Can failure lead to success? Think back to your childhood days and how you learned. Or watch a child in your family or neighborhood.
Children try things and learn by trial and error.
When a child learns to walk, we don’t expect him to get up and walk across the room. Instead, he will start by pulling himself up and standing for a few seconds at a time. Then he usually falls back and tries gain.
Eventually, the child learns to take a few assisted steps. Then after lots and lots of falls, he learns to walk.
The same goes for everything else.
Hello and welcome to Fearlessly Holistic.
My name is Irma and I want to share my journey to improved health by eating whole foods, moving my body and eliminating stress as much as possible.
It is my hope to inspire you to make daily changes. Why? Because eating fresh, seasonal food, getting some sunshine, and purging unhelpful thinking is the best way to increase longevity. But you do not want just a long life.
You want a quality long life.
My blog posts are my opinion and the results of things that I have tried that either worked for me or didn’t. My opinions are for informational purposes only and are not intended as medical advice. Medical advice should always be obtained from a qualified medical professional for any health conditions or symptoms associated with them. As well, there may be affiliate links in this post. Read more here
How We Fail Successfully As Children
Children don’t have a problem with failing. In fact, they are experts in it.
It’s how they learn and frankly, it’s the way we are all supposed to be learning. They see us do something, try to imitate us and then keep on trying until they get it right.
They sound out words and make lots of funny spelling mistakes. And that’s just fine.
We encourage children to try things and fail.
We encourage them to try and try again until they get it right or at least improve.
We cheer them on, we support them, and we use those failures as teaching moments.
The end result is that children are always learning and always ready to try something new.
They don’t mind taking a risk and not doing things right.
A child won’t stop writing you a note because some of the words may be misspelled.
They don’t stop trying to make breakfast for fear of burning the toast.
Kids persevere and don’t give up on trying out a new trick on their bike for fear of falling. (It took me a whole afternoon to learn by myself!)
Toddlers aren’t worried about approaching a new person and making a new friend for fear of rejection.
They try stuff and they are ok with messing up, being rejected, and simply having things not work out as expected.
They learn from those experiences and then they try again until they get it right.
It’s a great way to learn, experience, and grow as a human being. Don’t you agree?
If you ask me, it’s a much more natural way of learning and gaining expertise.
It’s certainly better than having someone teach you extensively what to do, reading a book, or watching a bunch of YouTube videos until you’re confident you can give something new a try without risking messing up.
If that’s how children tried to learn, it would take them much longer to learn to walk, talk, draw, or do any of the basic skills every four-year-old has mastered.
Yet, that’s how most adults work.
Failure Is The Key To Success
As we start to grow up, failure starts to become less and less of an option. We’re expected to grow up and get things right and to get them right on the first try.
If you think about it, that’s a ridiculous notion, because we know for a fact that we learn from our mistakes.
Yet as adults we are expected to get it right the first time.
I honestly don’t know where that notion is coming from. Maybe it’s out of a need to ensure we’re paying attention when we’re young.
Maybe it’s the tradition of apprenticeships where we learn most of what we need to know at a young age and should have mastered our skill or trade by the time we’re adults.
This approach may have worked in days gone by, but in this day and age, things change and develop quickly and there’s always something new to be learned.
We live in the information age and our attitude towards failure and learning should adjust with it. But that takes time.
For now, we are collectively afraid of to fail.
Failure is frowned upon. We are expected to be professionals who know what they are doing.
Avoiding mistakes makes us look like we know what we’re doing. That builds trust in our customers, employees, and peers.
We look like experts even if it means keeping things simple and avoiding taking risks.
While this may seem like a good thing on the surface, it really isn’t.
As a result of being afraid of failure and this deeply-ingrained need to always look like we know what we’re doing, we over-prepare.
We spend a lot of time and effort studying, reading, and figuring things out before we ever give them a try.
While there are certainly situations where that’s a good thing, for most of us it poses a big problem.
The problem is that over-preparing slows us down significantly.
While that wasn’t a problem in the past, information moves too quickly for this old strategy these days. We can’t afford to spend days, weeks, or even months to figure something out in this day and age.
We have to learn fast to keep up with the progress of information and technology.
And the best way to learn quickly is to allow ourselves to fail.
Let’s take a look at how exactly failing fast and failing often can help us speed up learning and keep up in these fast-paced times.
