When you take a risk, by definition, there’s a chance you will fail. From trying to train for a marathon to asking someone on a date to making a phone call. There are going to be times when it doesn’t go your way.
People understand that. There’s plenty of warning from friends, family, and gurus that you should brace yourself for it.
But what is less often discussed is that failure comes in two flavors:
- Failure that is excusable. (Could happen to anyone.)
- Failure that is inexcusable. (You really goofed.)
The first kind of failure is those that people will sympathize with and forgive you for. It’s something that’s totally out of your control or the kind of mistake that could have happened to anyone.
But the second kind of failure never has a good excuse. You simply didn’t do what you should have done, and there are consequences. There’s little sympathy to be found when you screw up absolutely.
Expect to encounter both on your way to ultimate success.
You won’t win them all. That’s part of life. But beyond that, if you’re trying to do something big, your habits, your personality, your work ethic, your temper–some part of who you are will cause trouble for you or for others.
When you’re fundamentally at fault, it can be painful to face up to it and change that part of who you are. But if you can tell the difference between the two flavors, you stand a better chance of avoiding burnout and solving problems, and you will grow as a person as well.
Image by B. K. Dewey.