Are You Thankful for Failures?

Are You Thankful for Failures? - image shows a hand holding a pen and has just finished writing the words "thank you" in cursive on a brown sheet of paper.
Photo by cottonbro on

I wrote an article two years ago called Thankful? It has received the most “likes” and comments of all my posts, so I thought I would take it and revise/update it for this year’s Thanksgiving.

Since it is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, I thought I should write something in regard to that occasion. In many households, it is a tradition to go around the dinner table and ask each person what he/she is thankful for. For this post, I wanted to do something a little bit different.

Showing Gratitude, Sometimes Not Easy

Naturally, we should all be thankful and show appreciation for people in our lives who have had a positive influence on us. Many of us would not achieve success or be as healthy or happy if not for the assistance or influence of certain individuals who have crossed our paths. Sometimes we may get caught up in the busyness of our lives and forget to show our gratitude, but if we stop to think about it, it should become apparent who has been that positive influencing factor.

For some people, showing thankfulness is not easy. If you are not one of these individuals, it may be difficult for you to understand this. Showing gratitude means that you must acknowledge that someone has done something for you, and of course, that you have accepted this gesture. It requires humbling yourself, in a way, and some may see this as a weakness, that they shouldn’t need help. For this reason, they have difficulty expressing their gratitude, hence exposing the fact that they may have required some kind of assistance in the first place or that they didn’t ask for your kind word of sympathy, etc.

In some cultures outside of the United States, showing gratitude is reserved for those who are not close to you. I was listening to the podcast episode Hidden Brain: Decoding Emotions, and the guest said that in the Dutch culture, she would not thank her husband for bringing her a cup of coffee, for instance. Saying “thank you” was reserved for the neighbors, let’s say–people who are mere acquaintences.

Not Focusing on the Negative

I thought briefly about asking what you are NOT thankful for. These things are almost always blatantly obvious, as they usually prevent us from getting something we want or cause us pain or distress in some way. Maybe it’s just my pessimistic side, but I think it’s easy to find things to complain about. There are a lot of evil and selfish people in the world and they can often get in the way of our own goals, whether noble or selfish themselves.

Aside from that, there are sometimes circumstances that are no one’s fault, but still hinder whatever progress we are attmepting to make to move forward with our intentions. Focusing on the negativity is too easy, and I did not want to focus on such a negative aspect of our lives, anyway; it does no one any good.

Rejection or Rejuvenation?

Failures are seen by most people as negative occurrences in our journeys through life. After all, if we try something, we presumably want to succeed at whatever that thing may be. A failure would then stop us from reaching that achievement. Of course, we then have the choice to either put forth another attempt, go about it in a different way, or simply give up on that particular venture. If you choose to see failure as a negative thing, you are most likely going to fall into the category of those who choose to give up. However, if you see failure as more of a learning experience and use it as a stepping stone, of sorts, to achieve something greater, it can certainly be a positive and powerful tool.

As a writer/author, I have been rejected many times; it comes with the territory. I do not allow those rejections to translate into failures, though. I know that I am a good writer and I continue to pursue my passion. I have received enough encouragement and validation from others to help me keep going. If not for this encouragement, I admit that I would most certainly question whether or not I should be continuing in this pursuit. If I am rejected by one source, I simply believe that it was not the right timing or not the right company or publisher. It is merely a stepping stone or learning experience to help me to achieving a desired success.

On that note, I would like to take this time in my post to thank those of you who have provided such encouragement and support for my writing. I truly do value your feedback and your appreciation for the words I put out into the world. Clicking on the “like” button helps me to know which posts are of some value and that you would like to read more of the same type of content, so I hope you will remember to do that.


Looking back over your life thus far, what past failure has given you the motivation to achieve something you otherwise would not have done? Maybe there was an individual who discouraged you in some way, yet at the same time, lit a fire that caused you to keep going. Has there been a door closed on an opportunity that has led to another door or window to open? Was there a roadblock that stopped you, and you later realized that following that path would have put you in a worse state than where you are now?

So, my question to you is: What failure are you most thankful for? This question can be rhetorical and for your own reflection, or you can post in the comment section below.

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this article, please click the like button to let me know. Please share it with someone else if you think it may be of some benefit. Follow me if you would like to receive updates whenever new posts are published.

If you enjoyed this post, please check out Thank You, Critics.

Published by Brandon Ellrich

I live in Central Missouri and enjoy reading, writing, playing tennis, watching movies, and exploring creative outlets. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and I love to take my readers inside the minds of my characters.

5 thoughts on “Are You Thankful for Failures?

  1. I’m thankful for my family, kind friends, my blogging family. I’m also very grateful for my faith that keeps me grounded. Health is another thing for which I’m grateful. I’ve made many mistakes in life, though I wouldn’t call them failures. I’ve tried to learn from my mistakes and move on.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m thankful the one I thought was “the one” didn’t work out. I see now the life path it would have lead me on and I’m so happy that relationship failed.

    I’m also grateful for my failure to get the job I wanted two years ago. It turned out I was still much needed by my family and it has afforded me the luxury of caring for those I love a little bit longer.

    Liked by 1 person

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