What I Learned From Failure

My first high school math test I got a D.  I later passed Calculus 1 and Calculus 2 in college.  I didn’t let that first bad grade hold me back from math. I learned to overcome.

During college I got a C in the upper divisional math class, Numerical Analysis, designed for math majors.  I wasn’t a math major. This grade prevented me from graduating with honors, but I learned to challenge myself and push the limits. 

I got divorced. I survived. I developed a level of maturity so I could marry again for the right reasons.  I must have learned something; I have been happily married for 24 years now. 

I bought a business, got caught in a bad economic situation, closed the business and chose to file bankruptcy so I could move on with my life.  I needed to accept the fact that I am human.  Life doesn’t end.  I now use that lesson to help others avoid that path.  The pain and embarrassment that I felt during that time, fuels my passion to help small business owners to succeed. 

I got terminated from a job.  It wasn’t a good fit for me or the company, but I was too stubborn to quit. I took the time to learn more about myself and started FOCUS CPA.  I now focus on putting myself into situations in which I can succeed.

Our society is focused on success not failure.  In starts when we begin school.  School teachers and parents are looking for A’s, not F’s.  F’s are failure.  An F in school means that we didn’t meet the standards set by the school, that doesn’t mean we didn’t learn anything.

In the Olympics if someone achieves second place, they failed. From a different perspective, that person is successful because they qualified compete at that level.

Failure is a mindset, a perspective we make regarding on some action or activity. We all experience life’s ups and downs.  It is challenging living in a bubble to protect ourselves from failure.  Failure is life’s greatest teacher. I learned to pick myself up and try it again.  Just sit back and watch a child learn how to walk.  How many failures do they encounter before they can successfully walk without Mom holding their hands?

Failure determines the kind of person we become.  It develops character.  We can crumble or we can stand strong and continue.  It can be humbling to admit that we aren’t perfect.  It can make you stronger. I learned how to pick up the pieces and start again. 

Failure can open new doors.  When my job terminated, I spent two months thinking about what I truly wanted to do with my life.  I choose to work for myself.  That is one of the best choices I have ever made. 

By Mary Guldan Lindstrom, CPA

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