We’ve all been there – we’re psyched, our adrenaline pumped, eyes peeled on the board, and we roll the dice. More often that not, our hand is a bust, we end up losing, and have to witness someone else take their victory lap.

Losing sucks. It’s even worse when we fail after putting in a ton of effort, skill and passion. So why do we dust off, pick up, and keep going? Because, simply put –  to fail is to succeed.

I recently wrote an article I thought was a slam dunk to be featured in a certain magazine. I spent days fine tuning and obsessing over it, knowing it was one of my better pieces. I even gave the “yes!” fist pump after my final edit and click of the send key. I felt a natural high – knowing I gave my best, and marinated in the sense of pride I felt in believing I kicked some personal-best ass.

Minutes turned in to hours, which became days. After the shock and disbelief sunk in, I succumbed to the realization this publication wasn’t going to happen. After all that work, and pre-celebratory dancing around my lap top, all I had to show for it was an empty in-box, filled with nothing.

But was it all for nothing? Does not winning take away from the experience of just the fact that we’re in the game?

Taking what we can from every experience is sometimes easy to overlook. It’s so important to remember that no matter how many times we forget the steps, miss a beat, or step on our own toes – the plain fact is – we’re still out there dancing.

I heard a familiar quote today, that had me sharing one of  my favorite inspirational videos. With over two million views, there’s a chance you’ve already seen it. But it’s worth another look just to remind us all to stay in the game.

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“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed” – Michael Jordon

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Here’s the part where you tell me – how do you handle failure?

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18 comments

  1. Life seldom works out the way it’s supposed to. I’m of the opinion that we learn as much, if not more, when we fail at things in our lives.

    The important thing is to not quit. We never truly lose until we quit.

    ~shoes~

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  2. Well, I pout for the first day. Then I get up and dust myself off. My dad tells me “You always seem to look for another path after u have failed. U back up and take the other road that was offered to u.” Most of the time, the failure (job, relationship, whatever) turns out that it would not have been the best for me. Yes. God does know what is best for us. And sometimes, he does not let us have what we want because it will not be good for us. After I’ve had time to deal with the failure I realize that it was not what have made my life happiest. Recently, I did not get chosen for a job that would have increased my salary by twice the amount. However, it would have brought a lot of stress into my life. As well, as I let go of a relationship, and now looking at it that particular man would not have been the best choice for me. I am continuously trying to read ur blog and catch up on ur life. U definitely would be someone I would label as a success. U have or are trying to overcome what u perceive to be ur failures. Ur story is definitely going to help a lot of people especially women. I look forward to reading the progress in all areas of ur life.

    Stormy Dawn :0)

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  3. Ignorant editors 🙂 I’m sure it was brilliant! I think I handle losing well, most of the time. If I had to say one thing I have to work in is making excuses after the fact. “but she doesn’t have four kids.” “if I had gotten a better night sleep.” “if I came from that family…” it really isn’t productive so I have to stop myself and remind ME that there are plenty of people that have more excuses that succeeded, so get over it! And I do 🙂

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  4. Because so many times in my life I have failed at something I thought was a sure thing, I’ve learned not to focus on the winning, but to savor the getting there. A win is sweet, but to focus on just the win, takes the meat out of the experience. Now I try to savor the process that creates, and if something comes of it, that is just added sweetness. If not, well, I still have satisfaction. It’s a good place in life to be.

    PS…hang onto that article and save that fist pump…it may be that it is intended for a better place down the line. Serendipity can happen when you least expect it.

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  5. Isn’t it interesting when we watch infants and toddlers struggle to accomplish the simplest of tasks basing our judgement from a perspective which lost its perfect connection to the struggle soon after it began accomplishing, by degrees, what it was seeking to accomplish ? Failure cannot exist except in the perspective of an observer….and the ‘accomplice’ lies in the observer because without the accepted opinion that failure exists……there can be no failing. Its like saying there is no such thing as ‘trying’ because while whatever you do may yet be done better….you are still DOING it.

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  6. What RedShoes51 said. We never lose till we quit. I am a die-hard, and sometimes someone has to give up on me before I would ever give up on them (case in point, my most recent heartbreak). It’s even more important not to give up on yourself, and sometimes some form of that happens without you realizing it. LOVE that video.

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