There are very few things in life that frustrate and cause me internal pain as much as people not understanding what I am trying to communicate. It makes me feel belittled and unintelligent for some reason, which I find interesting and will probably process later. Anywho, through this avenue of writing, I am constantly misunderstood, and I take that failure upon my normal sized shoulders because I know I can work harder to communicate. It eats at me. I spend hours on these collaborated packages of words and to learn that I have failed to communicate my intentions is a pungent lesson I hate having to learn. It is my desire that my few readers can accurately follow my train of thought. All that to say, my self-perceived consistent failure to accurately communicate does not hold me back, rather it invigorates me to move forward and not give up.
"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
Thomas A. Edison
Currently, my job is stressful, big surprise I know. In my profession, I have begun to observe that I am consistently shown my weaknesses, and they are without mercy brought to the table daily. I quoted a job without enough margin. The men I manage need more encouragement. I didn't respond quickly enough to a customer. I didn't catch a mistake one of my technicians was making on a job I was running. The list in my mind is as endless as the sand on a beach along the coast of the Pacific.
Yet, daily I make the decision to gain from my mistakes and move forward. You see, I am an electrician, and I have learned a majority of this trade through trial and error, when I made a mistake, sparks would fly and instantly give me feedback. Then I would have to figure out what I had done wrong and move forward no matter how frustrated I got or stupid I felt. Granite, I read textbooks and had a few skilled people to ask questions of but overall I was alone, learning a trade that could kill me, a skill that without biased would tell me when I had accomplished a top notch failure and that is what taught me this valuable belief.
Failure is me breaking a segment of a boulder off an untouched mountain and I can either choose to let it lay on the ground in the wilderness, or I can use this proverbial chunk of earth to build the foundations of my knowledge and character. I can use my failure as the bedrock for my dreams and aspirations, or I can not put in the work and just gripe about how hard life is.
So what does this look like in real life for me? How do I learn from my failures? Here are a few ideas I have been trying to put into practice.
I recently was in a formal setting where large corporations were encouraging small businesses to pursue answers to why they did not get awarded procurement contracts. Basically, these big wigs were saying "Ask why you failed so you can learn from it and so we can award you contracts in the future." I found this to be profound for the life I am living and the business arena I am in.
How can you ask why you failed? I have asked co-workers and friends for feedback, but there are times when the only person you can ask is ones-self. If you have a significant other or family, I am sure they could fill you in as well.
"It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure."
</Don't Instantly React\>
When I am faced with my failures interpersonal, and professionally, I try and make sure to take the time to breathe deeply and then figure out a solution. I know I still have a long way to go, but this method has helped me significantly. If I instantly get defensive or let the issue overwhelm me, then, all is lost. I mind as well curl up in a ball in the fetal position and throw a childish tantrum.
"I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying."
If you could not tell, I enjoy writing. This is a way that I process through issues that have been bugging me. This article in of itself is me processing through stress from my work week, by the time I polish this excuse of an article I will feel more clarity than before. Here are a couple of ideas I have used to help me process my meager and great failures throughout life.
- Go on a hike.
- Talk with a friend.
These are all substantial ways I have discovered to help me process through my failures as a man. This list of ways to handle life is without resolve. So find out what works for you and process through your failures!
"Mistakes are the portals of discovery."