Do not be afraid to fail.
The goal, of course, is to pass a course, get the job or promotion, or win the game; however, in the process, you might be faced with failure. You might even fail at the whole game for a while.
People often learn the most after struggling with a problem. Just to give you a little anecdote, I will use my wife’s example.
Many years ago, when personal computers were just beginning to be popular, my wife, Gay, was in Real Estate and needed to learn how to use a computer. Several agents took a course at a local school. Gay and her friend decided to go together. Gay paid very close attention to the spoken directions as well as the printed instructions, so she rarely made a mistake while taking the course, completing each task with precision.
Her friend, on the other hand, was not quite as careful and tended to get herself lost on the computer. This was before the ubiquitous “mouse” and easy programs. You had to use F1, F5, etc. to give commands, etc.
Gay said she learned more by trying to solve the mistakes her friend made because she needed to learn many more aspects of how the computer worked – or at least how the programs worked to help her out. After this experience, if my wife ended up in trouble, she knew how to work it out. Not only that, but it made her far less fearful of using the computer and various computer programs.
Making a mistake or experiencing failure is not the issue. The issue is what you do when faced with failure.
Regroup and look at what went wrong. Don’t ignore it!
By addressing what happened, you are able to avoid the same mistakes in the future. Also, as you “work out” the problem, you might learn new ways to approach the steps or original methods to arrive at a conclusion or successful ending.
To put it bluntly, you have until you die to make amends and find a new path! So, don’t give up. Keep your mind open and actively search for success in whatever you do, knowing that some of the time there will be bumps in the road.
Keep in mind that those who have not faced failure were also never willing to put themselves out there or to try hard enough.
Many successful people had numerous failures or were considered complete failures at some point in their lives, including the likes of Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Charles Darwin, Oprah Winfrey, and on and on.
Winston Churchill failed the exam to get into the Royal Military College twice, and only passed on the third try when he changed to the Calvary division which had a lower threshold. He lost 5 elections, including 3 elections in a row! The following are some of his thoughts on failure:
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
Thomas Edison purportedly “failed” over 10, 000 times to produce a viable light bulb.
He said, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”
Also, “Negative results are just what I want. They’re just as valuable to me as positive results. I can never find the thing that does the job best until I find the ones that don’t.”
These are very positive ways to deal with failure and ultimately succeed – even if the success looks different than you first envisioned.
So, chin up and keep moving forward while not forgetting to learn from those mistakes and failures.
How to Fail Successfully