How Failure Can Lead To Success
If you want to start learning faster and more importantly reach your goals and dreams faster, you have to first learn to embrace failure.
Of course, that’s easier said than done.
This fear of failure is deeply engrained into our subconscious.
The goal then is to stop being afraid of failure.
There are quite a few simple ways to do just that.
Since being afraid of failure is a learned behavior, it will take a little time to unlearn it. I promise you’ll get there, but it will take a little time and effort.
It’s not very complicated or hard to do, but is worth it.
One of my favorite techniques to use whenever I’m afraid to try something new is to ask myself:
“What’s the worst that can happen”.
Here’s a very simple example.
Let’s say you’re a small business owner and you decide you want to learn to drum up some more business via Facebook advertising. You read a few online tutorials and are ready to give it a try.
Yet, you hesitate because you don’t know if you can make a profit.
What’s the worst that can happen?
Let’s say you start out with a $5 per day budget and give this a try for a week. The worst that could happen is that you’re out $35.
That’s peanuts compared to the yellow pages ads you’ve been running for years.
Even if your advertising doesn’t bring you in a single new customer, you will have learned;
- How to create an ad for Facebook,
- The ways to target your audience
- And how to track returns.
In other words, the worst that could happen is that you pay $35 to learn the basics of Facebook advertising that you can then build on in the months to come.
Here’s another example.
Let’s say you’re single and looking to find Mr. or Miss Right.
You put yourself out there and set up an online dating profile. You talk to a few interesting people and one of them asks you to meet for a drink after work.
What’s the worst that could happen?
You meet them and things don’t turn out well. They may not be interested in seeing you again.
While rejection is never fun, at least you’ve gotten out there and you got that first date under your belt.
You’re gaining experience and if nothing else, you got out of the house.
Doing something new for the first time is always hardest.
With each meeting and date going forward things will become easier and more fun.
My advice is that you simply start to go for it.
Start with something small that doesn’t take a lot of effort and something you’re not very afraid to fail in.
The idea here is to just get the ball rolling and get into the habit of trying things. The more you fail, the easier it will become to get over it.
When you fail at something or things don’t go as expected, stop and ask yourself what you can learn from the experience. This feedback is valuable and can help you figure out what to do next…or what not to do.
Learn and then move on.
Try to improve and get better, or decide that what you were trying to do isn’t for you.
I promise you that there is always something to be learned, even if it’s just how to not do something.
By failing fast and failing often, you will greatly speed up your learning and that of course means that you’re making progress much faster than before.
Are you ready to dive in and start embracing failure and loss? Start by picking something new you can try or do today and see how it goes.
Fail Fast To Get Success Faster
Some people are getting to where they are going much faster than others.
You see this in your job, in your business, and even in your personal live.
There are people out here that seem to be on the fast track, no matter what goals they set themselves. Would you like to know the secret to their success?
It’s failing and failing fast.
Yes, you heard me right. The secret to getting what you want out of life in the fastest way possible means you have to fail.
Not only do you have to fail, but you have to do it often and quickly. It’s the fastest way to learn what you need to know to get things right.
Stop Avoiding Mistakes
The first thing you should do is to stop actively avoiding making mistakes.
Don’t let the fear of failure stop you.
Take calculated risks, try something new, and if you fail, consider it a good thing. Having something not work out doesn’t mean you’re a failure.
It simply means you found something that doesn’t work.
Live by this quote by Thomas Edison:
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Learn From Each Failure
There is always something to be learned when things don’t work out the way you expected them to.
The trick is to look closely enough and with an open mind.
It’s easy to get stuck in our ways and expect things to work a certain way. If we let them, our failures can show us when we’re on the wrong path and what we need to adjust to make it work.
Take the time to learn from your mistakes and failures. Don’t just move on and try something else.
Look at what went wrong and learn from it what you can. Then, and only then, are you ready to try again.
Never Give Up
The only way you’ll truly fail is when you give up.
When you’re trying to get faster and better, when you’re working hard to reach your goals in life, giving up simply isn’t an option.
You can’t let yourself get beat.
Instead, you try again and again, learning from each failure and getting better at what you do along the way.
I’ll leave you with yet another quote by Thomas Edison:
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
Try Again… Don’t Give Up On Your Dreams
I get it.
We all have days when we want to call it quits, throw in the towel, and never look back.
We want to give into the failure, accept the loss and just give up on our dreams.
When we fail time and again to reach our goals or get to where we want to go, it’s tempting to decide that it’s just not going to work out.
