Separating yourself from failure.

Off the top of my head, I can think of three failures that still sting to this day:

I was 10 years old. I told my friends I was going to try out for the 5th grade basketball team. They laughed and said they didn’t think it was a good idea. I cried when they laughed but still tried out anyways. I didn’t make the team. 

I was 15 years old. I made a girl that I liked a bracelet. She took it and then told the entire high school cheerleading squad how pathetic it was for a teenage boy to do something so childish. She didn’t like me back. 

I was 22 years old. I was just starting out my career as a copywriter. The client that was paying me 90% of my monthly income called me up out of the blue and fired me. I considered not ever writing copy again. 

These aren’t meant to be sob stories. We all have stories like these. Many of us have stories worse than these. They consist of small failures that hit us like a colt 45. And, while they never destroy us, they leave behind tiny bits of scar tissue. 

The reason failure scars us? Because we take it so personally. 

The hardest part about failure isn’t experiencing the failure but rather letting go of the failure after it happens. 

Recently, I started reading Zig Ziglar because he was the mentor to one of my favorite people in the world Seth Godin. Mr. Ziglar once quoted something on this subject of failure that everyone should read. 

“Failing is an event, not a person. Yesterday ended last night.”

In other words, failure isn’t a person but rather an event that a person experiences. And, like milk, events have expiration dates. 

It is our decision whether or not we want to drink the milk when we wake up in the morning. I think I am going to start drinking the orange juice instead. 

By Cole Schafer. 


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