Failure really sucks.
Failure makes you feel like you’re not good enough, like you’re not doing things right, and like you want to give up.
However, failure is inevitable.
As an infant learning how to walk, you would stand up and fall over and over. Did you stop trying to walk though?
When you learned how to ride a bike, how many times did you fall over? Did you give up?
How many lessons did it take for you to learn how to read? To write? To swim? To play an instrument? To catch a ball?
And did you quit?! NO.
Young children have resilience. As a child we don’t yet have the cognitive ability to understand failure. In addition to that, we’re often encouraged to keep trying during childhood by our parents or teachers.
Then we get older, and we start to feel fear.
We start to recognize that failing doesn’t feel good. Maybe your parents got mad at you when you got bad grades. Your friends made fun of you when you were rejected by your crush. Your coach got upset when you didn’t score during a game.
Our brains develop and begin to process difficult things as scary things.
Our brains trick us into avoiding challenges because it tries to protect us. It doesn’t want to feel uncomfortable or any type of fear. So it aims to keep you safe by stopping you from doing hard things.
A lot of people fear failure, therefore they don’t take any action. Nevertheless, that is failure in itself. Simply because you’re failing to take action on your dreams, goals, or something to better yourself.
“Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today.”
Failure is essential for success.
It is so rare, practically impossible to find a successful individual who has not failed repeatedly.
Repeated failure means you are taking action
Whether you fail in the gym, in business, or your goals, it means you are taking action.
Each time you try something new or challenging, you’re risking failure. However, you’re putting yourself on the fast track to growth.
Most people don’t even start.
Failure helps you learn and guides you in the right direction
I am a microbiologist by day. Just about every single week I experience failure in the lab. The experiment doesn’t go to plan or the results aren’t what were expected.
But instead of just giving up, I recognize the failure, make adjustments, and try again. How the hell else am I going to get the results I need?
Each time you fail it is a lesson.
This lesson should help guide you on what to do next. You now know what NOT to do. You learn what needs to be adjusted and then try again.
If you’re in the gym trying to squat 200 pounds and you end up dropping it, you could either try again at the same weight, or realize what you need to do next.
Maybe your form needs work, maybe you need to strengthen your abdominal muscles first, maybe you need to just stay at a lower weight for awhile.
Sometimes you may choose to keep trying the same thing, but don’t drive yourself crazy. It’s time to follow the guide.
Failure helps you gain experience
Failure, big or small, means you’re gaining experience.
This experience makes you wiser. And if you’re smart you’ll learn from those failures and know what to do/what not to do in the future.
Let’s say your relationship failed. Sometimes it’s only because of one person, but usually the fault is on both people involved.
In your next relationship you now know you should probably listen better, or communicate better, or show more affection, or leave when you know you want to.
These failures shape you into who you are.
Overcoming failure increases confidence
If you fail at something really important to you, and decide to give up, you’ve been defeated.
But if you fail and choose to learn from it and use it as a stepping stone, you’ll get through and be so damn proud of yourself.
Your confidence will increase because you took charge of your feelings. You took action on something challenging and succeeded.
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Failure makes success feel that much better
If every time you tried something, you succeeded, you would get so tired of it and it wouldn’t even feel like a good thing anymore.
If you keep succeeding, then you’re probably not doing things that are challenging enough for you.
Think of something you have failed at repeatedly. Think of how amazing it felt to finally succeed at that. You worked for it. You pushed through those hard emotions. You overcame failure and deserve those results.
I remember when I used to be in gymnastics and how many times I fell doing a cartwheel on the beam or trying to land a flip. And the times I finally would stick it, I was elated.
Failure makes for a better story anyway
I don’t find people very inspirational or relatable if they got to where they are without failure.
One of my favorite stories is that of Sylvester Stallone.
After repeated rejections and failures, he kept trying. He kept trying until he did it and now look at him.
There are many, many people from your next door neighbor to athletes to celebrities that have failed over and over again to get where they are.
When you finally succeed in what you’re aiming for, you’re going to look back and feel so proud. You’ll have one hell of a story to share and you’ll be able to say it was all worth it.
What to do each time you fail
Keep in mind that failing does not mean YOU are a failure. You just tried something and you didn’t get the desired results. That’s it.
Don’t make it some big thing that defines your life.
Don’t let it hold you back from trying again or doing hard things.
Failure is a GOOD thing, you just have to get used to it.
Be the scientist of your life
As I mentioned above, my job as a microbiologist involves a ton of failure.
If you learn to just treat your life as one big science experiment, then you’ll be well on your way to where you want to be.
Recognize that you have failed.
You tried something, and you didn’t get the desired result.
Failure isn’t the end all, be all. You’re going to overcome it.
Think about whether or not you can repeat the exact same thing and get the desired results.
Chances are, you’ll have to adjust in some way to succeed.
For example, let’s say today you tried to run a mile but could only get to half a mile.
What if you were just really exhausted and need more rest?
What if your body was too weak because you didn’t eat enough food?
It’s not always some big, crazy thing that needs to be adjusted. It may be small and it may be slow change.
Next time you try, what do you need to do.
What steps do you need to take to help you reach your goal?
Trying the same thing over and over again is going to keep resulting in failure.
4) Try again
Knowing what you know now, try again.
If you fail again, then you fail again. Who cares?
I know it sucks. I know you’re frustrated.
But just repeat these steps until you reach the desired result.
Failure is a part of life if you want to achieve something. Don’t be afraid of it. Because the more you fail and fail quickly, the closer you’ll get to your dreams.