Everyone knows the cliché lines about failing and how you need some varying degree of it to succeed, so I won’t regurgitate old lines. What I will do is explain some key fundamental aspects of failure that make it so pertinent to every day life that you will look at failure in a new way.
To quote Kevin Hart: “You gon’ learn today.”
To fail is neither inherently good nor bad; we always just assume it to be negative. The reason we perceive failure this way is because we have been conditioned all our lives to strive to be successful and accomplished. We learn that mistakes are unacceptable.
So when we fail, we associate pain to it. Understand too that all failure is subjective, so what seems like a failure to you may be a success to someone else.
I’m going to change your view on failure.
Everyone likes lists and clickbait and all that marketing bullshit so we’ll break this down into a short list of ways your mind should perceive failure.
I’ll even give it a catchy title that you would absolutely click on if this popped up in your Facebook feed. (Speaking of, you should totally share this article so it pops up in people’s Facebook feed. No shame in that plug)
They couldn’t believe he had ever failed in his life by looking at him. When they heard about his failures, this is what they learned.
You’re Failing Every Day.
You may not realize this, but you fail way more than you think. It’s almost automatic actually. We perceive failure in regards to not achieving a desired outcome that holds great meaning to us. For example, if your love interest of a few years leaves you, you may feel like a failure. Or if you tried to start a business and it went bankrupt. Or if you went to the gym and realized post-shower that you forgot to bring extra underwear to change into (guilty on multiple accounts).
But what we don’t consider failure are all the little things that cumulatively define the bigger things.
Late to work? Fail.
Hit the snooze button? Fail.*
Didn’t plan ahead and now you have to buy unhealthy food on the go? Fail.
Forgot to call your mom on her birthday? Fail.
Distracted yourself with comfort instead of building your dream? Fail.
Every little failure or success we have during the day defines who we are and how we live our lives.
If you’re always in a rush and consistently late, you’re failing at time management .
If you’re good at heart but you have a horrible temper, you’re failing at managing your emotions.
These are not permanent failures. No failure is permanent.
So I need you to start taking note of your current daily failures, discard the ones that aren’t helping you, and start failing more productively. Once you can track your daily failure, you’ll see which ones are actually just bringing you success and which ones truly are failures.
*Side note with hitting the snooze button: Get rid of your damn snooze button. Seriously. Why even set the alarm if you’re going to hit snooze? Stop making excuses, wake up, and dominate your day.
Failure Teaches More Than Success
This is a painful truth, but you will learn very little from success. Almost all growth and knowledge comes from failure. Those that are consistently successful are that way because they have failed time and time again.
There is a saying that states: “Success leaves clues.” The clues are all the failures the success is built upon.
The second blade of this double-edged sword is that no amount of success will ever be enough. Human kind is a very goal-oriented species. Because of that, we will always want more. So, no matter how successful you become, it will never be enough. You will always be looking for something new, better, or different.
We do this because if we stay in one spot, if we stay totally satisfied with where we are in life and do not have any further aspirations, we will not grow. What doesn’t grow dies, and we will do anything to avoid that.
However, the way to grow is typically through more failure.
So now you get to choose: die or fail?
Assume failure; Expect success
Most of us are simply afraid of failure because it is an unknown element in our otherwise “certain” plan. Yet nothing is guaranteed in life, so anything you think is going to happen exactly the way you expect it to is going to prove you wrong every single time.
From now on, in all your endeavors, assume that you are going to fail.
It takes away the power from the failure. If you now take this uncertain element and add it into your plan, then it is no longer a risk; it’s part of the program!
When assuming failure, you must also always expect success. If you just assume failure with no thoughts of succeeding, you’ll feed too much into the failure and convince yourself that success is impossible since you’re destined to fail.
Go into everything with the mindset that 1) Yes, I am going to fail and 2) that is why I’m going to be successful.
When you can condition your brain to understand that failing is essential to succeeding and that failure is not actually a negative thing, but a necessary thing, then you will already be successful.
So, here’s my homework for you.
I want you to go fail today.
I don’t care the scale; you can fail small or big.
I want you to try something that you are not good at, I want you to fail, I want you to learn and grow from it, and then I want you to successfully accomplish it. After you’ve done that, it is your responsibility to yourself to take that process and apply it to all other areas of your life that are seeking growth.