Weathering the Storm of Failure

In this episode of Coffee Break With KA & Dana they discuss Weathering the Storm of Failure

Why is it that failure completely destroys some people and not others? How do some people manage to land on their feet, time and again, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes? In this episode, KA and Dana discuss topics related to failure including:

  • Failure’s payoff
  • The emotional component of failure
  • Strategies to survive failure
  • Bubble-wrapping kids to shield them from failure

KA is an author of lesbian fiction with degrees in counseling, psychology, and social work. She writes stories about lesbians, burdened by past trauma, who find healing in the love of a soul mate.

Dana is an avid reader, a recovering alcoholic, a fisher-woman, and a graduate of the school of hard knocks.

As co-hosts, they’re quite the duo. Connect with them online at

Music in this episode (Lucky Way) is licensed for use in various multimedia applications by Melody Loops.

Listen to the episode here


please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect

[Music] welcome to coffee break with KA and Dana were brought to you by the lesbian talk show I’m KA a lesbian romance author and in my past life counsellor in the social world I’m Dana an avid reader coffee connoisseur recovering alcoholic and a graduate of the school of hard knocks grab a cup of coffee pull up a chair join us for a meaningful conversation from a lesbian perspective why is it that failure completely destroys some people but not others how can some land on their feet time and again like phoenix rising from the ashes while others don’t in this episode we discuss strategies for surviving tough times won’t you join us for a meaningful conversation so we read a 2009 article Psychology Today titled weathering the storm that’s an oldie but a goodie what did you think I thought it was a great article it was the first time that I had seen it but he had some really good points in it that after I read them it’s like well duh yes I never had thought about him before yeah yeah I mean there was some of this that was sense but it was a thought-provoking article so let’s see if I we can have a thoughtful conversation all right so okay so we could do we could just hop around what hit me I guess what hit me and it’s funny he had good suggestions about how to survive tough tough times but what hit me is what in 2009 this author had to say about Obama and trouble yes so I don’t know that that’s where we’re going today totally because we need to share some of the good stuff we learned but I cannot resist sharing the Obama quote and the truck whoa so this was 2009 and this author says about Obama when you look at stories of break leaders they almost all had major setbacks that was a concern I had with Obama I now think he’ll make a great president but the fact that he really hasn’t had any major fenders in his life means that he may not be as tempered its challenged as hard okay now that what that only really struck me after I came across the truck this is just wrap your wrap your head around this one it bit let’s take off okay so here’s the trunk whoa not Trump quote but quote about trauma is there just a kind of naive temperament a Donald Trump –is– optimism that some psychologists have described as enthusiasm and persistence in the face of setbacks something that helps some people find the kernel of good inside the bad and profit from it that’s either in play that’s either in player isn’t how can we learn to fail better okay so dumb rubbish optimism kernel of good inside the bad and profit okay okay so nothing to do with surviving failure but oh how times have changed yes and I wonder if if the if the person who wrote this gentleman that wrote this article if his mind has changed about his Trump dump ISM it does make you it makes you you wonder it makes you wonder what Bruce Grierson the author of the this article we read from May of 2009 Thanks today okay so there’s my political comment like I just couldn’t hardly stand it you know this article kind of reminds me of the talk that Kenneth children gave and her granddaughter’s graduation it was called fail fail again fail again and fail better and it’s kind of the same thing that it’s only in failure that we can learn some of the lessons that we need to be truly human well yeah and that’s really what surviving tough times weathering the storm those fail better that’s what what really this this was all about instruct me if the article talk to us talked about kids a couple times and what struck me is so true is how we do bubble wrap our kids trying to put as you know parents in the in in days past decades past you know a kid did something do a snowball that smashed in someone’s forehead whatever in the 1950s they were gonna get it at school I wasn’t around in the 1950s but I could do it could happen to the sixties they were gonna did it at school in fact my wife tells the story of being marched to the principal’s office for just that maybe not the forehead part but that’s no ball definitely I I can’t imagine your wife being in the principal’s office oh yes yes yes yes there’s an honoree side that you just don’t know about her she is to carry snowballs in her body and I don’t think they were there because she was you know overheated I think useful hardened little weapons but anyway anyway bond didn’t know back in back in the day your kid got in trouble and there marched to the principal’s office and they get it and you get a note or