Updated: Jan 18, 2022
If I had the opportunity, one piece of advice that I would have given to my younger self would have been to change the way I looked at failure.
For too long, I viewed failure as something that should be avoided. I thought it was something that pushed you away from success. It would bring on a fear that I thought was valid, which caused me to sidestep trying new things and taking action on goals that mattered.
I’m not the only one that has, at some point in their life, allowed this fear of failure to bully them into missing out on new opportunities and greater experiences.
In fact, many people never start pursuing their dreams because of this fear of failure.
What I have realized is that if you never fail then that means you’re not taking any risks, and without risk you’ll never experience anything new—but to experience new and exciting things in life, you must embrace and conquer this fear of failure.
How do you conquer this fear?
You change the way you look at and interpret failure.
A mental trap that many people find themselves stuck in is to think that if you fail, then you will be labeled and classified as a failure. Which is far from the truth.
Failure is a prerequisite to success. It’s a great teacher that comes packed with life changing lessons. It shows you how you can improve, what you need to develop, and how you can become better. Every high achiever has a history that includes plenty of failures and mistakes.
Before you can achieve any worthwhile goal, odds are that you’ll experience some form of failure. It’s at the point of failure that you have to decide to either stay stuck in defeat or to step into growth. How you view failure will determine what decision you’ll make.
Thomas Edison said, “I didn’t fail, I just found a thousand ways that didn’t work.”
J.K. Rowling said, “Failure means a stripping away of the inessential.”
Michael Jordan said, “I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.”
It all boils down to how you view failure.
Failure fuels success. It puts you in position for your greatest opportunities by helping you improve—but in order to learn from failure you have to be honest with yourself about your efforts, be open to improvement, and respect the process of achievement.
Great things take time. Success never happens overnight.
You’ll make mistakes as you try to build a successful business. You might miss the mark sometimes as you try to get in the best shape of your life. You may fall flat on your face as you try to turn your passion into your profession—but don’t let minor set backs stop you.
As you decide to pursue the dreams that matter to you and build the life that you truly want to live, I encourage you to give yourself permission to make mistakes.
Realize that failure is just practice shots.
Continue to experiment over and over again.
Keep trying until you learn and discover what works.
I’ve made countless mistakes as a speaker and as an entrepreneur, but they’ve made me better. I’ve learned to realize that you don’t fail when you make mistakes, you fail when you give up. If you continue to learn and stay determined, you’ll eventually find a way to succeed. I’d rather make mistakes on my journey than making the ultimate mistake of never trying.