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Failing When It Matters

In my life I have failed more times I can count.

I’ve given up when it got too hard to keep going, or when someone told me I wasn’t good enough.

I’ll give you the example of how I tried out for high school cheerleading (twice) and wasn’t selected for the squad (twice). Not shocking, to say the least. I wouldn’t call myself the loudest or most coordinated. But that was over 15 years ago, and I was only doing it to hang out with my friends at football games. It didn’t move me. Not in a way that truly made me happy.

Another example would be the time I applied to over two dozen magazine internship positions in college. I double majored in Art/Design and Advertising, and as a junior in college I was looking for a summer internship in New York City because I wanted to be in the art department of some big magazine publishing company or ad agency. I didn’t even care if it was an unpaid position. I just wanted some adventure because at the time it seemed like my life wasn’t on track for the plans of success I had dreamed up.

Go big or go home was my 20 year old mantra.

But guess what – it didn’t happen for me. I received rejection letter after rejection letter.

And you know what I did that summer?

Instead of moving to New York, I stayed in my college town apartment working three different jobs for the university. And after being friends and neighbors for a year, my husband and I started dating. Of course, it happened just as school was ending and he left town for a summer job back home. But isn’t that the way it goes?

The best life has to offer doesn’t come easy.

So yeah, maybe you have a goal or a dream that you’re pursuing. And maybe you’ll knock it out of the park and surpass your goal, maybe you’ll get that job or promotion you’ve been working toward.

But what if you don’t?

Have you ever considered that we fail (sometimes in big, ugly ways) in order to succeed in others? Without those crushing moments of defeat, we likely wouldn’t open our eyes to alternatives that bring us so much JOY.

Sometimes we HAVE to fail, because it matters.

It matters much more than we can ever understand.

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