Friday, June 15, 2007

What if....Failure Was Not Final?

There is no better education than one’s own failures.

There was an IBM project manager who lost the company ten million dollars. Dejectedly, he walked into the president’s office and said “I’m sorry. I’m sure you’ll want my resignation. I’ll be gone by the end of the day.”

The president’s response showed his understanding of the value of failure. He said, “Are you kidding? We’ve just invested ten million dollars in your education. We’re not about to let you go. Now get back to work!”

I’m sure you have had your moments in life where you have felt like a failure. Failures are the mistakes that teach you some of your life’s greatest lessons. The question is, will you embrace them to help build your confidence, or will you let the mistakes devastate you? You always have a choice. Whether your failure is losing a job, your marriage, or some other important matter in your life, you can use it as an opportunity to see what’s in store for your future.


1. Evaluate what went wrong. Be willing to take responsibility for your contribution. Sometimes it’s easier to point the finger at someone or something else, but resist that temptation. Taking responsibility provides you with a greater learning curve.

2. Be willing to talk to others who can provide you with an objective point of you (Those closest to you and/or your situation cannot). These people can provide you with what you need to know, not what you need to hear.

3. Talk it over with God. After you finish talking, be willing to listen and keep your eyes open to see what He wants to show you or teach you through other people or circumstances.

Live Out Loud Ladies!


Shalene said...

Lynn, Thank you so much for that post. I think so many of us need to hear this message, even when we think of ourselves as positive thinkers. Even the most postive people let failure get them down sometimes, in addition to letting perfectionism pervade our lives. Blessings---

lifecoachlynn said...

Thanks Shalene-
One of the things I have learned in the last 2 weeks is what we define as 'failure' God sees as a success to teach us valuable lessons to apply in our lives. Failure doesn't seem to be in God's vocabulary!

Anne said...

Lynn, I've always loved the quote by Thomas Alva Edison: "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." Other people's attitude sometimes inspires me, as I'm not one of those people who naturally bounces back from a perceived failure. Talking it over with God, though - that's what helps me the most!

Lori Arriaga said...

Great post Lynn. So true! Failure is never final and can always teach us so much if we allow it to.

Randee said...


Not a very popular word, is it?

Yet, I find myself pondering the fact that we can, indeed, "pass the test" in our failures. It seems like the ultimate paradox but I am becoming more and more aware that God definitely defines success differently than I do. And...if He defines success so differently then perhaps He defines failure differently, too.

We can still choose to glorify God in ANY failure. In doing so, perhaps we succeed!