Monday, 11 April 2016

Using Failure | Monday Motivation 4

Motivation Monday, Failure, Success, Positivity
Original Image - Stock Photo

Failure is so important. We speak about sucess all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater sucess. I've met people who don't want to try for fear of failing. - J.K. Rowling

Failure being the topic of a Monday Motivation mUst may seem a little odd.

I get it, so many people avoid talking about their existing failures or potential ones. Failing can evoke feelings of shame or disappointment.

The Oxford Dictionary gives failure a few definitions.
  1. Lack of success.
  2. The neglect or omission of expected or required action.
  3. The action or state of not functioning.
All 3 of these traditional definitions are negative, so the key is to make your failures a positive thing, use them in your everyday life to spur you on, motivate yourself off of the back of the ones that have already happened and those that one day maybe could.

Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement. - C.S. Lewis
If you saw my Quarter of a Century post last week you will have seen that I completed 2 years of my Midwifery degree at university.

For the majority of my Secondary School life, I wanted to be a Midwife. When everyone was worrying about what they were picking for their GCSE options I wasn't, when everyone was in a panic about what college courses to apply for I was pretty calm. I knew what I wanted and there was not a single doubt in my mind. I was going to be a Midwife, I was going to witness life being brought into the world every day of my working career.

This was until I was there. About a year and 2 months in I took a break. I went back to working in retail and took some time to reflect on what I had done so far and what was left to come. I needed it desperately, mentally I was exhausted. Not necessarily because of the coursework but student life is very different what you are working 14 hours shifts in a hospital as well as meeting deadlines and that's without the emotional toll the job itself can take on you.

After a few months, I went back, I picked up where I left off with a different class, although a few others had done the same as me so I wasn't alone. During my break I had been diagnosed with PCOS so had the added worry of my own fertility whilst seeing all these happy parents daily. My heart just wasn't in it anymore and eventually, after about 9 months I failed my course.

It's failure that gives you the proper perspective on success. - Ellen DeGeneres
I had spent months trying to work and get through each day doing something I no longer wanted to do. I couldn't imagine in 40 years doing long shifts day in day out. I had experienced a few losses in this time which had cemented that I wasn't really strong enough in my mind but I carried on. When that email came from my university to say that I had failed I was devastated, not because I couldn't continue on the same path, but because I had to tell everyone I was a failure. What would people think of me, how would I go home and tell my boyfriend, parents, grandparents. That was harder than having to face replanning my whole life.

When I think back on it now, that failure was the best thing that could have happened to me. I had worked alongside Midwives who, unfortunately, didn't love their jobs. I would never want to be that person. I also would never want to be the person who dreaded getting up for work every day.

After that I panicked, wasn't sure what I would do, so I got a retail job that I hated more than anything I have ever done. But this fueled me to look for something better. I could say I wasted my College qualifications, wasted the years I spent doing a degree but failing to complete it, but it gave me perspective. I wanted to do something I would love, I wasn't going to settle.

I applied for a Customer Service role with Bare Escentuals on a whim, I had never had any experience but I wasn't about to let an opportunity pass in case it didn't work out again. I went into my interview totally honest about my failures and why they have made me the person I am now and I landed a temporary Customer Service role. Within about 9 weeks I became Team Leader, still on a temporary basis for a year. Following the end of my contract, I was offered another temporary role in Inventory. Although not something I anticipated doing it was one of the best moves I made. I use the experience in my current role nearly daily and I made lifelong friends in that department. Following the end of that contract, I finally landed a permanent position as Education Coordinator for the UK, and I love it!

You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space. - Johnny Cash
 The trick is, give failure your own definition, a positive one, and don't let it define you.

Something positive can come from every experience, even if it doesn't end with success. Sure a few years of my life were spent doing something that didn't turn out to be right for me. But I have helped to bring life into this world, I have helped families go through the best time in their life and sometimes the worst. Very few 16-year-olds can be certain on what they want to do with the rest of their lives, hell I am not completely certain at 25!

But the important thing is that you use every experience to the fullest and anything that doesn't work is just life experience that will make your next move that much better!

How do you deal with failures?


  1. i honeslty have to say that failure has little impact on me, im really competetive yet when i loose i take it well. i think the older you get, you dont see a failure but just another oppertunity.

    1. I couldn't have said it better myself. Thank you for reading x

  2. Totally agree with this! I wouldn't be where I am now without my past 'failures' :) xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

    1. I think everyone should take this stance when looking at what they have accomplished, it's so much better than thinking about it negatively, may as well draw positives from it. Thank you for reading x

  3. Great read and very true!! Plus im one of those friends and im grateful fir that x