“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy
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“You’ll Never be brave if you don’t get hurt. You’ll never learn if you don’t make mistakes. You’ll never be successful if you don’t encounter failure.”
Many years ago when I was young and rather more fearful I may add, it eluded me that failure was something to be learned from. I had the state of mind that you either were a success or not. It never once crossed my innocent mind that failure is an intrinsic part of success.
So what is wrong with being a failure?
In my rather ignorant, naive eyes and limited interpretation of the world, everything was wrong with being a failure! I may have appeared to be a success in the eyes of other people, but the device with which I measured my own personal level of success always returned the same verdict – I was a total failure!
As maturation allowed my mind to expand, I realised that there had been many missed opportunities in my lifetime simply because I was afraid of actual failure. It was a word which evoked the feeling of fear at the very mention of it because I lacked confident in my own strength and ability. My uniqueness was often overlooked as I compared myself to that of more successful people.
Today I have come a long way and learned many a lesson in this field. Indeed failure has actually enriched my life in many ways. But how, you may ask? I have learned that:
“Giving up is the only sure way to fail.” – Gena Showalter
Once I realised that I had been running away from failure all my life by simply avoiding it, I began to address this issue rather more seriously. I worked out that whenever I had been faced with various options I unconsciously chose the easier option which always helped me to bypass failure because I never really had to face up to it. But when eventually everything I had been afraid of finally caught up with me and I saw my life crumble around me because I could no longer keep up the pretence that everything was alright when it simply wasn’t, I finally learned that failure can teach us many things.
“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates
One of the lessons I learned was that as a deadly seven letter word, failure can send a shiver of fear down many a strong spine. We either face failure by doing everything in our power to avoid it or we adhere to it. There are no two ways about it. You can either accept it gracefully or rant about it miserably by blaming everything else around you. It all boils down to your mental and emotional state of mind.
It is so much easier to blame the external factors but to truly learn from failure you must accept your own responsibilities and weaknesses. Granted, it is not always your fault you have failed, there may perhaps be elements designed to deter you or to create a blockage but if you view these as challenges rather than problems, there is so much less to fear from failure.
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“There is only one thing which makes a dream impossible to achieve and that is the fear of failure.” – Paulo Coelho
Failure can seem like a heavy burden in life which can push us down to our deepest depths of despair. Failure, although can crush us initially, when we actually register it and analyse it, there is much it can teach us. Many an important lesson can be learned as failure helps us to become stronger than ever before.
“Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.” – J.K. Rowling
Failure is the pathway to achieving success. Each time you fail you are a little closer to success. In this respect, failure represents another opportunity to build resilience and strength of character as well as patience and problem solving skills. If you remain determined, you will most definitely succeed and failure is simply another step towards success. In fact failure itself strengthens you for the sweet success that seems to have eluded you but with persistence will be yours for the taking.
Failure can be used as a motivator to urge you to do your best and to achieve something bigger and brighter and we all know that feeling of success being even sweeter after a string of failures. There is no feeling like that feeling of triumph after difficult challenges have been overcome.
When you analyse what made you fail, you become wiser and better equipped to try again. Slow and steady encourages consolidation and time to reflect on other factors. Failure is a sure sign that at the very least you have tried to do something towards your desire and learned a lesson instead
For failure is life’s best teacher. It teaches us how not to do things. In some cases it may even be a breakthrough to something you had not even considered a possibility! As Thomas A. Edison answered when questioned about the numerous times he had failed in his attempts at creating the light bulb: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
I end appropriately with the words of Henry Ford: “Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently.”
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