Last post we explored self-esteem and how it affects your ability to admit when you were wrong or made a mistake. But there’s another aspect of making mistakes that we should discuss. And that is being so wrong, unprepared, or unqualified about something you attempt – that you produce a spectacular failure.
Everyone is wrong about something once in a while, we all make mistakes, and fail at certain things. But very few people produce spectacular, public failures on the scale of the DeLorean Motor Company, new Coke, and Google Glass. The reason for this is because very few people attempt spectacular, public successes. And you can’t succeed at something bold unless you’re willing to fail.
It’s almost a trope now for motivational speakers and writers to incite people to fail, fail often, and fail quickly. But that’s kind of a superficial approach to the subject. (One I’ve been guilty of myself.) No one should mindfully attempt to fail. The universe will provide enough failures for you; it doesn’t need your help on that. But you’ll never know if you’ve reached the limit of your potential until you fail. Even then, you only know that you’ve exceeded your limit up until that moment. That failure sometimes contains the clues you need to reach success on the next attempt, or the one after that. Once again, the issue of whether or not you have a healthy self-esteem will come into play...
People with healthy self-esteem can have a failure, even a spectacular public one, and not consider that they themselves are a failure.
Huge difference. If you believe that having a failure makes you a failure, you’ll never be willing to take the kinds of risks that spectacular success requires. The people who make it through life without major failures are the ones in the Matrix, living a life of mediocrity.
Contrary to widespread belief, failure is not the opposite of success. In practical application, failure is often an integral part of the process to reaching success. Failure is frequently one of the necessary steps in the progression toward success, as it causes you to modify your approach, acquire new skills, seek out additional information, develop deeper wisdom, or develop stronger character.
It is only when you’re willing to risk the possibility of failure that you gain the freedom to produce an extraordinary accomplishment of greatness.
If you want to win, you must be willing to fail. But not stay there. Failure is never final, unless you decide it is. The people who reach the highest levels of success are the ones who have experienced the greatest failures. But they didn’t let those failures define them. They let those failures mold them into someone stronger, smarter, or better in some other way.
Your level of success will be in direct proportion to the level of failure you are willing to risk, modify, and learn from. How big of a risk are you willing to take?