somebody calls your whatever is a parent you don’t rush in and say you touched my kid they got it again when they got home absolutely now I am not advocating you know physical violence against children but but it does strike me that no consequences failure failure it you know sailing that snowball through the air without getting caught you know that you know I’m getting caught being the failure failure whatever it is you’re doing if your bubble wrapped and protected from the failure itself then you know this article and in common sense says it doesn’t make you stronger well and we see that a lot nowadays with the kids when they get participation trophies or Parsa participation ribbons and I think sometimes you just gotta fail in order to learn especially in our case with sports because that’s what all of our kids were in there’s something about losing that championship game that makes you a stronger human being well yes and if you get meaningless you know Awards if everybody gets one I mean nothing right but but you’re right that the struggle that struggle that that determination to improve your skills to do better better than yourself last time and maybe better than the other kid well and not only that I think it gives you a little humility because you know what the kid you just beat feels like because you were just there I especially saw this in my middle son Andy after they had lost the championship and then they came back the next year he had a lot more humility towards the other team than some of the other members on his team that hadn’t been there that years before you know that’s literally learning from failure better human being feel for the other kid alright which you know that just that just should be a required of course somehow we need to figure out how to teach that absolutely in a way we that’s kind of at least in our country that’s losing that I just think we’re losing that now absolutely what so okay so so this that’s what this article is about all the things you can do to fail better and end up growing from it so let’s let’s just we’ve hit some of it but one thing that struck me is that see and this is so true failure stirs up some of our most potent emotions the humiliation guilt shame I mean that rock at the bottom of your stomach there is nothing that takes hold and twists like failing at something that meant something absolutely and again I think it goes back to a lot of how the parents handle it and how they perceive it yeah yeah and and we seem to be talking as much about we didn’t seem to be talking more about kids but I mean that it really applies to any age right all it is alized it to to any age yeah but if we can learn things as kids it’s much easier than trying to learn it as adults yeah then we can learn it but it’s a little bit more painful it is I think the window they talked about is what teenage its most useful to you like teenage years 2:30 yeah well and and in boys I think that they’re still kind of grow until 30 [Music] there was a quote yeah there was a quote on Facebook the other day in it it’s very true and it talks about instead of asking why me did this happen asking what am I supposed to learn from this happening and I think as long as we can remember to do that well you’re at any age isn’t gonna stifle you for long no in fact and this article quoted lots of psychologists and sociologists but but basically they were saying we should hope for more exposure to failure fail early and often which is like the opposite of you know the popular thought so right so really what that does I mean if you really take this to heart what it does is open up just open the field up so that you can try new things try things that you might fail at because not only might that failure help you but you you might end up growing from something else unanticipated learning or you know a lot of me just you know some people don’t try things because they’re afraid to try new things for fear they’ll fail yeah there was a great JK Rowling quote in here and it talks about the perfect storm of failure her broken marriage disapproval from her parents poverty that bartered on homelessness that sent her back to her first dream of writing because she had nothing left to lose tell your stripped away everything in seneschal she said it taught me things about myself that I could not have learned in any other way in that isn’t that something I mean let’s like had she not fallen on her face so to speak Harry Potter [Music] that was a selfish thing to say but I mean think about that she went from nothing to nothing nothing to greatness and had she not been at the bottom she’d have never tried right how sad because a lot of people aren’t quite at the bottom but they but sometimes they don’t have the courage to try right she had nothing else left but her writing and you’re right we wouldn’t have Harry Potter which I believe changed how children perceive reading today oh oh yes asked in our day we didn’t have anything like Harry Potter to suck us in no we had great books or whatever they were golf that’s what I try to write great books outside okay back to the back to the article okay so the other thing that struck me and this is personally what I try to do I mean you can’t always do it by try but the other thing they talked about is the people who bounced back from failure the best are the ones who look at those failures with a sense of humor mm-hmm that that you have to lighten up a little bit don’t take yourself so seriously don’t take failures so seriously now that’s easier