Quote: ‘Failure stretches your edges. Excellence takes you deep within a narrow pool, but failure grows your breadth.’ - Jennifer Boykin, 'Life After Tampons'.
I ended last week feeling just like this – stop the world, I want to get off! Oh, to go back to childhood and worry about nothing more than whether to crayon the sky blue or green…
Of course, that’s a myth. Personally, I think we’re not intended to come out of childhood unscathed. After all, what growth would there be in that? How would that fit us for being adults?
Still and all, last week was a bummer from start to finish. Began with news that a project I was keen on might be permanently stalled, went on to drag in some totally unrelated but very vexatious issues, and ended with two projects still in limbo.
So I spent the weekend vacillating about when it was time to simply let something go, something that’s not working and looks like it is getting worse, rather than better. And wow, did that encourage that nasty feeling of failure to creep in.
Now, as a writer I know that perhaps the number one success requirement – after talent, that is – is persistence. Keeping on going when it looks like all is lost. Hanging on by the fingernails to your belief that this really can work. But also, there is a moment in time when you choose between giving up and going on. Ever heard that old saying: It’s always darkest before the dawn? Well, gee, I’m sure we’ve all seen those dark moments, and sometimes chosen to give up right before the moment when dawn’s light was beginning to brighten our horizons.
We’ve been taught that failure is a bad thing, something that indicates weakness and a whole range of moral deficiencies. I’ve never really subscribed to that theory, because I know that sometimes things happen that are outside our control.
But the idea of failure leading to success? That’s a hard one to take in. I’m happy to say I found some comforting advice on a blog I read often, called Life After Tampons. Jennifer Boykin, who owns the blog, is a sweet and sassy woman who mentors others with kindness and wisdom.
In her blog, A Word About Failure, she made this statement that really spoke to me: ‘Failure stretches your edges. Excellence takes you deep within a narrow pool, but failure grows your breadth.’
Failure, she says, brings wisdom, and perhaps it is possible that wisdom can’t arrive without failure.
I thought about this a lot. Wisdom is vital in understanding yourself and what you’re trying to achieve. And with that understanding, such wisdom can light the path to success.
In other words, screw up enough times and, if you learn from those screw-ups, success could just be within your grasp. Interesting take on it all, isn’t it?
Thanks, Jenn – I needed that.
Do call over and visit Life After Tampons. Even if you’re not a woman ‘of a certain age’ you’ll still value the sass and sense you’ll find there!