When most people hear the word failure they equate that to a bad thing. Wouldn’t you agree?
This is precisely why a vast majority of people find themselves paralyzed by some degree or variation of fear. I used to be one of these people. I wondered how I could reach the level of success that I desired without having to experience any degree of failure. To fail would result in a bruised ego and the potential ridicule that goes along with it from acquaintances, coworkers and anyone else who knew what I was trying to do.
Do you want to know what I have figured out along the way?
I have learned that everyone experiences failure…even the people who have become very successful. Contrary to popular belief, behind every success are countless failures. Those are the stories that you never hear about, but that does not mean that they do not exist. Think about Michael Jordan, Thomas Edison and Elon Musk as a few examples.
What do these guys have in common?
They all have had significant failures, yet they refused to give up and out of failure they found TRIUMPH! This is also known as “failing forward” or “failing your way to success.” You see each failure brings us one step closer to success. Most people never take a chance because of their obsession with fear and what other people will think about the decisions that they make.
Tilting your head slightly to the side may offer a perspective that you have never considered before on the subject. Failure offers an amazing educational experience that you will not find in a top rated college curriculum. The struggle that it creates teaches creativity, resiliency, determination and it leads to personal growth. All of these attributes will also prove to be useful in the future when more significant challenges appear, front and center.
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Thomas Edison and his 10,000 failures in attempting to invent the incandescent light bulb is the best example or this that I know of. Every failed attempt brought him one step closer to success. Failure can offer the same benefit to you and I.
Do you think you would attempt anything 10,000 times before succeeding?! Think about that for a minute…
Failure is almost a guarantee if you are stretching yourself enough. If you never fail, perhaps you are living a little TOO safely! Once you have experienced a large enough defeat, you will realize that it is not going to kill you. The thought of a massive failure is so much worse than the actual experience of it. I cannot lie to you and try to convince you that failure is “fun” though. I have found that I do not fear it any longer since I have experienced so much of it.
Less fear means that I have more courage and focus. I am better now that I was 30 days ago and significantly better than I was 6 months ago. It is insane to think about actually! You can have the very same experience by simply changing your view of failure and your expectations about taking risks.
Keep this fresh in your mind as a parting thought. Everyone fails, but it’s how we respond to it that defines us.
Read “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life” where Scott Adams covers on his own unusual life and shares how he turned one failure after another into something good and lasting. He discovered:
• Goals are for losers. Systems are for winners.
• “Passion” is bull. What you need is personal energy.
• A combination of mediocre skills can make you surprisingly valuable.
• You can manage your odds in a way that makes you look lucky to others.
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