My Successful Failures
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Politics and Activism

My Successful Failures

Why your failures should be celebrated, not condemned.

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My Successful Failures
Expat of the World

In our society today, failure is considered to be a negative thing. I believe that this view should be changed.

If you think about all of the things you have done in your life, there is plenty of room for success, learning, growth and even failure. Every failure you have had has taught you something. I think that each one of us should start looking at everything we have failed at and think about what was gained from that experience, not what was lost.

The Spanx founder and CEO, and billionaire I might add, describes how this mindset led her to where she is today in this Business Insider video.

I have tried many different things throughout my life. Some have been successful and others, not so much. Here are a few things that I have failed at, but learned a great deal from.

1. Trying to be exactly like my best friend.

My best friend, who lives on a goat farm, frequently reminds me of the days when I attempted to be just like her. This means being in 4-H, showing goats at the fair and acting all country. All of which I failed at. Despite these activities not being a good fit for me, I learned many valuable things from them.

I learned that my body is not designed to do heavy lifting or intensive manual labor. I am pretty sure everyone who saw me trying to lift up "heavy" pails of water or food had a good laugh. I realized that I am not that into cowboy boots, long nights in the barn or training animals. And most importantly, I discovered that I didn't need to act like anyone but myself, because my friends will love me, despite the fact that I can't lift a 5-gallon pail of water without struggling.

2. The American Red Cross.

I was a part of the Red Cross Youth Leadership program for two years. Each year, I put together a blood drive at my church. Both blood drives failed to reach the goal of 25 successful blood donations. However, I later realized that even if I only got 20 successful blood donations, that is still potentially 60 people that could have been saved from my blood drive alone. Which I consider to completely worth it and a wonderful event to put together!

3. The arts.

Let me start with my first acting experience. I was trying out to be in "The Wizard of Oz," and all I had to do was look cute and sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Now, the first part I had down, but the second part took a little practice. After countless hours of practicing, I got on stage, all ready to sing my little 5-year-old heart out, and before I knew it, the lady playing the piano was a couple lines in and I hadn't started singing. Needless to say, I didn't get a part in that play.

I did not let that stop my acting career. I started up again in 8th grade and continued trying out for plays throughout high school. And guess what? I got into every single play that I tried out to be in after that. I'd also like to point out that I never forgot when to come in after my first audition fiasco.

If I wouldn't have gotten over that initial failure, I wouldn't have learned valuable public speaking skills, I wouldn't have learned how to believe in myself, I would not have made many great friendships and I wouldn't have met wonderful mentors that inspired me to be the person I am today.

Now, I challenge you to look back at your "failures" and think about what you gained from the experience. And always remember to celebrate your "failures," to focus on the good that came out of "failing" and that "failing" brings you closer to the the person that you are supposed be.

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