We’ve all failed at things in our lives, but the things we really want, really desire, really strive to achieve, we have to understand and accept that failure is part of the game. Everyone you know, either in your personal life or who is a public figure, has failed at some point in their life. Most people have failed dozens of times.
As a self-aware writer, as a self-aware person, the important thing to remember is failure should be viewed as a learning experience and not as an excuse to give up.
Let’s talk about it.
Part of self-awareness is knowing that you’ll face an insurmountable obstacle at some point in your life that feels like you’ve failed. Any number of things could lead to that moment, some within your control and some not in your control. Sometimes we get super close to achieving something, only for the opportunity to be taken away at the last moment. Other times we tried and tried, but things still didn’t work out.
Hey, it happens.
When it comes to your writing career, having the self-awareness to know and accept that the inevitable rejection letter or email will happen is a step toward accepting failure on some level. It doesn’t mean you burn your manuscript or give up writing; you take the loss and try again.
There’s this author some of you may know, Stephen King, whose first novel, Carrie, was rejected by 30 publishers before one finally picked it up. And before that, King himself tossed the novel in the trash, the novel that helped make him a household name and an author who continues to publish multiple novels a year!
Failure has many negative connotations in our society. Still, one thing that isn’t discussed is how failure has to happen for success to happen. Failure is part of the process. And no matter what you do, you have to start from somewhere and work your way up; and failure is just something that happens on the way to the top.
A few months ago, I wrote a review for a book called Chasing Failure by Ryan Leak that I highly recommend. Part of self-awareness is knowing how to utilize failure to your advantage and make it a positive learning experience instead of a catastrophic nightmare.
You Have the Right to Fail, So Allow It To Happen
The obsession with perfection can cause many to not even try. We want to be the best at what we do from the start; the terror of falling flat on our faces and being judged by others can cause analysis paralysis and a sense of doom that prevents us from venturing out of our heads or comfort zones.
But we have to understand that failure is part of life. It’s part of being human. And we have to accept that part of humanity to truly live life and reach for our goals. Failing is another step toward success; you can’t reach your goals without its existence. Don’t fear it.
Learning From Failure
The key to dealing with a failure is to examine why it happened and what you can learn from it. Every failure is a learning experience. Once you can pinpoint why you failed during that attempt, you can reconfigure and try again. You may fail again, but now you have the knowledge to help you make new decisions and choices as you progress toward your goal.
Many of us fear failure, but what about being afraid of success? We’ll talk about it.
Happy Writing, and I’ll see you next time!