What is Failure?
What’s the secret to success? We’re not sure if we have the answer, but we know one thing: Mindset matters.
When something doesn’t go our way — doesn’t go according to our plan — and those negative voices come shouting and doubting, “Failure, failure, failure!”…when the self-doubt creeps in…
This is where perspective and reframing become such powerful tools.
Nelson Mandela once said, “I never lose. I either win or learn.”
John C. Maxwell wrote a best-selling book that goes by a similar title: Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn.
The question isn’t that you’ll never fail. You will…when you try. The point is that failure is a powerful teacher.
We learn more from failure than success. Failure is the school fees that you pay for success.
Instead of looking at failure negatively — as something to avoid at all costs — we have to reframe and view it as a learning opportunity.
As John Maxwell says, “Fail early, fail often and always fail forward.”
There are two important takeaways here. First, try. Don’t not try out of fear of failure. The next try — whether you “win” or you “learn” — may be the gateway to success.
Consider this quote from Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player of all time, who “failed” 50% of the time: “I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”
Secondly, when you fail — and you will fail when you try — recognize that there’s a huge difference between the statements “I failed” versus “I am failure”.
Don’t become your failure. You are not your a failure. It is an occurence in your life.
We encourage you to keep forging ahead in your journey, starting from wherever you are with whatever you’ve got.
If fear of failing is holding you back, consider that the next attempt may be the successful path you desire.
You are always one attempt away from your major breakthrough.
And if you do “fail”, it may be the doorway to learning the secret to success.
If you’ve failed before, recognize, first, that you are NOT a failure. You are a brave, courageous soul.
- What can you learn from that attempt?
- What can it teach you about success?
Consider this beautiful analogy from Jacob Riis: “Look at a stone cutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred-and-first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not the last blow that did it, but all that had gone before.”
Be the stone cutter. Continue to hammer away at your rock, chipping away, effort by effort. As Robert Collier says, “Success is the sum of small efforts — repeated day in and day out.”
You don’t become successful one day, you become successful daily.