Failure is LEARNING
Without failure, we wouldn't have growth.
Last year, I applied for a new position within my school district. I spend hours and days prepping, creating, and getting coached up for my interview and presentation. I felt confident that I would do a great job in this new role. I felt ready. I answered the questions well in the interview. I left there feeling good!
And I didn't get the job.
I was disappointed. With one phone call the dreams I had for the upcoming school year went up like a puff of smoke. But, what did I do? I grieved for a bit, but then I wished the winner well and moved on. I thought about things I could have done differently in the interview. I thought of things I could do professionally to better myself moving forward.
Failure comes in a lot of forms... job applications, tests, Monopoly, sports and even relationships. Sometimes we see failure as the end. The kick-us-when-we're-feeling-down moment. Failure isn't fun, this is true. But, it's not the end. It's the lesson.
As a culture, we need to stop this failing attitude and change our mindset and build resilience. Have your moment of disappointment and acknowledge it. Then try to move on in a positive way.
Ask yourself some questions:
What did I do well?
What can I learn from the experience? (Or my opponent?)
What steps can I take next?
My brother was playing Monopoly with my son over winter break. My son lost and was pretty annoyed. (The kid is used to beating his mother at this game.) After the defeat, my brother said to him, "You lost but you need to learn from your opponent." They played again (so many hours of Monopoly!) and the second time my son gave my brother a run for his money. (Pun intended.) He still lost, but was learning the lesson that comes with failure... growth.
With my failure and reflection, I learned some things about interviewing. For me, I also realized that I might not have been ready for this new gig at this stage in my career. I have taken a look at doing new things in my classroom that I am proud of. I'm working hard to get the Lotus Project out into the world. I would not have had time for these things with a new job. In hindsight, I'm glad for the interview experience and glad that I'm where I'm at and progressing from here.
Failure means I TRIED. I was brave and I took a chance. I'm proud of that.
PS... That job I applied for? The woman that got it is incredibly qualified and hard working. She's also doing a bang up job and I'm proud to call her friend!