To be honest, I’m not built to fail.
I don’t like it.
I don’t like how I feel when I walk away from something without accomplishing my objective.
I recently failed.
I tried to do something that I thought I could do. I knew it would be hard, but it proved to be much harder than I thought.
I watched while my colleagues succeeded.
I literally was sick to my stomach. I couldn’t sleep at night.
I didn’t want to give up because next time something is hard I didn’t want to know in the back of my mind that I quit this time. I don’t want an easy out.
I don’t want quitting as an option.
But sometimes, it’s the right decision.
Failure takes honesty
The more that’s at stake, the more honesty that’s required.
You have to recognize that what you are doing isn’t working. That there is a fundamental problem that can’t be overcome, at least not in any reasonable way.
Failure should be about seeing things for what they are. Jim Collins called it “facing the brutal facts.”
Failure takes courage
When you fail, you have to face someone who terrifies you. Someone that you desperately don’t want to disappoint.
A CEO faces shareholders.
A business owner faces employees.
An employee faces a boss.
A parent faces her children.
A husband faces his wife.
A child faces mom.
We feel fear and anguish as we think of their pain, disappointment or anger. You may even want to sever friendships so that you don’t have to see their faces.
It takes courage to stand before that person(s) you don’t want to disappoint and say, “I couldn’t do it.”
Failure takes humility
Before giving up, you better have given it your all.
You better have been beaten down until there was nothing left of you.
Failure cannot be your first, second or third option. But rather the only option that isn’t categorically insane.
You better be at the point where grovelling isn’t beneath you.
Failure should only come once you’ve been stripped down, nothing left of you.
Failure takes determination
Failure cannot be your scapegoat to give up on everything. One failure does not equate to a lifetime of failures – unless you let it.
You are quitting so you can free yourself to be successful at something else. Another project. A different job. A happier relationship.
Leave more committed to success, not less.
If anything, you are one step closer to finding what you are good at or brings you joy.
What have you learned from failure?