Failure can illuminate new paths

I no longer believe that failure is bad or serves as a determinant in the way our life will unfold. That’s not to say it can’t initially feel confusing or disheartening. Here’s the logic behind my view.  

Failure can lead us to paths never before explored. The important thing to remember is that it’s up to you to illuminate the path.

Failed treatment for the chronic illness you live with? Don’t take it solely as a negative; take it as an “Okay, we need to go in a different direction. I’m going to move forward.” 

Talk to your doctor about who they would recommend for further enhanced treatment for the condition, call your medical group’s help line and ask them to search within parameters that are important to you (distance, specialty, insurance / Medicare eligibility, language), or join online groups and seek advice from peers living with the same condition.

Whether immediately apparent to the naked eye or it requires uncovering, we each have options we can tap into. It just takes a little effort. 

It’s so crucial at this point – at the failure stage – to look at all your options, make smart decisions, and move forward in a new and hopeful direction. And with certainty I’ll say that embracing a positive mindset can lead to greater achievement in your health and your personal relationships. 

Winston Churchill’s wise words: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

I failed a few medications prior to finding out about Botox for migraine.  My mindset only got stronger. Instead of letting failure deflate my purpose, it nourished me more. My determination didn’t waver.

Now that I’m on the other side – of successful Botox for migraine treatments – my determination is still just as strong. This determination is also present in the guidance and support I provide to loved ones. 

In regards to teens, if they failed a math or science class in high school, it doesn’t mean they should give up on school. It should be a sign that they need to discover the best path to follow. That’s when it’s important in life to sit down together with an academic counselor, have them take some particular tests, and better understand the teen’s learning style. Tutors are usually available to help a student conquer classroom struggles, but also we each have different gifts. Helping a teen discover their strengths can make for a very pleasurable educational experience.

In the end, perhaps a financial advisor career is out of the picture, but maybe their love for history and reading leads them to teaching. Social butterflies sometimes become very strong marketing or sales specialists; while those with a keen gift for listening and making people feel better could have a career ahead in counseling.   

As a kid something I deemed a failure was misspelling the final word in a spelling bee. It bothered me for quite some time. I knew how to spell the word and instead relied on sounding it out, overthinking it, and losing the spelling bee.

But, as you can tell, that spelling bee failure didn’t hold me back from starting The Honest Migraine and writing my little heart out! Spelling and punctuation are mainstays in my blog practice.   

There is always a new route. I’ve heard many individuals share an experience where they were told “Oh, you’d never be able to do that job” or “You’ll never make it doing that,” or “You better do something not as challenging.”

I’m sorry, but it’s not that black and white. Never is and never will be. Each career field has a plethora of roles. Without all the facts and known abilities within yourself (which you know best) – no one should be allowed to diminish your feelings, wishes, and goals.

Determination and mindset play pivotal roles in achieving goals and reaching dreams that you have. 

Over the course of my post-college life I’ve had a series of mixed messages from people that I’ve sought guidance from, worked for, and met through networking. If I had let all of it influence me, I wouldn’t be who and where I am today.

I wouldn’t be as content and feeling that “I’m on the right path – that is, the right path for me.” I’m wholly aligned and never felt better medically, professionally, personally, and emotionally. And I’m determined to continue through life that way.  

It’s hard though when it comes to failure. Outside influence and social norms and perspectives on failure can be heavy. They can weigh us down.

We all have strengths and we all have weaknesses. If you meet me in person, you’d know I’m a positive, see the bright side of things type of person. I am also wholly aware that we all have experienced the good, the bad, and the neutral. 

I hope that the next time you or someone you know experiences failure that you think about approaching it from the other side. What lesson do you want failure to teach you?

I’m a big believer in asking children at the dinner table about the best part of their day and a struggle they had during the day. Both are important to talk through. Celebrating victories and letting them express the tough patches and opening the door for conversations of both is a great gift to the next generation. 

As Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Coming next: All natural – the misleading label