Perhaps failure is a gift. Perhaps it’s the muse, as Hugh MacLeod suggests. Perhaps it isn’t the terrible thing it sometimes is made to be.
Failure often is viewed as a negative, but I think it might be better to see it as a positive. If I fail at something, it means I’ve tried. I may feel awful about that failure, and, as a perfectionist, I know I will, but I at least tried. I didn’t let my fears of failure keep me from making the attempt.
Once I’ve made that attempt and failed, I can try again. Maybe I won’t try again with that certain project or activity, but I might be less afraid to try another activity or to start a new project. The failure might give me a better sense of direction, as it did this past November. Yes, interacting with that failure was awful, but it eventually revealed what I truly wanted to do and caused me to pursue a different avenue.
Failure, then, can result in one of two responses. The first is stasis. I am so afraid of failing again that I refuse to try anything new. The second is momentum. The failure causes me to investigate new pathways. It inspires me to seek different answers. It becomes my muse.