Failure is Inevitable
I’ve spent a lot of my life being afraid of failure. I was afraid I would do something wrong and look stupid. I was afraid to put my heart into something and not have it work out. I was afraid of trying, failing, and being a loser.
This fear of failure is paralyzing. It makes us second guess, doubt, and worry about horrible scenarios that haven’t happened.
But here’s a fact: you’re going to fail.
No matter how much you try and avoid it, things are going to happen in your life that you have no control over. You won’t get the job, you won’t be picked for the team, you’ll get dumped.
Being afraid of failure is a losing battle. Failure will find you; and you better be ready for it.
You Shouldn’t Just Learn From Your Mistakes
It’s in the depths of our failures where we remember shiny clichés about learning from our mistakes, and how we’d never make the right choice without learning from the wrong choice.
Learning from your mistakes is a great start, but it’s not much consolation when you feel like you’re never going to do anything right. Failure isn’t this awesome epiphany that opens doors for us. It’s scary. And we need to recognize that we don’t like it and we do what we can to avoid it. We avoid trying out for the part in the play, we avoid applying for the job, we avoid being the first to pick up the phone, all because we’re afraid to fail.
Learn to be Resilient and Persevere
Take a minute to think about that. When we don’t try there’s no way that we can succeed — just like we can’t fail.
So what do we do? If learning from our mistakes isn’t the answer, then what’s the point of failing, other than to feel awful? What can we learn from it if it’s inevitable?
We learn resilience and perseverance. That’s the most important lesson. It doesn’t matter what you learn from your mistakes if you can’t learn to bounce back.
If failures knock you on your ass, and you lay in bed for days crying, and then give up on ever trying again because it felt awful to fail, then success is not for you. Being happy is not for you. Finding fulfillment is not for you.
The people that find success, fulfillment, and happiness are not special. They are not people that have had it easy. They are the people that have been hit in the face, and continue to stand up again.
Successful people are the ones that can look failure in the face and say, “Fuck you. You hit me this time, but I’m going again.” They don’t give up and they don’t admit defeat.
You’ve Had More Successes Than Failures
Think about the failures you’ve had in your life. Now count up the successes. My guess is that you immediately came up with more failures, and didn’t even count small successes — even silly things like learning to ride a bike.
But we have a huge capacity for learning. Everything you’ve done in your life that added up to reading this post have been a series of small successes and failures. There was a time that you didn’t know what a computer was, you couldn’t click a mouse, or type on the computer. And here you are, successfully typing away on social media.
Your potential to grow and learn and succeed is limited only by your fear of failure — and your inability to bounce back and continue trying. So get off your ass and try something new today, even if you think you’re going to crash and burn.
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