30 Days Of Thanksgiving: Thankful For Failure

Like many of you, I'm participating in the "30 Days of Thanksgiving" project; listing what I'm thankful for everyday on my Twitter account.  When I was thinking about today's 30 Days post, it occurred to me that I neglected to be thankful for the gift of failure.

Yes, failure.

Family turmoil coupled with being laid off from my corporate job of nine years has thrown me into a personal and financial tailspin from which I have yet to recover.

Some of the stories I've chosen to share on this blog, others not so much.

But make no mistake all of it has sucked.

When I pondered how I got here---how it all went so horribly wrong---it occurred to me that despite the facts I've received some bad breaks, I am the architect of my life.  If things are a mess it's due to actions or inactions of my own doing.

My self loathing was high and my self esteem plummeted.

When you sit and think about the sum total of your life when you're barely holding on to your home, it's easy and frankly necessary to dissect what you did wrong.

Then it hit me.  Failure is not a bad thing.

Of course it's not the optimal title one wants dogging them through life, few people like failure or to be thought of as one.  But I'm thankful nonetheless.

I'm thankful that I've made mistakes.  Huge mistakes.

But I'm also thankful that those mistakes so far haven't been life altering.

I'm thankful for introspection that leads me to improve my life and my situation.

I'm thankful for so many good friends to help me with my self improvement.

Am I simply a round peg trying to fit myself in a square hole career wise?  Am I meant to do something else?  Am I too hard headed or obtuse to understand the path I should take?  I honestly don't know.

I'm trying to figure that out.

As this year rapidly comes to a close and I think about everything that's happened---from being laid off to my unsuccessful job interviews---I have a profound sense of gratitude.

Because if these past six years are the worst of my life, than I am truly blessed.

That doesn't mean I'm not scared that my unemployment is ending soon.

That doesn't mean that I'm not freaked out about all of my retirement being gone.

That doesn't mean that I'm not anxious about my future.  I'm a planner by nature, leaving things to chance makes me very uncomfortable.

It does mean I'm learning from my mistakes, missteps and miscues.

It does mean that I can give the best advice in how not to get yourself into a pickle.

It does mean that I know that I can survive setbacks.  Because in the scheme of things, what I've gone through doesn't even rank on the worst of tragedies a person can experience.

I know how to put things into perspective.

And it's because of perspective, I'm embracing my failure; using it as a learning opportunity.

I don't know what the future holds, but I do know that the fear of failure won't be a deterrent.







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  • I'm thankful to know you, Woodlawn Wonder, and to learn from your strength and wisdom. Thanks for reminding me that failure is a detour and not a dead end. "I am the architect of my life." Beautiful.

  • So well said. I agree with Wendy - "I am the architect of my life". Love that.

  • I third what Wendy and Teppi said! That's why I've never failed. Kidding. I've failed A LOT. And it has made me a worse person at times, but a better person in the long run. And my unemployment ran out too. Nothing worse than when you call for the extension and they say you have no more. Ugggh. But then you pick yourself up by your bootstraps and you are an even better person than you were the day before.

  • Maybe you should get some advice from your previous co-workers? Could be eye opening. Good Luck!

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