thoughts on failure

Here's the thing. No one likes to fail.

And I really don't like to fail.

I'm sure it's a product of my type-A, first-child syndrome. It's also due to to the fact that I am prone to giving up too easy when I feel like I'm not great at something.

Quick story: In first grade, we began doing math. One day, we were learning about money and we had cardboard punch-out dimes, nickels and pennies. I hated these serrated little discs because I did not know how to make 85 cents with just dimes and nickels or how to make 50 cents and then give change in just dimes.

I decided then and there that I hated math.

My reason was simple: I was a failure at it. Time to give up. Unforunately, to this day, I still carry the weight of that decision I made over 20 years ago. I struggle with doing any sort of accounting for my little shop simply because I have told myself that I am a failure at math and therefore, I should just give up. Let those receipts pile up until tax season when I'm forced to do something.

It's not just math. Lately I feel like a failure. Work has been hard and to be honest, I have no idea what I'm doing. I am tempted to check out and cash out as if I'm six again -- to put my head on the desk and declare myself done.

I tell others to forge through on challenges but when it comes to my own life, I'm pretty terrible at following my own advice. But aren't we all bad at following through with what we tell others?

If you were struggling right now, I would tell you: chin up. It's hard -- it feels like fire, it feels like an uphill battle wearing lead shoes and carrying a slippery load you cannot grip. But, I believe a fire is refining. The challenge is defining you and making you stronger. At the top of the hill, after the ashes cool, you will be you, but only better. If you need help carrying the load, ask for it. If you need a breather on the side of the hill, take it. But don't give up. Don't drop what you're carrying and turn around. The challenge will be worth it, I would tell you.

So now the only issue is taking those words I would speak to others, and believing them myself.

What are your thoughts on failure and struggles?


  1. Failure is what causes me not to begin something in the first place. If I even THINK I may fail, I don't do it. Which I know causes me to hold back and experience new things. It's hard. I try to push myself but sometimes I see myself holding back.

  2. Girl these feelings are SO normal. They come in waves for me. Just keep pushing forward towards your goals. Hope you are doing well xoxo

  3. I so struggle when it comes to failure. I'm definitely an "I can't do it again" type. But I've been working on it the last few years. :)

  4. Erika, failure is my middle name. I've been through so many lackluster craft fairs/shows, I couldn't even count them all. It's my kryptonite. I always think, "Well, I have some new stuff this year so maybe it'll be different and I'll do well." But most of the time I either a) don't make my table back or b) make a very small profit, small enough that sitting out there all day wasn't really worth my time.

    This year I'm taking a different approach. I'm not going to throw my money away at fairs where I know I won't make any money given my past. My heart is set on Renegade Craft Fair this year, so hopefully that'll be the answer.

  5. This is so beautiful! Very well put girl! For me, I've really been working on not defining myself by my struggles or failures. It's so easy to do that too. Instead, I'm constantly reminding myself that my identity doesn't come from my success or failure but from Jesus. I'm righteous, holy, accepted, beloved. The song "I Am New" by Jason Gray is pretty much my life's theme song ;) Thanks for the encouragement!

  6. Wow, I feel the same way, especially lately. I have gone through a lot of life changes, made a lot of decisions that I'm still unsure about, and things seem like they'll never be okay. I've had a lot of feelings of failure lately (I've actually been writing about it and planned to post a bit on my blog tomorrow). I keep feeling like throwing in the towel...

    feathers and ash

  7. I think failure helps humility. I don't like failure and can completely relate to your maths experience! I find it hard to be motivated at things I'm not good at, but then I just have to break things down into tiny steps and celebrate the tiniest of victories to keep me going :)

  8. Great post!!

    Could you check out my blog and follow it on bloglovin? I will follow back! :)
    I have a new post every day!

    Stay fancy!
    xxx Kelly-Louise



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