What a Wonderful Word: Failure

“Failure is not an option.”

You’ve probably heard the phrase somewhere. You probably even understand the sentiment behind it.

However, we all know better. Failure is an option. Granted, it’s not a very pleasant option or one that we willingly choose but it is an option.


So how did it end up on my wonderful word list?


Recently, I had a maker market event that I’m happy to have participated in. I even earned a few bucks! 🙂

I’ve only recently begun attending maker markets. I’ve always been too afraid of sitting there and watching people pass by my creations without a second glance. However, I’ve been striving to overcome fear and a maker market event seemed to be a good step.

If I’m honest, I almost threw up before my first event. I was so anxious that I hardly slept or ate. Then things settled down and I didn’t do terrible. In fact, I signed up for a second one just a few days later.

This second one was different. The location, the season, and even the event surrounding it was unique. I spent days considering the event before starting on merchandise. I brought along my “regular” items but I added a few new items that I was sure were going to be huge hits. I especially liked my wood burned, watercolor painted conversation heart magnets.

After set up, I settled in, chatted with potential customers, sold a few items, and enjoyed the day.

All without selling a single conversation heart magnet.

They were a complete and total failure.

And it was glorious!

But why?

Because I failed?

Sort of.

winston churchill

Let me tell you about a friend of mine. He only ever succeeds. Everything he tries, he’s good at. He wins every game we sit down to play and every meal he makes tastes good. How? Why?

Honestly, he never tries anything new. He only “tries” things he’ll be good at. He’ll sit out a game if he’s never played before until he can watch a dozen or so times. He’ll only make food that he’s “researched.” Experiences and activities are thoroughly planned and executed.

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Okay, okay, I get it. A little planning can help a person prepare. It can combat the anxiety of a new experience. Research and planning are not bad. They’re pretty darn helpful!

Until they become a crutch.

JK Rowling

Failure is an option and it is a good one.

Failure means you tried. Failure means that you dared to do something new or something you’re not yet a master of.

The debris of failure may be burning around you. You may feel crushed under your failure — especially if it’s on-going.

But you’ll get there! You’ve got this! Keep trying! Try it just a little different next time!

colin powell

The definition of failure according to Merriam-Webster is an “omission of occurrence or performance”, “lack of success” or “a falling short.”

Failure is not fun. It’s not a moral booster. If the failure is large enough, it can leave you sobbing in the shower.

But that’s doesn’t make it not a wonderful word.

If you’ve failed then it just means that you didn’t find success this time. It means that you fell short, yes, but you leaped!

Leap again! Dare again! Try one more time and one more time and one more time.

Cry your tears and grieve your failure but get up and do it again!

Oprah Winfrey

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