The Upswing of Failure?!

By: Norma Serrano Last Updated: February 18, 2015

norma-serranoHey Girl,

Is there? An upswing of failure, I mean. Seems like a bit of an oxymoron. I’m in the middle of a couple of major failures, at the moment. I’d like to sing some great song to you about how much I’ve learned and how I’ve grown tremendously. In a perfect world, we could gab over coffee about how the experience is priceless and I’ll be a better person, employer, girlfriend, etc. for it.

But I don’t want to gab. I don’t really want to write this week’s blog either (which is why it’s late). What I want to do is crawl under the covers and stay there. I want to cry my eyes out and feel completely sorry for myself. Which I have already done. But that is not working! Feeling sorry for myself and staying in bed is only making me feel worse. Because all I’m doing is meditating on the very thing that is causing the misery. I’m giving “it” major playing power in my heart and soul. I need a new song.

And that is why the only choice we have with failure is to look at the upswing.

This isn’t my first failure. Obviously. I’m an expert at how to fail. I’ve failed at parenting, work, school, kindness, marriages (yes, plural) and even in the field I am considered an expert. Painting. But I have also experienced profound victories in each of those areas as well. Failures I’ve made with the oldest child were often not repeated with the second and third. In areas I didn’t define with protective boundaries with the first kid, I made sure to compensate and investigate with the two smaller.

But what about the big mistakes? Like how my inability to keep my check book balanced in my twenties lead to anxiety and overspending for more than a decade. By the time I was in my thirties, my debt to income ratio had skyrocketed. My credit was completely tanked and I couldn’t get a credit card to save my life. The interest I had to pay to get a car was taxing on my budget as a single mom. All of my apartments were dressed with hand me down pieces of furniture and I was well acquainted with Aldi’s. But I overcame. I worked on establishing good credit by making sure my bills got paid on time. The upswing of not having access to credit cards was that I had to pay for everything I wanted (or that we needed) with cash. Paying cash for everything taught me how to save. It also taught me how to live within my means. And before I knew it, my failure had an upswing. Now I have good credit and growing.

I can’t see it today. The upswing of my present day dilemmas. I’d be lying to you if I said I could. But my victory here is that I’ve yet to make a mistake or experience a failure that I wasn’t later able to see some personal growth. I choose to look through the lens of that personal growth to encourage myself that this season of uncertainty is temporary.

Introspectively, if you don’t want to see one a positive, you won’t. We have to choose to see our glass half-full. I know it’s a crappy cliche but it works here. Mightily. We have a CHOICE. I have a choice everyday. Am I going to let this weigh me down? Because if I do, it will effect every area of my life like a cancer. I have an obligation to myself, my kids, my business, to do the work needed to gain a fresh prospective and start the process of healing and moving toward victory.

My knees feel scrapped and my pride is injured, by I will overcome. After all, I have 45 years experience to tell me so.