The idea of failure is scary, there’s no getting around that. But, if you look at it from a different perspective, we can change that fear into something far more valuable. To be successful at ANYTHING, you must go through times of failure and defeat. Nobody has achieved greatness without failing. But what makes them different from every other person who has failed? They know how to Fail Forward.
Failing forward is the idea of turning your failures into something positive by looking at it a different way. Instead of letting these failures demoralize you, turn them into a learning experience. Learn from your mistakes so that the next time you will perform better. Failure is absolutely inevitable. So why try to run, hide, and avoid it? That will just leave you feeling burned out and drained. I say we should be striving for failure. If you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying hard enough.
Denzel Washington said it best at the end of the video, “To get something you’ve never had, you have to do something you never did.” Will Smith is a big supporter of failing forward. He will tell you that none of his success came without failures. Michael Jordan was cut from his High School basketball team. But he learned from that, kept at it and didn’t quit. Now he is considered arguably the best basketball players to ever play. Albert Einstein was told he would never amount to much. Walt Disney was told he lacked imagination. Oprah Winfrey was told she wasn’t meant for TV. Steven Speilberg was rejected by the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts multiple times. But despite these defeats, all of these people went on to achieve incredible things. All of them will tell you that the most important part of success is to never give up, no matter what anyone tells you. Prove them wrong and go succeed despite their hate.
This applies to all areas of life, too. It doesn’t matter if it is school, work, home life, family, community, or your church. Every aspect of your life comes with this unavoidable failure. If it isn’t us messing up, it’s things or people around us messing up. You can try to escape failure for as long as you want, but you will eventually lose. But, what really matters is how you deal with that loss. When you lose that important game for your team, learn from your mistake so you get better. When you say something that shouldn’t have been said to a family member, learn from your mistake so you don’t do it again. When you make the wrong decision as a boss, learn from your mistake so next time there will be a better outcome. When you miss that deadline for a project, learn from your mistake so you will be more prepared next time. But the most important part of the equation is to NEVER GIVE UP. That is something that all successful people have in common. They never quit. When the going gets tough, and you’re failing over and over, just keep grinding.
There will be times when you are discouraged and beaten down. There will be times where you feel like you aren’t going to make it. But just keep going. It will be hard no doubt, but there is no other way to achieve success. There is no alternative, no shortcuts, no easy way out. But I promise you that it will all be worth it. Exploit your failures so that you can eliminate those weaknesses. Look to fail so when it happens, you will be prepared and know how to handle it the next time around.