Failure is not final. Or rather there are only two ways in which failure is final.
Choosing never to try again and being dead.
Failure is a temporary condition in a moment in time. Failure does not mean that time has ceased to move and there is no point forward after.
There is always a point forward after failure if we choose to try again and if we still breathe.
Think of a time when you believed you failed at something. Did you breathe in the next moment after that? Did you continue to move forward and live the next day and the day after? Even though you believed you failed, life kept moving, you kept moving. No failure is final.
Many people give up after they fail. They believe that they will not be successful and therefore they refuse to try again. The fear of repeated failure keeps them from making another attempt.
People can also be influenced by how other people react to their failures. If someone who has traumatized us uses our failures against us, we can internalize these reactions and compound our fear of trying again.
If part of our trauma response is to believe that we cannot do anything right, then we will feel as if failure is our only outcome. We have then lost sight of the one component that can empower us to try again – hope.
Many times if we internalize our failures and increase their negative effect we can block out our actual successes. Increasing the power of our failures and the fear surrounding them makes it almost impossible to see the things we have done well or that we are good at.
If the lie we have chosen to believe is that we cannot do anything right, it will be the first thing presented by our brains whenever we try something. It will become like an automatic alarm bell going off in our heads when we think about trying again.
As long as we are alive and breathing there is another chance to try again. Failure does not stop us and it does not stop time. Only we can stop trying.
When I think of failure and trying again I am often reminded of one of my favorite movies and movie lines. In Gone With The Wind, Scarlett O’Hara having been beset by multiple trials and tribulations is all but ready to give up completely. In that moment, she gathers her strength (or resilience as the case may be) and says, “After all, tomorrow is another day.”
Tomorrow is another day. In 60 seconds there is another minute. In one inhale and exhale there is another breath.
As long as we live, there is another opportunity to try again and again and again if necessary.
Failure is not final unless we allow it to be.