Failure IS an Option

Failure IS an Option

Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement.
One fails forward toward success. C. S. Lewis

For as long I can recall, I have been taught that failure is not an option. Persistence, hard work, calculated risks and a little luck is the recipe for success. Planning, careful budgeting and passion are the flavor enhancing ingredients. I could not possibly fail, or could I? I mean for heavens sake, God gave me the gift of tenacity! starting block

There are many different views on what failure looks like.

Maybe to you it is losing a job you worked so hard for, the end of a marriage to someone that was once your best friend, closing the doors on your dream business, or maybe even a ’D’ on a term paper or report card. Whatever your vantage point on failure – it sucks – right? That is what I used to think, but not anymore.

As children when we would learn new skills like walking, riding a bike or writing our letters, would we call our skinned knees or eraser marked papers a failure? How could we learn if we did not practice and experience techniques that did not produce the results we desired?

Why are we so afraid of failure?

Is it the possibility of judgment from our peers? Or maybe the perception that we will disappoint our teachers and mentors? Do you find yourself mentally saying “what would they say if they found out about this? Do you hold yourself to higher expectations than others? I know I found myself saying it was OK that he got it wrong, but I should always get it right.

Anyone who knows me well, clearly understands just how imperfect I am.

You can ask my parents or husband and they will gladly share a story or two. I am here to tell you that I HAVE FAILED, again and again. I have failed in every aspect of my life; financial, relationships, parenting, business, academics, you name it and I HAVE FAILED. Some failures have been repeated many times; auto accidents, spending money and relationships to name a few. For me, failure is now an option I am becoming more and more comfortable with.

You see, by allowing myself to fail; I am allowing myself to grow.

If you are not screwing something up, you are not learning. Some days I feel like I am enrolled in the graduate level program – yikes!


My failures have built the stairway that leads to a better tomorrow.

Each failure is a teaching moment that can be built upon and move me forward.   This is how we learn and explore what our gift to the world is.

I am calling us all out – Hold each other accountable – Dare to Fail

Embrace the opportunity to fail, big or small. Take a chance and if it does not produce the results you were looking for; evaluate, learn, make adjustments and dare to fail again. If you leave this world with your gift unwrapped; what purpose does the gift really serve? Undo the ribbon and rip open that wrapper – let your light shine.

Failure to fail is the only true failure.

Blessings for all the best,

– Beth

  • Kathleen
    Posted at 08:00h, 20 December Reply

    Well said, my friend. To me failure means growth and I grow daily 🙂
    Blessings to all!

  • jennbuckwalterjbuckwaltersfinc3
    Posted at 13:00h, 27 December Reply

    Thank you so much for pointing this out Beth and Kathleen. I should be the wisest person ever I think, but this I need to work on. Then perhaps the wisdom will come. I do hold others to a more realistic standard than myself, I know this. Thank you for the reminder!

    • Beth Whitman
      Posted at 13:59h, 27 December Reply

      Thank you for sharing Jen. We are all here to learn, grow and experience love.

  • Sophie
    Posted at 14:05h, 19 June Reply

    Sometimes I think what we perceive as failure isn’t failure at all, it’s that something we think we want doesn’t really “fit” for us or circumstances change making that part of our life that was finely tuned suddenly become discordant. Most people would not describe these things as failures, but some would thinking that if they just keep working at it that square peg that they beautifully are, will fit in the round hole if they just keep working at it. We need to allow ourselves to know that while the world may be our oyster, some of us are in fact allergic to oysters and are better off being an even more unique gem!

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