Or it “is not meant to be”.
We all have those days and we all have to deal with failures and disappointments.
What sets those that end up being hugely successful apart from those who don’t is that they don’t give up on their dreams.
Believe it or not, when you’re at your lowest and ready to call it quits, you’re often just one more try, one more push away from getting what you want.
When you’re feeling low, and don’t want to try again, think about this.
Put on your big boy, or big girl pants and commit to trying one more time.
Give it your best effort and see how far it will take you.
Even if you don’t reach your dream right away, I am sure you’ll get a step or two closer.
Celebrate those small victories and successes.
Use the energy and confidence you gain from that to take the next step and keep working away. That’s how you make it and that’s how you reach your goals.
The most important lesson is that you don’t ever give up on your dreams.
It may feel like the safe and maybe even the smart thing to do at the time.
You tell yourself that it’s time to grow up and get a “normal” job and do the adult thing.
Maybe it is, but more than likely it’s something you’ll regret down the road.
If you are at the point where you need to get a job and stop pursuing your dream full-time so you can support your family, that’s fine.
But it doesn’t mean you have to give up.
Do what you can to keep things moving in the right direction on the side.
What I don’t want for you is to see you wake up one morning and regret that you’ve given up on your dream.
Keep it alive and do what you can to make it happen.
Don’t let failure, setbacks, or the opinion of others keep you from going after the things you want in your life.
Instead, keep trying and don’t ever give up on your dreams.
Tips For Rebounding From “Failures”
Let’s talk about these “disasters” and how to overcome them.
We have all experienced flops in our lives.They are those things that go wrong through no direct fault of our own.
Let’s use business as an example.
You have a great new product coming out and you’re counting on a big name in your marketplace to help promote it.
This person promises to share and recommend your new gadget to his people and then skips out on you. As a result, your big launch flops.
Here’s how you overcome this and get to a point where you can move on.
It’s Not You… It’s Them
The first thing you need to realize with these flops is that it’s not your fault. You didn’t do anything wrong.
The blame is all on the other party. They didn’t follow through with their promise, their effort, or whatever it is they should have been doing. It happens.
It’s not a fun experience by any stretch of the imagination, but it happens.
The faster you can accept that and move on, the better in the long run.
Things change, people change, and unforeseen issues pop up. It happens, but no matter what or why it happens, the blame does not lay with you.
It may or may not be the fault of the other party, but remember.
It’s not you… it’s them.
Don’t Let Doubt Creep In
It’s easy to feel like the failure is your fault.
It’s easy to let doubt about yourself, your abilities, and your products creep in.
Don’t let this debacle, and the failure of someone else to take action and do the right thing undermine your self-confidence.
You’ve worked hard and are close to reaching your goals.
Yes, a dud can be a setback and make it harder to get to where you want to be.
But that doesn’t take away from everything you’ve accomplished.
Don’t second guess what you’re doing.
And please do not doubt yourself and your abilities.
You will find another way to get to where you want to be.
Look On The Bright Side – There Always Is One
The most important thing I want you to take away is that there’s always something positive to be found in every single “failure”.
It may not be all roses and sunshine when things don’t work out, but when you look hard enough, you can find something good that came from the situation.
- Maybe the other person feels bad about letting you down and now owes you a big favor.
- Or you end up meeting someone else in the meantime that can help you reach your goals even faster.
- And consider that you’re simply becoming more self-reliant.
If you look long and hard enough, you will find something positive coming out of every single flop. Start looking.
I was not raised to understand the value of failure and how to use feedback to do better. It has been an incredibly long road trying to undo my “fear of failure/fear of success” programming.
In fact I did not even realize that I could fix my programming until I started doing EFT/tapping with Brad Yates.
Brad has a way of framing our bad feelings and helping us to see that we are not bad or stupid, it’s just some bad programming.
If you have mindset issues, I recommend trying several different self-care techniques to change your thinking.
You only have to move the needle one step to create more success in whatever you are trying to fix.
If you keep at it, before you know it your life has changed for the better!
Personally, my choices are: EFT/tapping with Brad Yates, journaling out positive affirmations every morning, and meditation.
Holistic approaches never just address symptoms of specific health problems, but instead aim to return or keep the patient in a state of balanced health between mind, body, and spirit. Holism targets overall wellness, and when we are well, we only get better with age.
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Until next time, here’s to our health!