Missed Opportunities [Union Springs Herald]
By: Nathan Dickson, Attorney
"When God closes a door, he always open a window for you." Or how about, "It just wasn't meant to be," or maybe, "God has something better in store for you." Let me start by saying, I am so thankful for people in my life who have offered encouragement to me when I have put myself out there for something that didn't work out. At their heart, words like these come from a place of love and, in most cases, genuine belief. But if you've ever been on the receiving end of the bad news that an opportunity you sought wasn't going to work out, that someone else was chosen for a position you knew you were right for, that a relationship ended you didn't want to end, or that business or project you poured your passion into ended before you wanted it to, such words are not as comforting as they are meant to be.
I'm not entirely sure I have the right words to replace these, however. Whether the other person just made a bad choice, or whether we weren't what the market, that company, or that person was looking for, the sting endures. Rejection hurts, and so does knowing that a future you had imagined is not going to be panning out any time soon.
If I have learned anything from trying and failing that I can sum up and offer here as words of consolation, it is this: lament is natural and necessary, and it is healthy to be there for a while. Don't let anyone try to take that away if you need it. But the gift of life thankfully goes on. If we learn anything from trying and failing, we learn a sense of humility and gratitude for what we have, even if it is not what we ultimately want.
One of Zig Ziglar's greatest sayings is, "Failure is an event, not a person." Failing is part of a process, of stepping outside our comfort zone and heading out on a journey to somewhere we ultimately want to go. The times I've failed have not been total losses. They have almost always been part of a larger journey for me, a necessary step in saying aloud to myself that I want something different than what I have now. Where that goes and what happens afterward is partly going to be left to circumstances beyond our control, but now we've survived failure and know it's not the end of the world, and we are much more likely to put ourselves out there again with that in mind.
If failure has been part of your experience recently, it's OK to mourn that. But hopefully it's awakened something inside of you to keep trying. Success is a numbers game sometimes. We keep putting ourselves out there, making adjustments as we go, and eventually we find something that looks like what we were looking for. Or, maybe not, but we have started living more into who we really are by trying, and no failure can take that from us.