In his book, “Make Your Bed”, Admiral William McRaven writes about his fifth lesson of life. In this lesson, Admiral McRaven reports that failure can only make you stronger. He goes on to write that failures can be devastating. “But, if you preserve, if you let those failures teach you and strengthen you, then you will be prepared to handle life’s toughest moments.” He goes on to write that “no one is immune from mistakes. True leaders must learn from their failures, use the lessons to motivate themselves, and not be afraid to try again or make the next tough decision.”
This sounds great but what about those people who feel constantly beaten down by failures? For them, failure saps their energy and makes them feel anything but stronger. Failure for them merely reinforces what they already think about themselves.
In order to irk out strength from the bowels of failure, you must have at least a tentative idea of what you want to accomplish. Because of past failures, this can be easier said than done. However, you’ll have to dig down deep inside yourself and muster whatever it takes to move you forward. As hard as it may be, you need to find something good that can come out of the failure you are experiencing. You must resist the temptation to wallow in the despairing feeling of failure and fan the flame of hope, no matter if even it starts out as a flicker. By persevering in this direction, you will become stronger regardless of the failure you are faced with.
Any questions, concerns or suggestions can be directed to me, Ray Shocki PhD, LCSW, LMFT at firstname.lastname@example.org.