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Does a Fail Mean I'm a Failure?

Monday, May 13, 2024

Primary Blog/Does a Fail Mean I'm a Failure?

We all know what it's like to fail, right?

I mean, every day we experience failure on some level because it's impossible to be perfect. We forget to use our blinker. We drop something. We pick our child up late from school. We leave dinner in the oven too long.

And yet, we hate even saying the word "failure." It connotes disgust and leaves us feeling like losers. In fact, most of us avoid it ferociously.


I was talking to a client recently who started listing his many recent failures. I asked him if these so-called failures meant he was a failure. At first he wanted to answer affirmatively, but he paused. He wasn't sure how to respond.

He had been creating a story within his mind that some of his actions and inactions were fails. And those fails meant he was a failure. And because he was a failure there was little hope for him or his future. What a terrible story!

When I began questioning him about the value of failing, things changed. Can there be success without failure? Does a failed attempt at something mean a person is a failure? What even constitutes failure? What if the word failed was changed to learning opportunity? What if we knew that after 200 fails, incredible success would occur--wouldn't we get busy failing?

I have had times as a mother when I felt like a failure. During those times I created a story in my mind that my actions and/or lack of action in some way meant I was falling short. The story grew so large as my brain kept finding small pieces of evidence it was true that I was sure I had to be one of the worst moms ever. I look back now and realize how silly and wrong I was!

A fail does not mean I'm a failure. A fail means I am learning. It means I am trying. It means I am in the trenches where I have the opportunity to win. And some days I do win. But the days I don't aren't evidence I'm a failure. They are just evidence I'm still learning.

Failure is a vital part of growth and success. Failure is inevitable. Failure is proof we are trying. So, if you've failed lately, way to go!

And if you feel you are failing too often and too much, give yourself grace and keep trying.

​You got this!

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Hi, I'm
Lori Conger

Certified Life Coach at
You Got This

Ever wish you were the perfect mom? What does that even mean to you? And what if you are "perfect" already because you are you. And motherhood is messy and crazy, right?

​As a mother of five, I know all about messy! I also know how to find the perfect in it all so I can thrive and be who I want to be.