failure: an act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful; lack of success (Source:

I think we all hate to fail, but failure is inevitably a part of life. I have personally felt the pressure to perform and have seen that even when a lot of effort is put forth, the outcome is not always successful. Every time something is at stake, there is a possibility to gain and there is the possibility to lose.

I was reminded today that failure is an outcome or result; not a person. Therefore, we can never say that we are a failure. Failures are part of a learning process and as much as we hate (yes, with a passion!) that we are not getting what we wanted or deserved, failures are in many cases opportunities to learn something new and to explore different ways of doing things. Granted, repeated ‘failures’ might impact severely our self image and self concept. However, my point today is that when we perceive that we have failed at something we should also look beyond that outcome and look deep at what the learning behind it all is. What was missed? What is the lesson? Once you are able to absorb that and understand that you did everything you could have done then you should put it to rest.

“What? But, I’m not done!”

Well, the thing is that the more you marinate in feelings associated with that ‘failure’ the more you will start blaming yourself for the outcome. The more you submerge yourself in the undesired result the more you will be consumed with guilt. My point is that when you understand what happened at a conscious level; then it is time to release that to the account labeled ‘experiences.’ Moving on is not easy yet, mandatory if you want to be able to recover and get back on the path to success.

“Act is if it were impossible to fail.” Dorothea Brande

Perceived failures can hurt us and those around us. When we are focused on the failure or even worse, we bring back the feelings associated with old failures or we decide that it was because of something we did that the failure occurred, then we are preventing ourselves from enjoying new perspectives in life. In fact, constant focus on past failures or considering ourselves to be total or complete ‘failures’ can and will impact everything you do!

I know…might be easier said than done, however I am here to tell you that it is worth giving it a try. These days when something is not going ‘right’ or a project or venture did not turn out the way I wanted, I may fuss for a minute but I am now more deliberate about finding the meaning behind it all. I take a step back and try to capture the essence of what happened. I find myself way more objective in the criticism and better able to assess both the causes behind the undesired outcome and potential positive elements of what took place. I now find that although I might end up with something I did not plan (or want) there is often something good in any situation. If nothing else, you grow, you learn something about yourself…you become a new you. If life seems like a series of failures; if you are stuck trying to find the solution to why it is all going wrong; life coaching might be for you.

© 2010 Maria Martinez

Author's Bio: 

Maria Martinez is a Professional Life Coach; she works primarily with individuals seeking to identify areas in which they want to increase their level of awareness and take life to the next level. By providing support and accountability, individuals reach higher and greater goals; balance life at work and at home; and enjoy time doing things they most love. ‘Create the life you want; Start within.’

For more information about Maria Martinez and coaching services go to or via e-mail: