“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Think about the wisdom and the power in these words! Think about having the strength, in the moment, to see that your “greatest glory” is in rising up after you fail and going on. What an inspired idea! Our boy Ralph turns our ability to rebound from failure into a form of glory, an ability to be admired and celebrated!
All we need to do to enter that land of glory and success is to get up, dust ourselves off, and keep going. Simple, but not easy.
How many times have we all found ourselves smacked to the ground when some form of failure hits us? It could be anything:
Failing to submit a story by the deadline or, if do submit, a rejection from an editor or publisher or agent.
A failure to complete a project because we run out of gas or ideas and so we decide to back-burner it.
A failure to grapple with a thorny problem or flaw in a story because we just can’t seem to make it work.
Whatever form the failure takes, our flattened response just about ensures that we won’t be finding the solution any time soon. Why? Because being deflated contracts us, physically and emotionally. We curl up inside into a little ball of misery and that is not a place that’s going to prove to be a wellspring of creativity for us.
So, the sooner we rebound, the better. What’s the key to “rising up” after we’ve been knocked flat? In my experience, it’s reframing. We need to rethink our attitude toward failure. We need to stop giving it a bad name and see it as a useful resource—a form of course correction, a tool that shows us where we’re getting off track or out of kilter so we can adjust our strategy and move forward.
“Failure is feedback.” That’s one of the most helpful ways of looking at failure I’ve ever found. Hope it helps you, too, as we all write on!
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