“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill
Abraham Lincoln is known as one of the greatest U.S. Presidents of all time. The impact he made on our country is momentous, and to this day, we benefit from his noteworthy decisions. But what most people don’t know is that Lincoln had a string of significant failures before his Presidency.
In 1832, he lost his job and was defeated for State Legislature; in 1833 his business failed; in 1836 he suffered from a nervous breakdown, and between 1838 and 1858, he was defeated for Speaker of the House, land officer, a nomination for Congress, a seat in the U.S. Senate and a nomination for the Vice Presidency.
Facing that string of disappointments would be enough for anyone to declare, “I give up!” And most people, more often that not, do give up. The ability to carry on through the thick fog of frustration and setbacks can be a beautiful thing. How will one ever know the pleasure of success without knowing the heartbreak of failure?
No matter how much rejection he faced, Lincoln persevered on to become one of the greatest U.S. Presidents of all time, landing him in the history books for future generations to study. What would the future have looked like if he had given up?
In business, there are plenty of books written about “How to Succeed”; however, there are very far and few between written on “How I Failed”. What is imperative to understand is that failure can be a good thing to experience, and that it is simply the situation that failed, not you as a person.
“What would your future look like if you give up?”
At Najera Consulting Group, Inc., it is a strong belief of ours that there is a certain kind of beauty in failure. Do we want our clients to fail? Of course not! But, time and time again, when things get rough, or life throws you an unexpected turn, people give up.
Instead of seeking the value in failure, and gaining an understanding of what can be done better, they close the door to ever thinking of new heights again because they are afraid to fail.
We ask all of our clients “Is your business all that it can be?” Often times, we hear the answer “no”. The reason being is that businesses are afraid of going outside of the lines because failure may be lurking around the corner. In psychology it is taught that the ego desires to be right all the time.
If we learn to let go of our ego, and accept challenges as a learning experience, no matter how they turn out, then success will greet you when you least expect it. Let go of the residuals of past failures, and understand that success will find you if you let go of fear.
Between 1832 and 1858, Lincoln went through many disappointments, both personal and professional. He experienced self-doubt and uncertainty whether or not he should continue on in his professional dreams. But through all of that came self-discovery, and he made his past failures into success. Lincoln was elected President of the United States in 1860, and the rest is history.
What history are you creating now? Do you have any stories of a beautiful failure?
About the Author
Gabriela Garcia is Vice President of Marketing for Najera Consulting Group. Gabriela is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Comparative Literature. Gabriela worked for literary agencies in the film and television industry in developing literary talent for studio films and network television. She went on to become a talent agent with Pakula/King & Associates in Beverly Hills, working with casting directors and studio executives from Warner Bros., Sony, Universal, Paramount and Fox in the development and marketing of talent and in contracts and negotiations.
Gabriela is the founder of Modern Brown Girl, a digital resource for a new generation of Latinas. Modern Brown Girl provides engaging and inspiring content that highlights the subtle nuances of being 100% American and 100% Latina. Follow Gabriela on this new journey as Modern Brown Girl strives to bring you a collective of all things mind, body and soul for ALL women of color.
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