“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”- Robert F. Kennedy
Every one of us is afraid to fail, especially of the consequences of our failures. We hide, deny and ignore our failures. Sometimes, we do not accept our failures and blame them on somebody else.
We are afraid that because of our failures, people will criticize us, belittle us and distrust us. Most of the time, this fear of failure prevents us from innovating and improving ourselves and our job.
John C. Maxwell, in his book The Winning Attitude, said that we must do everything to accept our failures. By acceptance of our failures, he means an understanding that failure is a necessary step to success. The man who never made a mistake never did anything.
Very few do not commit mistakes the first time they did something.
Successful men experienced failures before they succeeded.
According to Michael Jordan: “ I’ve missed more than 9,000 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.”
In 1952 Sir Edmund Hillary attempted to climb Mount Everest, but failed. Yet, he did not give up. On May 29, 1953 he scaled the highest mountain then known to man-29,000 feet straight up. He was heralded as the first man to climb Mount Everest.
Henry Ford failed and went broke five times before he finally succeeded.
Beethoven handled the violin awkwardly and preferred playing his own compositions instead of improving his technique. His teacher called him hopeless as a composer.
Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor for lack of ideas. Disney also went bankrupt several times before he built Disneyland.
US President Barack Obama said: “Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.”
There’s no such thing as failure, people only give up. Just consider how many times the Wright Brothers did not get the plane off the ground! Yet they continued to try until they prevailed.
According to Christian Warren in his article, The Harder the Failure the Sweeter the Success: “Failure is the main ingredient in the recipe for success; its 10 parts education, 20 parts effort and 70 parts failure. So why do we hang our heads, lower our eyelids, and cover our mouths, drenched in shame and disgrace, when admitting our failures?”
It matters not how many times we failed as long as we learn lessons from our mistakes and we use these lessons as basis to innovate, improve our attitudes and habits and apply new ideas.
Here’s a beautiful poem on The Truth About Failure by Robert Schuller:
Failure doesn’t mean you are a failure…it does mean you haven’t succeeded yet.
Failure doesn’t mean you have accomplished nothing…it does mean you have learned something.
Failure doesn’t mean you have been a fool…it does mean you had a lot of faith.
Failure doesn’t mean you have been disgraced…it does mean you were willing to try.
Failure doesn’t mean you don’t have it…it does mean you have to do something in a different way.
Failure doesn’t mean you are inferior…it does mean you are not perfect.
Failure doesn’t mean you’ve wasted your life…it does mean you’ve got a reason to start afresh.
Failure doesn’t mean you should give up…it does mean you should try harder.
Failure doesn’t mean you’ll never make it…it does mean it will take a little longer.
Failure doesn’t mean God has abandoned you…it does mean God has a better idea.