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Failure, The Beginning Of Success?

Failure feature image description is in the body of the post

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.

28 thoughts on “Failure, The Beginning Of Success?”

  1. Yeah, life has a way of getting in the way doesn’t it? I do like the virtual world but there are days it feels far more demanding of my time.

  2. Thanks Koko, I would like to write a book one day. The only barrier to doing it is time, there just doesn’t seem to be enough. Have a fabulous weekend!

  3. I think you should write a book. (If you haven’t already) You certainly inspire me! Thank you for posting. Have a great rest of the weekend! 🙂

  4. Thank you!! For some reason, my computer won’t load likes or even comments I had to go to my WP Admin to get this one. Thank you for coming through, reading and commenting. I really appreciate it! I hope you are doing well and I will be stopping past your blog as I’m wayyyyy overdue.

  5. What a great and heartfelt post. We all experience temporary setbacks. I don’t want to call them failure because most of us get up, dust off and we continue. Life, especially when older, is all about adjusting the sail to the wind.

  6. Thanks Albert. Yeah, I’ve wondered the same about strength especially when going through tough times because whenever I was in the midst of struggle it’s a totally different experience. Even when writing this it almost feels like these things happened to someone else. It could be that our focus is so tuned to what must be done that we just “do” without thinking. I definitely think bearing children has alot to do with it. Thank you for reading and commenting. I really appreciate it. 💖

  7. You bring up an excellent and accurate point from the scientific aspect of failure. This could be another post on its own. I love science as well but didn’t really appreciate it back when I was in school, it was “okay” but once I graduated it seemed like the light went on and all of the sudden I wanted to understand so much more related to science. Thank you for your kind comment. The rejection does sting but I know it’s only a momentary thing and it will pass. 💖

  8. You are one tough lady. I benefit a lot from reading what you wrote.

    I often wonder where inner strength comes from; e.g.., genes? faith? sheer will power? or maybe love for one’s chikdren? In that last area, women have it all over men. Maybe in the previous two also.

  9. Wow! I knew part of your story, but not all of this. You have overcome so much. If anyone calls you a failure, well, they just have no clue as to what success looks like! I think you are an amazing person and love your drive, stubbornness, and style. I think one reason I love science is that it teaches you that failures are NOT always failures. You learn from them. Just because things didn’t turn out as you expected in an experiment, it doesn’t mean you can’t learn from it. In fact, a lot of important discoveries were made by “mistakes” in the lab. So, I agree with you. You are only a failure if you don’t get up and try again. And, I don’t see you ever giving up! Sorry about your recent disappointments. I know it hurts to be rejected. You will overcome and find an even better way to reach your goals.

  10. It certainly wasn’t easy for you. I understand about having an ex trying to find someone. The exact location of shelters here is known only to trusted individuals, but they are not safe houses, per se. You did very well for yourself and your family. Blessings.

  11. Thank you so much for your kind words. I struggle with how much to share and it’s a scary thing but when I take myself out of the equation and figure it might help someone else it makes it bearable. 💖💖

  12. You’re welcome George. It seems like that part of my life was almost a dream and I know I got through it on autopilot. As it was happening I had a tough time understanding how I ended up in the situation and with my kids no less. At one point it got so hairy we had to relocate to a different shelter quite a distance away because it looked like my ex was trying to find us to do us harm. Scary times but we made it through.

  13. Your insight could not have come at a better time for me. Thank you. – Volunteering as a peer counselor I have assisted several ladies in seeking, and finding, shelter. We never considered them as having failed, only people in need of some help whilst they started anew. So you were never a failure. That you knew to persist and had the courage to do so are contrary to failure. You are the nucleus of a growing group of people, and in that you are succeeding admirably.

  14. Jacqueline, thank you for this awesome gift. I told myself if exposing how I felt would help one person it would be so worth it. You’ve made my day and yes, keep your chin up, the best is yet to come. I love you!!

  15. Steph your candid post is simply inspiring to say the least and personally spoke to me. I’ve been going through stuff lately and reading this is like a secret message to keep my chin up and fail forward.

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