One of my favorite Michael Jordan quotes is, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” It resonates so deeply with me because I feel similarly.
For me, failure is a part of the process. It’s an important element of knowing what does NOT work. Thomas Edison even shared, “I haven’t failed. Ijust found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” His perspective takes the sting out of associating yourself with the F word.
After many years of trying and discovering things that don’t work, I’ve lost all pride about the matter. I wear my failures as a badge of honor and use the stories as teaching tools. When someone compliments me on my current success, I sometimes have to fight the urge to show off my battle scars.
Even though I make it a goal every day to be a SUPER human, I am not superhuman. There’s a difference between striving to be your best and operating in a space of ultimate perfection.
In our lives and careers, it is important to allow for human error and imperfection. While it has taken years, I have now become comfortable apologizing when I miss the mark. I never apologize for who I am and what I believe, but when I make a mistake, I gladly admit it. I appreciate it when others do the same. I don’t hold an error against anyone. I get that we are all doing the best we can. I offer grace as much as possible as that is what I also hope to receive when the inevitable happens.
What else does failure provide for us aside from the opportunity to have a healthy serving of humble pie? It refines us. It inspires us to push harder. And as previously mentioned, it gives us real-life hands-on experience with what doesn’t work.
At least once a day, a person reaches out to me by email or social media to invite me to take part in a new business opportunity or initiative. Most of the offers are great – the business models are sound, and success has been proven. More times than not, I decline involvement. It has nothing to do with the opportunity and everything to do with what I know works for me. I have a keen understanding of how I like to spend my time and what products and services I want to have a part of my portfolio. I am no longer swayed by the lure of big dollars. I prefer to do things that I love for free than to do things I don’t love for high returns.
I learned all of this from my many fabulous failures. I am thankful for them and for all of the people along the way who gave me grace as I learned from my mistakes.
For more notes on life, career and business, connect with me on social media @NatalieKHodge! The lessons are FREE since I have already paid the cost of the experience.