The F Word... FailureFailure. It’s one of those experiences most people try to avoid. However, nearly all successful people understand something most people try to avoid, and it’s this:

Failure is a critical part of growth. If you are not failing you are not growing.

Many people in the workforce consider getting fired or laid off from a job as a failure. This simply is not the truth.

Let me introduce you to one of my clients, for the sake of privacy I will refer to him as Tim (not his real name). Tim is a SUPER KING ENGINEER, responsible for overseeing all engineering production and maintenance on all the projects at his organization. The total budget in his company exceeds multiple millions of dollars and the workforce consists of more than two-thousand employees.

Tim was the technical guru who guided much of the organization’s success for over ten years. Until one day, when a mistake was made. Not the kind of easily made mistake you might think of where someone accidentally used the wrong drawing. No, this mistake was a political sand storm. A tsunami of screw up. One of the super elites wasn’t getting the YES answer he wanted, so heads began to roll. After the dust had settled, more than six people were fired or relocated to a less comfortable position. This was demoralization at its finest. The morale of the entire organization was crushed by the politics and ego of one very insecure senior leader (And I use the term “leader” loosely here).

It was highly recommended that Tim start working with me after he was “removed” from his position. As we began our work together, it was clear that I was working with a man with a broken heart. This is the SUPER ENGINEER who had given his entire life to making things better: taking work calls at all hours of the night, being there for his guys to make the “right” call. His ego had been destroyed not by what happened, but by the story he had told himself regarding what happened.

Our work began with reframing his narrative. Reframing is a way in which you take a story you hold and learn to tell the story in a new way. A way that you can accept and one that makes you feel better. You see, perspective is everything. What is great about perception is that it allows us to be in the driver’s seat of our own minds. Using several different tools, setting the stage for a new career was our focus.

It wasn’t too long after our work together that the once catastrophic event and removal from his position was seen as a gift. Yes that is right–a gift. Tim got his life back. He reclaimed his weekends with his wife and family. He had the time to invest in relationships he really valued. He had free time he previously never would have taken. He was able to focus on his health and wellbeing.

Believe it or not, by the time Thanksgiving rolled around, Tim sent the senior leader who had removed him from his position at thank-you note, thanking him for being the catalyst for allowing him to take his life back.

Perspective is everything. And if you have read this far, I invite you to look at your life. Take a look at your situations or stories and find the gift that is present in everyone involved in you getting to this point now. This point is a new beginning…and it always begins with you.


  • What you are seeing as “good” or “bad” can change as you change.
  • Time heals.
  • We always have a choice in how we chose to look at things.

Live. Love. Thrive.