Flipping failure

Posted on June 29, 2013

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ImageI seem to have found myself discussing the concept of failure a lot recently and specifically, not being afraid of it.  It’s a pretty stupid word really. I mean, there is no such thing as failure, provided you give something your best shot and you learn from the experience.

We all face so-called ‘failure’ in our lives, be that in our careers or student life, in sports or relationships but surely its really more a matter of personal interpretation and perspective than some kind of universal experience. Just as every challenge we face can be flipped into an opportunity, so can every failure be flipped into a lesson and therefore an opportunity to grow.

You just need to learn to replace the frustration and self-pity with logic and reason … and remember too that one bad experience bears no indication of your future potential. With that thought, starting today, learn to love the f word and relish the benefits it brings:

  • Perspective

Failure is a great reality check. It keeps the ego grounded, the heart humble and the mind focused.

  • Complacency

Failure stops us from taking people, situations, opportunities, and outcomes for granted and from taking our feet off the pedal. In this life, if we stand still, we fall backwards …

  • Resilience

If we want to get stronger, be it physically, mentally or emotionally, we need to keep working against resistance. We only learn to deal with adversity when we look it in the eye. It’s how we learn, grow and adapt.

  • Awareness

It is our failures that teach us the most about what’s required to succeed. Ask any ultra runner which races they have learnt most from and it’s always the DNF’s.

  • Creativity

Failure forces us to tap into the untapped; to think more creatively in seeking solutions. Those a-ha /  lightbulb /  Jerry McGuire moments all tend to drive from some perceived failure or undesirable outcome.

You see, if we don’t ‘fail’ every so often, we’re clearly not trying hard enough. We can only ever raise the bar if we get up close and push beyond it. Perhaps Michael Jordan says it best:

‘I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.’

Have a great week and here’s to losing limits, learning lessons and telling ‘failure’ to get lost …

We may fail but we will rise again and stand taller … each and every time! x

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