I had to start loving myself again, and I had to make changes so that my failure didn’t consume me. I had to change my way of thinking so that it began to empower me.
But how did I do it? Not going to lie, it wasn’t easy, and it totally sucked.
I faked it for a while
It really took me some time to discover how to learn from my failure, but I knew that if I could only fake feeling better, I would get there. So that’s exactly what I did.
I pretended that I was better and I started to do things again. I spent time with my kids more, I spent more time with my husband. I started blogging again. And the next thing I knew all of it was making me terribly happy. And then I wasn’t faking it at all.
I reflected on the failure
It’s hard. I mean, c’mon, no one want’s to admit that they failed. No one wants to admit that, no one, ever. But we have to.
To move on and grow from the failure, you have to admit it to yourself and take responsibility. And most of all you have to…
Learn from your failures
As I said above, you can’t let it define you and part of that is learning from it. I think back to when I was a child and put my hand on a hot stove… you bet your ass I never did it again after that. And that’s exactly how failure is once you’re an adult, it’s just a little more complicated.
I’ve got a challenge for you!
I want you to think about your last failure and what you learned from it. Don’t think you learned anything? That means you’ve got some thinking to do. You might have to dive deep, but don’t be scared. You CAN do this!