Day 3/4 of the “30 Days 30 Layers” Challenge: Failure & Success

For anyone who doesn’t know what the 30Days30Layers Challenge is, it’s a writing process created and coined by GG Rene who I’ve mentioned before. For anyone looking for a way to reconnect with yourself in order to reconnect with your writing, this one’s a winner. And to show you just how winning it is, I’m going to give an excerpt from my journal – specifically the Day 3 prompt on failure. The challenge is not going to be a regular subject but occasionally I might post excerpts and updates about my progress!

“Failure is: 1) When you don’t achieve what you set out to do, 2) the process necessary to achieve success. I like the second definition because the first one is too one dimensional and doesn’t provide nearly any hope next to the second one. The second definition gets more at how life doesn’t stop after “failure”. It’s just one step in the cycle of achievement, right before the growth…

It took me a long time to realize that failure isn’t the moment things stop coming easily to you, when you can’t depend on all your hard work to get you the results you and others expected. And it’s definitely not the same thing as when you don’t achieve the goals that OTHERS have for you. One of the biggest examples of failing is failure to launch, not doing anything at all. But failing in the middle of something or failing after following through is a lot more noble and at least puts you in a different position then you were in before.

I’ve always been someone who cared a lot about failure so for me the scariest thing about failure is the publicity of it. It’s not really scary to be wrong, only scary to lose credibility because you’re wrong and possibly becoming irrelevant… I think sometimes I avoid that possibility by keeping my thoughts to myself…

Most recently I risked my credibility as a “mature person” to my family by moving to a place where I knew only one person and had few connections. Because of how close I am to my family and how I was raised, it was a very big deal. I think now that I’ve worked my way through that risk though I’m starting to take more risks as far as showing more of my personality and beliefs… being more accountable for where I stand on issues in life. It’s scary because you never know who’s going to try and use those things against you or when they’ll pop back up but I think that’s part of growing up and being an adult. You have to not only be accountable but try and remain as flexible as you were when you were young so that you’re able to grow from your interactions with others.”

On the other side of that coin . . .

“Success is both achieving the end goal and doing it in a way that makes you happy and proud of it. When I think of success, I think of pride. As long as you get joy and primarily fulfillment out of it, then success is tied to that.

The scariest thing to me about success is, again, the publicity of it all. Other people come into your circle and tell you that you can’t hold onto the joy and pride you feel over an achievement from “too” long ago. [They put time stamps on it’s relativity] and try to say that it no longer qualifies as a source of fulfillment. The scariest thing about success is how it seems so fleeting.

Courage and success go hand in hand just like courage and failure. It’s hard to have one without the other – success and failure. They’re both risks at the end of the day – 2 sides of the same coin. You’re going to land in one of them so you need courage to be able to jump blindly and know that you’re going to come out the other side okay either way.”

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