If you are human you have probably asked the question, why do we fail before we succeed? Unfortunately, some of us stop midway the question, and we only get to why do we fail? Life experiences have taught me that Failure is inevitable. It's the universe's way of helping us live a more empowered life. I know that sounds crazy, right? It was probably the most insane thought that I could think, would ever cross my mind; particularly after one of my "greatest failures," my divorce. Funny, how I still take ownership of it. Did you just notice how I wrote my divorce as if I was the only one getting a divorce? Some habits are hard to break. Even as I am writing, I am learning. But I digress, back to my "woe is me" story.
So it was 1995, and I was 25 years old. I was blessed with a beautiful two-year-old son, a high-powered management job in hospitality, great friends and seemingly all was well with the world. Except it wasn't. My personal life was falling apart. Some things had happened to me as a woman, that I never thought would have happened to me. How did this happen, I wanted to scream? How did I become an ex-wife, a single mother, and worse yet, why was my son in a single family household, traipsing back and forth between his parents every other weekend. Never in a million years could I have imagined that this would be my life. That same year my best friend was getting married. So I had to be truly happy for her and focus on her beautiful day while my heart had been shattered into a million little pieces.
At this point in my "perfect life", I was supposed to have a home, a white picket fence. My handsome son, a loving husband and a dog. Maybe two dogs. But here I was, unhappily single and trying to figure out what happens next. I'm sure I don't have to explain the roller coaster of emotions that happens after a "supposed failure" in life. Bouts of depression, sadness, anger, tears. Sometimes to cope we find ourselves in addiction. Addicted to anything from illegal drugs, legal drugs, alcohol, excessive shopping, excessive food and more. You name it, in despair and hopelessness, we can find all kinds of vices to get into. Whatever we can find in the moment to temporarily relieve the pain, we find ourselves clinging to it, often worshiping it.
It was during one of these crisis moments that I had this mind-blowing epiphany. The revelation that failure is life's way of empowering me. Helping me to understand my strengths, challenging me to take back my power. You see, I had given my power to the word failure. My whole life, all of my accomplishments up to that point, as well as all of those that would come after, was wrapped up in one life event. One alleged failure. Divorce!!! Seriously, how could my life be over after a divorce? And while I can be complacent about it now I understand if you can't yet smile through your pain. I understand if you are in the throes of depression, sadness and anger. I get it! But you don't have to be. Your hopelessness does not have to last as long as mine did. I want to give you what no one was able to give me. I want to give you hope. I want you to know that you are not a failure just because things did not work out just the way you planned. It doesn't have to be divorce; it could be anything in life. Any of life's events that does not happen the way we think it should. Trust me when I say there is nothing in life that hope and faith can't conquer. I have to tell you, as the revelation of how life was challenging me, empowering me, becoming clearer as each day passed I found myself laughing out loud. Feeling my strength come alive. Willing my fight muscles to strengthen. Daily warring with the negative thoughts that plagued my soul, and eventually winning the battle and conquering all thoughts that warred against my mind.
That empowering moment was a turning point for me. It was the moment that I made up my mind that I would seek to learn the lesson of every event in life, whether labeled good or bad. I was determined to seek the lesson and not give my power to the word failure again.
Success Through Failure
Today, I am happily married. I have a beautiful God-sent husband. Someone who loves me through all of my stuff. I finally have a partner and a friend. I have a wonderful family life. All that I hoped for back then I now have. It took some time. It didn't happen overnight. I had to go through some stuff. There are some scars. Some wounds. Some pains. But they no longer hurt. They are there as a reminder. They remind me how great life is. They remind me of what I am capable of. They remind me that I was not built to break.
So now when I am asked the question why do we have to fail before we succeed, I can honestly answer without hesitation that failure is a way of preparing for what's to come. Failure is our strength training. It builds our muscles to be able to carry all of the success of tomorrow. It gives us life lessons to learn and share. Because of failure, we become teachers. Because of failure, we become humble. Because of failure, we become wise. Because of failure, we become grateful. Because of failure, we can now succeed.
How Do you Live an Empowered Life Through Failure?
Empowered living comes from empowered thoughts. It's not about the fact that you have failed and most likely will fail again. Empowered Living is just the opposite. It is embracing the failures. It's embracing adversity. It's choosing to accept what is, and being determined to take back your power by re-framing the event in your mind. It is getting up after being knocked down. It is dusting yourself off and standing tall with your head erect knowing that you were not built to break. Empowered living is giving yourself permission not to be perfect. And when the flaws begin to show, you smile anyway, knowing that tomorrow will be a brighter day. Another lesson learned, another empowering moment to absorb. Another empowering moment to teach.
Do you have an empowering moment about failure and success to share? We've all had them. The key is to remember and remind ourselves of how we felt at that moment when we took back our power. It's those thoughts. That feeling. That energy that will empower you to live your best life. Your best-empowered life!