Failures are opportunities

I was talking with someone the other day and asked, "What do you think the secret is to prepare kids for the world today?" We discussed everything and how things had changed from when we were kids. There was pressure back then to be something and to find a path to purpose. However, we didn't have the pressure or anxieties present today.

After much discussion and laughter, he said, "I let my kids see me fail." I was surprised by this response and questioned further. He said, "I let my kids know that everything doesn't always go perfectly, but you have to get back out there and keep going."

My friend has been very successful in his life, and he recognizes how he got to where he is. Some of life's best lessons come in failures and how your respond to disappointments. You have to get up and get back out there! You have to look for the lesson and consider what to take away from the experience when you fail.

I used to have a boss that encouraged me to make mistakes and mess things up. I thought she was nuts, but looking back, she was so right. She said, mess up, I will fix it, but at least I will know you made an effort and took some risks. She didn't want me playing it safe and just doing what I knew. She wanted me to learn, grow and thrive, but with these tasks, there would be an occasional mistake. She wanted me to push myself to see if I was capable. She also wanted to see how I would respond when I failed. That's when you know who a person is. Shannon is still, to this day, my favorite boss.

It's hard to let our kids fail. It crushes us, and we want to fix things. We moms or mama bears tend to want to protect our kids. We measure how good we are based on how well we fix things and protect our children. Sometimes it is not a good thing.

With life come failures. We don't get relationships, job opportunities or promotions or homes, etc. Life comes with disappointments and losses, but each time one arrives, it's an opportunity to heal and get stronger.

Teaching our kids how to handle failure and showing them that disappointments are inevitable are great life lessons. After all, successful people will tell you their journey was not without ups and down. Yes, the ups feel the best, but the life lessons are found in the downs.

Colleen Harding

President of The Cleveland School of Etiquette and Corporate Protocol.   I am a member St Raphael Women's Guild, Friends of the Westside Catholic Center and The Avon Oaks Women's Golf Association.

I live in Bay Village with my husband and 3 children.   

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Volume 15, Issue 1, Posted 9:56 AM, 01.17.2023