Failure. The word of doom. It’s the dreaded end result on everyone’s mind, from the day we’re born to the day we day die, as it puts a label on you for others to judge you by. Or so you would think anyway. It is the one thing we constantly seek to avoid in order to feel good about ourselves. In fact, we’re almost willing to do anything to avoid it, bracing for impact on those occasions when we can’t.
And then comes the worst part. Dealing with it. And deal with it you must. You can try to forget about it, you can beat yourself silly over it, you can deny it, or…you can embrace it. Yes, embrace it. As if it was a good thing. Beacause in a weird, twisted way it is a good thing, at least if you see it as a source from which to build infinite wisdom and raw determination.
The best lessons you’ve learned from life have probably come from your mistakes. Those painful errors that, looking back on them, were so cringeworthy that it’s almost physically painful just to think about them. The ones that almost defy reality in their lack of judgment and intelligence. Yeah, those ones.
We’ve ALL made them, and they make up a good portion of the bank of experience and wisdom you have accumulated over the years. And you should be thrilled to have those experiences, cause without them, you would be a lesser person. You make better decisions today because of them.
Then of course, if you scale it down a bit, you have all those other failures, which are not as epic or biblical but perhaps a bit more frequent in nature. I’m talking about all those times where you fell short of your plans and promises, and never really followed through, or all those times you aimed for something (the gym, a new career, a relationship etc) but realised to your great dismay that you didn’t have what it took to succeed.
Too many of these failures and we start to see them as truths, not mistakes to learn from. Almost as something that define who we are, and something we allow our personalities to adapt to.
Pretty soon we develop a passion to avoid them, at any cost, because they make us feel miserable and begin to start taking their toll on us. We honestly think that the opinions of others are super important, and that their judgment can best be avoided by not causing too much noise about ourselves. Keeping a “low profile” becomes a part of your daily life, and before you know it, it’s the number one thing that prevents you from achieving the life you deserve.
Fail and grow
If your reluctance to fail is stronger than your desire to win, then the outcome can only be one. How ironic, if you think about it. If you never risk anything, or try anything new, then the likelyhood of failure is pretty minimal. As is the likelyhood of any success or personal growth.
When I realised this, many years ago, it changed everything for me. My world grew substantially that day in my parents’ kitchen all those years ago, when my dad and I were talking about my moving to Switzerland to study. I was freaking out, mostly because I saw a high probability that things would go straight to hell. It was a big step to take, and the prospect of coming home in shame, having to explain to all my friends how my grand plan had come crashing down as I was too dumb to pass any exams, was almost more than I could bear. God forbid that ever happened!
Well, since my confidence was beginning to take a beating, and I was really building a case for how I would probably screw everything up, I asked him if this really was such a good idea after all.
And his reply? He said “What have you got to loose? For Christ’s sake son, have the guts to fail. The only thing you’ll ever regret more is if you don’t go at all.”
People always regret the things they never did rather then the things that didn’t go as planned. Armed with my father’s simplistic view of failure I set off to conquer the world, and in many ways I did. And guess what, behind all the successes I’ve had there have been quite a few notable nose dives. Isn’t that just great?
What to do?
If you’re serious about creating the best life for yourself, which I’m sure you are (cause you’re on this blog), it is ESSENTIAL you dare to fail. If you don’t, it will forever hold you back, and you’ll keep finding excuses not to pursue the activities you know will lead to a life of financial freedom, purpose and happiness.
The moment you realise that going all in, and maybe failing, will almost certainly get you the respect from others and the courage to try again. No successful person ever succeeded the first time around, but grew wiser and more determined after each failure. Few things in your life are the fruits of sheer luck, almost all of it is the result of your decisions and actions, or perhaps lack thereof.
If you’re thinking about changing your life, and seriously go for those dreams that keep you busy at night, just know this: Dare to fail, and you shall find success. Without a doubt.
Whether it be starting that online business, which I’ve talked a lot about on this site, or looking into ways of creating a passive income, or simply signing up for a gym membership to once and for all get that impressive physique, please…have the guts to fail. It’s not about whether or not you fail, it’s how you deal with it. If you embrace it, rather than shy away from it, there is literally nothing between you and the life you want. What have you got to loose?