Fail So You Can Succeed

Fail? Hmmm… not for me, thanks!

I’ll admit, I HATE failing. In fact I’m terrorised by it. All my life I’ve been afraid of failure. That can usually lead to one of two things. You either put your heart and soul into what you do to ensure you don’t fail (and when you occasionally you do you have a mental breakdown) or you avoid doing anything that you’re not certain about (which is pretty much most things). Both are crippling and can hold you back immensely! But you should never be afraid of failure.

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games.

Twenty-six 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.”

Michael Jordan

There’s an important message in there. Nobody remembers Michael Jordan for his mistakes. One successful shot is enough to make up for 100 misses. It’s a rule that applies to all aspects of life. For a designer like me, I could try, test, and prototype 100 ideas before I create that one perfect solution. But each and every one of those failed ideas has only deepened my understanding of the problem and helped to find the right way to do it.

It’s not just me though. Imagine you were a writer and you’ve just published a new article or novel and it gets slated by the critics. What do you do? Do you wallow in self-pity and refuse to ever write again? No! You go back to the drawing board (or writing desk in this case) and you write a new article. Only this time you don’t make the same mistakes as last time and you become a better writer for it! Without the initial failure how would you ever have known what not to do the second time around.

So there you have it. If you want to truly succeed, you have to be willing to fail.


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