FAILURE. Failure is haunting. Failure can have control over us. Failure, when not addressed, has the power to own us.
Now it’s absolutely necessary for us to own and name and claim and make amends for our failures and mistakes and sins and wrongs where others are concerned. But to stop there is tragic. IT ISN’T JUST A FAILURE, a mistake, a sin, a wrong… IT’S ALSO AN OPPORTUNITY to grow, expand, evolve, learn. This is called the art of failure. What every artist must learn is that EVEN THE FAILED PIECES ARE ESSENTIAL. pp.110-113
During the 2009 World Series, Mark Teixeira of the Yankees talked about dealing with failure. Through game five of the Series, Teixeira was hitting 2 for 19.
“When you’re in a rhythm during the season, you’re going to fail seven out of 10 times,” said Teixeira. “When you’re not in a rhythm, you’re going to fail a lot more.”
The reality of it is as athletes, and as humans, we are going to fail. It is inevitable. What defines us is NOT how we fail, it’s how we manage our failure, and how we move on from failure.
Sunday Jay Feely, kicker for the Arizona Cardinals kicked a career high 61 yard field goal to tie the ball game at 16 against the Buffalo Bills, with a minute left on the clock. Something extremely interesting happened. They got the ball back from Buffalo and had the opportunity to win the ball game with a few seconds left on the clock. Coming off such a confidence builder in the 61 yard field goal, Jay Feely had the chance to be the games hero by kicking a 38 yard field goal. What do you think happened? Well… HE MISSED. That forced the game to go into overtime in which Buffalo eventually won. Jay Feely is not a failure. What he is faced with now is an opportunity to move on, to grow, to expand, to evolve, and to learn. The outcome has yet to be seen, but he has a choice. In his book Failing Forward, John Maxwell says, ”One of the greatest problems people have with failure is that they are too quick to judge isolated situations in their lives and label them as failures. Instead, they need to keep the bigger picture in mind.” Jay Feely must realize that losing Sunday is just one out of sixteen games this season. He has to keep the bigger picture in mind.
Have you failed recently? A failure is an event, never a person. Don’t let your failure define you. Most importantly, FAILURE IS AN OPPORTUNITY. How will you choose to move on from a failure? I have a proposal for you… FAIL FORWARD!