With failure comes regret. With experiments and experiences, come lessons and growth.

There was a time that I believed in failure and I led myself to believe that my life was full of them.

Failed relationships, dropping out of university, dropping out of one of my college education attempts, leaving jobs that paid well, to name a few. Although I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason, part of me carried around this idea that failure was still attached to these occurrences.

Fast forward to my life today and my outlook has shifted.

Here’s how I see it.

In life, there’s things we can control and other things we can’t. At times, even with the things we can control, we don’t have the capacity at that particular point in time to make the “right” choices.

No matter what, life happens.

I now look at my life as an experiment. I’m the mad scientist and every day experiments occur. Some experiments are successful, others take me back to the drawing board. In either case, experiences are happening in my life.

  1. Let life happen to me and have a victim mindset or
  2. Take an active role in my life and choose how I will react to each experience

By choosing option #2, I become the hero in my own life.

Here’s what happens when we choose to believe in failure:

  • We become victims
  • We blame others for our problems
  • Gratitude is the farthest thing from our minds
  • We don’t take responsibility for our own lives
  • We get sucked into the drama of the moment and attract people and things that line up with our beliefs

When we believe in experiences and lessons instead of failure this is what happens. We:

  • Take responsibility for our actions and our life
  • Forgive people more easily, including ourselves, for past actions
  • Can look at a situation from the outside in, rather than the inside out
  • Learn to go with the flow of life
  • Reflect, adjust our sails, and move on

Choosing to believe in experiences and lessons versus failure doesn’t take away the fact that these experiences can still be trying, emotional, and downright difficult. If I told you any differently, I’d be lying.

What it does mean, is that when we do go through these trying times and experience these “failures”, we’re better equipped to make it through the other side with a new lease on life rather than feeling defeated.

In an attempt to shift your focus away from failure, I encourage to try the following:

  • Keep a gratitude journal.
  • Surround yourself with positive people that can see the positive in a negative situation.
  • Practice forgiveness. Forgive yourself and others. No one is perfect.
  • Practice being the see-er and take a look at the situation from the outside in.

Let me leave you with a few great quotes about “failure”.

Failing forward is the ability to get back up after you’ve been knocked down, learn from your mistake, and move forward in a better direction. – John C. Maxwell

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. -Thomas Edison

How do you deal with what life throws at you? Comment below.