Failure, The Beginning Of Success?
“Failure is an event. It’s not a person. Yesterday really did end last night and you don’t fail by losing; you fail by quitting.” ~Zig Ziglar
Misplaced Emphasis On Failure
The other day I was down in the dumps because I felt like a massive failure. This, as I was eating one of my favorite snacks and I initially told myself I’d stop at one. Well after a few minutes and an empty box later I thought we need to think differently about failure. I failed forward or upward depending on how you look at it.
As a matter of fact, thinking I failed magnificently dampened the guilt of my infraction. When I turned my thinking around I didn’t feel as bad and was able to laugh about my greediness. Now I’m not advocating gluttony or unhealthy habits because I believe balance is important.
The point I’m trying to make here is a failure is disappointing but I believe it’s part of a greater process towards reaching our goals. As bad as it is to feel the blow of defeat, experience has shown me we can rise after a loss.
Your Definition Of Success May Look Different
Success is not the same for everyone. Don’t fall into the trap of believing success is only about money, goals, and notoriety.
If I believed all the people who trampled on my dreams throughout my life I would have curled up in a ball and died. Thankfully, stubbornness and a need to prove to myself that I can do more and be more than the naysayers said kept me going.
The road has not been smooth sailing. I’ve taken so many detours and have frequently gotten lost, it’s amazing to me that I’m still here. My life has not been easy. From a dysfunctional childhood to chaotic young adulthood, single parenthood, dysfunctional relationships and even homelessness—I’m. Still. Here.
So when someone tells me I’m not succeeding, I listen to what they say and then I do what I do—survive then thrive.
You see, unless you’ve walked in my shoes you can’t possibly understand what keeps me going. When my kids and I were in a women’s shelter it didn’t hit me that I was homeless until I needed to seek assistance. Looking back it’s kind of funny because we lost everything and had to rely on the kindness of strangers. Out of clothing given to us, a black blazer became my superhero cape.
With that blazer and a few other essentials, I presented myself like the polished professional I’d become. So when I had to apply for benefits to keep my family afloat, and I had to give a home address this is when I knew I was homeless.
I May Not See But My Focus Has Not Changed
After everything, I experienced in my life when I began losing my sight, I surely thought this was the thing that would take me down. I was a blubbering mess in the early days and truth be told still have my days but they are more manageable.
Bold Blind Beauty was born out of the need for change. To improve humanity we must change the way we perceive one another was and is my focus. Empowering blind and visually impaired people while connecting sighted and non-sighted communities continue to drive me.
A couple of months ago I shared with you my excitement of entering a competition that could potentially help fund Bold Blind Beauty. What I didn’t share was immediately after submission I knew I made a huge mistake and I wanted so badly to pull out but I didn’t.
Last week I found out I wasn’t in the running. I was sad and as bad as I felt I’ve taken this as a learning experience that will help me to grow. In addition to receiving this news, I also was disappointed to learn I was rejected from another great opportunity.
Are these failures? Most definitely. Am I hurting? Sure. Will I keep going? Yes! I have to.
My life isn’t an accident and while I will continue to fail, I am not a failure. I’m a dreamer and a believer in things greater than me. Stay tuned, the best is yet to come and I’m so excited I could burst!! ~Steph
Featured Image Description:
As has become our custom every holiday, my brother and I spent Memorial Day 2018 visiting with our mother at the nursing home. This photo was taken by my brother outside of the facility.
I’m wearing white skinny jeans, gray tank and a gray hoodie with light mauve fringed slides. Of course, I’m holding my trusty and ever-present white cane in my right hand and straw handbag in my left.