Maybe I should be more guarded or defensive about my failures, but I choose to embrace them. I’ll save you the list, but suffice it to say that failure has been a major part of my writing and speaking career thus far.
So, here are the three reasons why I fail. There may be more, but I suspect that every failure I’ve ever encountered (and will encounter) finds its roots in one of the following:
- I’ve played it safe. Bold ideas require sacrifice, surprises, and risks. Often when I’ve failed, it’s because I haven’t given my idea the bravery that it deserves. If you’re idea is bold – or, if you believe that you have what it takes, that you can offer something different, beautiful, or helpful – you must determine now that you’ll be brave enough to be new.
- I’ve quit too soon. It’s easy to give up when things aren’t going your way – when people aren’t noticing your art, or asking for your help, or raving about how awesome you are. Here’s the truth: There are a thousand possible reasons you aren’t getting noticed, don’t believe less about yourself because people are distracted.
- I’ve listened to the wrong people. Allowing negative reactions to determine your course isn’t always the best choice; sometimes you must be bold enough to be different and chart new courses. There will always be naysayers – those who are scared of the risk, unsure of the vision, and comfortable with the status quo. Just because they are loud doesn’t mean they are right. Listen to the right people, and you’ll grow faster. Choose people who’s opinion you respect and give them the permission to be brutally honest with you as they evaluate your craft and your vision. You’ll never regret that decision.
Yeah, I’ve failed a lot in my short career as a dreamer. But, I don’t mind.
Because I’ve failed, I’ve grown more brave. In those moments, I’ve found that failure hasn’t discounted the validity of my dream or the skill of my craft; it’s only served as a platform for strengthening the desire within me. I’ve discovered that we can overcome failure; it is inaction that kills us. On the heels of failure, my craft is being developed and my vision strengthened to try again tomorrow.
If you’re going to change the world – or your world – you will fail at some point.
Never fail because you played it safe. When you fail, may it be because you’ve tried something new and extraordinary and brave; something different, and meaningful. May you fail not because you stopped, but because you gave it everything you had.
Those failures form us into new people ready to do new things. Fail well, friends.
Comment Question: Why have you failed?