said than done I’ll give you that but we can all improve maybe just a little well humor gets us through a lot of things that life throws at us and those that have humor I think seem to be able to bounce back from them I you know you’ve got to have a good sense of humor in order to survive today because sometimes this is just funny Oh yeah and that’s stuff beyond failure you really need to tap in to your sense of humor to survive today I mean that is that is your quote of the day I’ll tell you because I’ll tell you these are stressful times absolutely and failing stressful so there you go lighten up yeah okay so the other thing that struck me they mentioned this this Facebook depression group and this and how how you know you always hear misery loves company but there really is some value in it and these online web based groups and maybe maybe in-person groups to I don’t know whether their membership is growing but these online support groups are growing and it probably is good for you to be able to vent to other people but there becomes a problem when you just bent and there’s no solution that’s true but what this article talked about was that after a while after people vented for a while they they like vented themselves out and all of a sudden those people were venting they started posting things that were productive and positive to help people so I guess the moral to the story wine long enough you’ll go out the other side and help someone you know and I think I think we’ve talked about this before when I first got sober my sponsor would give me five minutes to wine so and then it would be each week it would go down by a minute so the next week I only had four minutes to wine and that made me really sit down and think about what the problem what the real problems were in my life that I needed to get out there and what was just stupid timed whining timed whining I still do it with my spine what I was gonna say that I can see you really getting into that time and whining yep you know now there is a parenting strategy I’m going back to kids parenting strategy that’s really a pretty good idea timed whining time complaining yep cuz it makes you think about what is really going on in your world and what’s the stuff that just it doesn’t matter yeah you know it goes back to rule 62 in a a witches don’t take yourself so damn seriously which is basically what this said to lighten up no better yep yeah and this article talked about it’s okay to feel guilty but don’t feel shame about failure and basically the difference being thinking about what you failed at versus thinking you’re a bad person yeah that’s a hard one that’s really hard for me I have a hard time with that distinction well I’m learning what a man I do too and I would imagine a lot of people do most everything that was suggested here it seemed like a really good idea and and nothing seemed like it was in the bag already everything right everything would require a little work for someone to do it but I but I it was it had so much research behind it which is kind of where I go when I look at suggestions that I think some of it’s worth trying a couple others cultivate optimism we talked about that time you’re complaining and whining and say something positive I like this asked not what the world can do for you the benefits of volunteering right I mean that’s that was that was kind of good we call that perspective we go somewhere Volant ear and there are people there that have a lot less or need a lot more than we do it it also helps to put our life into a little perspective well it does and and it not only does that but it picks you up I mean helping someone feels good yeah you think you out of yourself feel better and you help someone else that’s that’s a good thing here’s a good one failure kind of helps you scale down the expectations for yourself fail a couple times and those expectations become a little more realistic do yeah exactly doable cuz sometimes we have great expectations of ourselves and there’s no way we can reach them yeah that that’s true and I mean very few authors have wrote a best-seller right out of the gate and yet when an author writes a book as they’re writing it every single one of them that’s how they see that’s where they see it going right I mean I think anytime you create something you think oh boy this okay this is better than I did last time and then you realize that it isn’t and you go on you go on that’s the same with my woodworking I worked on a piece for probably 20 hours and I was just about to finish it and I messed it up and it was like well now what do I try and fix it or do I just leave it and I just left it well I I you know I hope to do better next time and finish it another one perfect good been one of those situations where your expectations were too high and maybe it was good it was alright but my expectations were for me to finish it perfectly and that’s never gonna happen I’m not perfect so I can’t finish anything perfectly no one is no Reyes alright so we have had a great discussion and I can’t resist ending on the last point of this article failure is an opportunity to change course seize it until next week my friend have a good one you’ve been listening to coffee break with KA and Dana meaningful conversations from a lesbian perspective were brought to you by the lesbian talk show listen to us on pot bean and iTunes follow us on Twitter like us on Facebook until next week be kind to one another or car and watch amazing things happening in your corner of the world [Music]