Setbacks and Failures
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade –
I will be honest and say I did not understand what that statement meant for the longest time. I have seen it posted online on various blogs, social media and have heard people speak about it; but quite frankly I didn’t understand it. When I look back at the 5 years as a blogger and the year 2017 in itself, this statement somehow makes a lot more sense now. We all expect some kind of perfection within our lives, social media has done a really good job of selling the perfect dream or the perfect life. We forget to realise the presence of life that happens behind our smart phones. We see an ideal life but we forget the type of lemon a particular individual is dealing with. I can testify that each time something was thrown at me or something happened that wasn’t part of the plan or that wasn’t positive; I somehow found my way around to making it work. Lemons are sour and bitter on their own, but if you add them to something else like a lemon tea with sugar or add them as a fragrant in a cake, you have made good use of them and that sourness becomes better. It’s the same with life; it’s not easy, nor is it always perfect; but if you learn to realise that difficult situations are there to teach you something or that you actually have the power to change a certain situation and not let it consume you, then you have made your own lemonade.
I would like to think that setbacks are a minor difficult challenge in your life, more of a season that comes at an unexpected time. I would like to think a setback isn’t there to stay permanently, but it is there to kinda knock you and shake you up a bit to see where your life is at right now. Going back to my previous post – What is my purpose? – I highlighted my current situation now where I felt I was in a setback with my job as a driver. I found anything and everything to be annoyed and frustrated because my time as a creative was no longer enough. What I didn’t realise was all the positive new things I was learning, and that the people using me and making fun of me have actually been moulding me. I lived in a fantasy of constantly consuming social media perfectionism and not working on my own life. Another setback I experienced recently was the postponement of The Style Sessions 3rd Edition; I knew it wasn’t ready but it took a long hard meeting to knock some sense into me and postpone it 48 hours before it went live! Some would say I was reckless with that decision, others nodded and said it didn’t feel right, you weren’t ready. With a setback, it all depends on how you view it and react to it. If you are constantly negative and don’t pay attention to what’s going on around you or if you expect greatness or someone to come fix it other than yourself, then a setback will become a huge challenge or block in your life to overcome.
I will talk about failures using my own personal experiences as examples. I believe when you have failed at something, it means it wasn’t meant for you and the sooner you realise that, the better. Failure takes a lot of introspection for you to actually admit you have failed at this and ultimately move on from it. I will give an example of the Signature Toscie Online Store – the online store lasted for about a year but it took a conversation to realise it was a failure and I sucked at it. I had the most amazing pieces of stock that no one ever bought for over a year! Like nothing! For me to realise it was a failure I had to really dig deep and re-evaluate what Signature Toscie was and how this new venture was not working. With a failure, you need to evaluate and take action before it consumes you. And when I mean it consumes you I mean you become naïve and oblivious to the situation at hand – if it is a failed business idea, it is a failed business idea. Pack it up, put it away, pick up a new sheet of paper and start over again! The online store was a failed business idea and I had to quickly accept it before I pushed all my readers and followers away by forcing them to buy something that didn’t reflect what they believed in.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade pretty much sums up to when life is tough, realise that it is only for a season, that if you sit back and evaluate it all; you actually have the power to change and overcome the situation. Sometimes failure is not the end of the world, I could give a list of successful people right now who at some point in their lives experienced their own season of failure. But the drive within them pushed them to get up, dust themselves off and tackle the situation again, but in a different manner.