Home > Uncategorized > It’s Only Failure …

It’s Only Failure …

September 19, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

… if You Think It Is, ‘Cause You Can Get Better at Anything You Want

So do you believe in failure? Really? If so, you’ve probably been taught to be afraid of failure. But failure, more than anything else, is an attitude.

I think everyone has a memory that involves not getting what you went for or what you wanted – whether you flunked that driving test or had a project / business plan that didn’t work or even on the personal side of losing a friendship or romantic relationship.

Did you know that studies have show that people who are successful don’t think in terms of failure? They think in terms of results they can learn from. If they try something and it doesn’t work out, they figure they’ve had a learning experience, and they take new actions to get new results. Think about it. What is the one asset, the one benefit you have today that you didn’t have in the past? Experience, right? And experience is what you make of it.

If you are afraid of failure, how do you feel about learning? Fear of failure can stop you before you start. It can stop you from taking the risks you need to take in order to change or grow. If you redefine failure as learning, as important feedback, there is no longer anything to fear. Most folks will admit that they learn more from failures than they do from “challenge-free” success.

  1. Decide you want to learn something new. Move an idea from the back of your mind to the front – master the double under? get a muscle-up? add some weight to your last PR? Deciding requires confidence, motivation and being intentional. It’s also where you decide “yes, I’m going to do this” and put a little bit of extra work into getting there.
  2. Take an intentional step to learn it. Adding a new skill can be fun and challenging but it will always require a bit of extra time and mental energy to get there. Maybe you get a jump rope & practice double unders for 10 minutes at lunch or before you head to the gym a couple of times a week?  Maybe you put in 10 minutes before or after your workout 3 or 4 times a week to practice your snatch or add some incremental weights? or maybe it means getting to bed on time, watching a little less TV or removing some distraction in order to find the time to practice?
  3. Discovered a new skill because of it. ‘Cause you can get better at anything you want regardless of that word ‘failure’.


Remember what Edison said when he was asked why he didn’t quit trying to find the right filament for the electric light bulb?

“Why should I? I now know 2,000 things that don’t work!”

If you look at your experiences the way Edison did, you are much more likely to achieve success in anything you want and anything you go for.

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