There’s a scene from Batman Begins that keeps playing in my mind. A young Bruce Wayne falls into a well, is attacked by bats, and is eventually rescued by his father. When young Bruce is back home, his father says, “And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.” It’s a powerful idea that is revisited later in the film as Batman struggles to save Gotham.
We all fall, even fictional super heroes, and that fall can feel like the worst failure of our lives.
Maybe it’s applying for a new job and not getting it.
Or, asking someone out and being told no.
Sometimes it’s starting your own business then watching it all fall apart.
It could even be moving to a new place then realizing that you are all alone.
Failure is like a waist line – it comes in all shapes and sizes, but nobody wants to talk about it. Yet, we all have a waist line, and we all experience failure.
For me, 2017 might as well be called the Year of No. There have been so many endings and false starts that there are times I’m not sure which way is up and how to keep going. While this year has brought me plenty of good things, it’s the failures that are shaping my life right now. I’m in that growing season.
And, as painful as the process is, I’m learning a lot about myself. When I was younger, it was easy to run away from my problems. I could drop a class, quit a job, or move to a new city, and poof, my problems would disappear. Life doesn’t work that way now.
At 32, I’m finally at a place in my life where I have to confront my problems and not move away from them. Nobody told me growing up would be so hard. Then again, nobody ever said life was easy.We all fail, but that doesn't have to be the end of the story. It's how we get back up and carry on that matters.Click To Tweet
This year I’m working on redefining what failure means to me. It’s not easy to see mistakes and disappointments as learning opportunities, but that is what they are. I’m cutting back on the people and activities that no longer bring me joy, and sometimes it’s hard to say goodbye. But, if I’ve learned anything this year, it’s that life’s too short to let failure hold you back from your dreams.
How do you deal with failure?
P.S. If you like this post, you might enjoy Momentum: How to Keep Going When Life Gets Ugly.
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