The Other ” F” Word

I consider ” failure” the other “F” word. What comes to mind when you hear the word “failure?”

For me it’s memories of 8th grade geometry with a big F on my report card. Failure just makes us feel bad. We are programmed from childhood that failure is bad, is shaming. Nobody wants to fail, but most of us do in some way throughout our life. Failure is simply fear. Fear of failure can be motivating or it can be paralyzing.

In 2013 I was diagnosed with heart failure. As the doctor explained this condition all I heard was failure, that dreaded word again. Did I need a heart transplant, how could my heart be failing in my early forties?

In learning more about my condition my heart wasn’t literally failing, but it just wasn’t working as efficient as it could.

Failure tells me I need to find a different way to achieve my goal. When faced with failure there are choices. I can choose to give in to the failure and let the fear of failing paralyze me. I can choose to take on failure and the risk failing again. I chose the latter, I dust myself off , let go of the negative self talk and keep trying. Are you going to actively play in the game of life or are going to sit on the sideline where it’s safe and you won’t get knocked down?

When dealing with my heart failure illness, I chose to take on the challenge. I had to change the way I lived my life, reducing stress, dietary changes, changing career goals, and letting go of expectations I had for myself. I wasn’t done living and trying to enjoy life. It’s not an easy road, some days I just want to give up and sit on the sideline, but that doesn’t last for long and then I’m back in the game.

Failure is the road to success. I can’t beat heart failure, but success for me is staying in the game , giving my best to myself, family, and my community.

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