What everyone forgets to mention when they talk about how failure is the only way to truly learn is the fact that failing sucks. It hurts. It makes you question everything. You say things to yourself similar to the following:

I am a failure.

I let everyone down.

It’s all my fault.

I can’t do this.

My ideas are crazy.

Nobody supports me.

I am alone.

You know none of these things are true but you feel them. They eat away at you.

You rationally know that there is light at the end of the tunnel, that there is something more to become of this, but right now you are stuck staring into the dark wondering why you gave so much and what you did wrong . . .

. . . and then you remember the network you have been building and learning from over the past few years and you start saying things like:

Just becasue I failed, does not mean I am a failure.

My ideas deserve a voice.

I have to keep trying.

My network will support me.

I am not alone.

We can do this.

I may not yet know what lessons and meaning will come from this failed project. I do know, however, that acknowledging and having compassion for the fact the failure really does suck is a good place to start.  I can figure the rest out later.

Let the next adventure begin . . .