Failing to Succeed…No, REALLY!

So, I had a great idea at 5:30 AM for today’s blog post. Aren’t you excited?!?!

I won’t be blogging on that topic today.

Today was the third of four straight really long days in a row for me. Then I have a kinda shorter day on Friday followed by a really early (for me) Saturday training that I seem to be the person in charge of. It’s a good thing my week is going great because the hours alone are wearing me out.

Tonight was my daughter’s last 8th grade home basketball game. They do a recognition ceremony thing with parents before the game. This one’s kind of bittersweet for me. At this point in time she says she isn’t doing any sports at all in high school. This comes after my son started high school this year and gave up cross country, basketball, and track. He’s only participating in baseball.

For the last ten years we’ve been a multi-sport family twelve months out of the year. I don’t know how to deal with my kids pulling back, and yet I have no desire to push them to do things they don’t want to do.

Sometimes change is harder than we expect. I don’t want them to regret not doing something, not trying one more time, not trying just a little bit harder…

I think as an adult I look back and see myself at that age and know that I gave up to soon. If something didn’t just come to me naturally the first time, I didn’t push, I didn’t keep at it, I just quit.

That’s not me as an adult. I can absolutely push through some stuff nowadays. I want my kids to experience that before they have to learn the hard way, but as I pointed out to a friend recently, perhaps the hard way is the only way we truly learn.

I have no problem admitting that I’ve never done things the easy way or even the right way. I had kids before I got a college education, I tried various jobs before I found a profession, I’ve fought medical bills forever because of doing things out of order, I’ll be paying on student loans after I die because of doing things out of order, I still think about trying different professions, I make detailed pro/con lists before making a decision but then go back and make sure the list swings the way I want my decision to go…the list goes on and on.

I’ve got the hard way down pat.

The life lessons I’ve learned, and I mean really learned, have come as a direct result of the hard way. The mistakes I’ve made equal growth, lessons, and a real education.

My biggest successes have happened when I’ve come through some of my greatest failures.

If fear of failure immobilizes you, success is impossible. Movement is necessary for success.

I’ve learned failure hurts. It leaves scars. It’s embarrassing, sometimes beyond belief. It seldom happens behind closed doors. Failure, unfortunately with me, seems to bear repeating a time or two before I truly learn the lesson.

I’ve also learned that failure is temporary. Failure is a stepping stone, albeit a slippery one, on the path to success. Failure is worth it. Without it, I’d never have any chance at success.

If I fail to succeed, it’s a sign I’ve never failed at anything that really mattered. I’d rather my kids risk being failures, than risk never being a success.


7 responses to this post.

  1. I've failed a lot in my life…but if you don't fail, you're not trying.

    On the other hand, I totally understand the impulse to pull back and concentrate on what matters when the going gets tough. In high school I was able to do a zillion extra-curricular activites and my studies without missing a beat. My high school was fairly low-performing and non-challenging. I didn't have to study to do well, so I did lots of other things to use my energy constructively (instead of becoming a druggie like other folks i knew).

    Once I got to college, however, it became patently obvious after my first semester's grades came in that I couldn't do all the fun stuff AND do well academically. I had to focus on what mattered, or I would have failed at what mattered.

    Not sure if this is the case with your kids, but it was my story.


  2. Great post Carrie! You're so right. One of my favourite quotes from Seth Godin, who writes a lot about failure and is also an incredible blogger, is…”the difference between failure and success is perseverance”. It reminds me you have to fail, often more than once, in order to succeed, and that you have to keep going. Good luck with NaBloPoMo
    Amy x


  3. This is a wonderful post! I needed it today. Thank you. 🙂


  4. My son is still plenty involved just in a different way. Band, choir, FFA, Key Club, etc. Giving up the sport schedules has allowed him time to try other things. I just worry that he'll regret giving up the sports and it's hard to get back in after a year or two out.


  5. Thanks for reading & commenting! It isn't how many times you get knocked down that defines you, bug how many times you get back up. I'm still counting!


  6. Thank you for reading & commenting! I appreciate it more than you know!


  7. I always need a reminder that it's om to fail. I encourage my students not the let the fear of failure keep them from trying. Those reminders are actually for me. 🙂


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