Want To Be A Success? Learn To Fail

August 11, 2016 Thoughts

First StepsThe people who achieve the most in life are the ones who expect to fail.  Fear of failing holds many people back from being who they want to be and doing what they want to do.

Have you ever watched a child learn to walk?  When they first pull themselves up and take those first tentative steps it is while holding firmly to a support.  When they let go they fall down, get up and try all over again.  They don’t give up.  None of us gave up.  Somehow we accepted the falling down as part of the process and got up and tried again.  Some adventurous and well-balanced babies learn to walk very quickly and soon move on to running.  Others may hang on to supports for months, and it may seem like it is taking ages for them to learn to walk unaided.

Little girl ties shoes with great care and concentrationWe don’t discourage babies when they are learning to walk.  There are a range of activities that we do not discourage them, like learning to feed themselves.  A very messy fail at first.  As children get older we encourage them to learn to write, to read and to tie their shoe laces.  As children get older we expect that they will learn new skills easier and so stop being encouraging when it seems to take too long.  I never learnt to ride a bike well as it was taking too long, I couldn’t keep up with my siblings and in the end it all seemed to hard, especially to me.  I have seen many children who learnt the basics of reading but gave up when the encouragement stopped because they were not able to keep up with others.  We fear that we will fail, that we cannot compete and so stop trying.

Our education system encourages competition.  This person does things really well, we will reward them.  This person not so well, they fail.   If you start to feel that you cannot compete with others at their level you give up.  You start to fear that you will never be good enough.

Try and Fail But Don't Fail to Try sign on desert roadFailure is only true failure when you don’t start.  It does not matter how long it takes you to learn a skill.  It does not matter if you take twice as long as someone else to learn something new.  The person who never gives up will succeed eventually.  Every step taken, whether holding on firmly to some form of support, or trying something independently for the first time is a step towards success.  You try something, it doesn’t work out so well, you get up, try it again and maybe adjust how you do it next time.   You may find that you cannot master what you first set out to do, and yet you take that experience and apply it to something else, so you have not truly given up and you have therefore not failed.  I couldn’t manage riding a bike and yet I manage riding a horse very well.

Next time you think you might like to try something new, to learn a new skill and to step out of your comfort zone, allow yourself to be like a child.  Draw really bad pictures.  Take awful photo’s.  Write badly written pages. Give yourself time to learn how to run a business well. Find some-one to cheer you on.  Learn to step, fall down and get up again.  If you don’t stop, you will get better.  Eventually you will be doing it like a pro.  You will be like a child learning to walk and they all get there in the end.

Love and Light

Maryanne