Maybe It's Time to Consider Failure as a Viable Option. Here's Why

Maybe It’s Time to Consider Failure as a Viable Option. Here’s Why

I struggle with failure. I always want to get things right. I want to avoid mistakes, perform as I expect to, and succeed at everything that I do.

But that's not reality.

Growing up, I was taught, and maybe you were too, that failure wasn't an option. I was taught that I needed to “stick with it” until the end and keep going even if I didn't want to.

But I've discovered a new way of doing things.

I've learned that failure isn't always a bad thing.

I think it's time to consider failure as a viable option.

Failure as a viable option

Has anyone ever told you they succeeded because failure wasn't an option?

I call B.S. on that one.

What kind of person would stick with something they knew would fail?

Now, don't get me wrong; stick-to-it-iveness is one of the key ingredients to success.

If I'd given up on this blog after sixth months, you wouldn't be reading this.

If I'd given up when I when I was turned down by someone who didn't want to be on the Empowered Podcast, I wouldn't be releasing episode ten this week.

If Michael Jordan had quit when he was cut from the varsity basketball team, he wouldn't have made the impact on the game like he did.

But refusing to fail is overrated.

I believe it's time to consider failure as a viable option.

Here's why:

You can learn a little from success; you can learn a lot from failure.

Have you ever gotten good results but couldn't pinpoint, WHY you got those results? I have.

Have you ever failed, yet knew exactly where you went wrong? I have.

Failure is one of life's best teachers. If we succeeded at everything, we wouldn't learn anything (Tweet that!)

You see, every time we fail, we can correct our course.

The fear of failure has devastating effects.

Have you ever wanted to do something but your fear of embarrassment or failure stopped you in your tracks? I have.

If you believe that failure is not an option, you've put on cement shoes before you even leave the house.

We tell ourselves,

“I know I can't do it so I won't even try.”

This fear of failure is killing us. It's killing our hopes, dreams and the possibility of achieving our goals in life.

Failure keeps us going down a dead-end road.

This one is tough for me. I put a lot of time and effort into something and it flops. It goes nowhere.

But, instead of calling it what it is, a failure, and learning the lessons I should learn, I try to keep it a live.

Do you have an “it” like I just described? Do you have an “it” (project, goal, idea, etc.) that you need to lay to rest?

I'm not saying you should give up on your dreams.

All I'm saying is it may be time to consider failure as a viable option, pick yourself up, brush the dirt off your trousers, and get moving again on a more productive path.

Don't just take my word for it, here are some thoughts from successful people who are no strangers to failure:

I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying.
Michael Jordan

My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.
Abraham Lincoln

Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.
C. S. Lewis

I've come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.
Tony Robbins

I don't believe in failure. It is not failure if you enjoyed the process.
Oprah Winfrey

If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative.
Woody Allen

Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead-end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.
Denis Waitley

Remember that failure is an event, not a person.
Zig Ziglar

I love that last one by Zig Ziglar. I've often thought to myself that if I fail, I'm a failure.

That is not true.

My failures don't define me. They don't define you either. It's our successes that people will remember (Tweet that!)

Have you checked out my podcast? It's all about overcoming failure and learning how to win! Check out www.EmpoweredPodcast.com!

Question: Do you think failure is a good option or only as a last resort?

 

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  • Dan Erickson says:

    Failure only happens when we don’t try. Otherwise it’s lessons being learned even if not succesful to the extent we hope for.

  • Dan Erickson says:

    Failure only happens when we don’t try. Otherwise it’s lessons being learned even if not succesful to the extent we hope for.

  • Ellory – great post with some excellent quotes. My favorite? “If we succeeded at everything, we wouldn’t learn anything”

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting Jon!

      You think I’m on point with this?

      What are your thoughts on failure?

      • At first glance, your wording and messaging may run against what others may strongly hold to, but I think it all comes down to attitude.

        I know that I have said before that I “Stuck with it, because the alternative wasn’t pretty” which is a rift on the “failure is not an option.”

        but the most important part here, is “I am I paying attention?” “What am I learning?” “How can I do this better?” and don’t let the fear of failure hold you back from trying something out.

        thanks for the thought provoking ideas Ellory!

  • Ellory – great post with some excellent quotes. My favorite? “If we succeeded at everything, we wouldn’t learn anything”

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting Jon!

      You think I’m on point with this?

      What are your thoughts on failure?

      • At first glance, your wording and messaging may run against what others may strongly hold to, but I think it all comes down to attitude.

        I know that I have said before that I “Stuck with it, because the alternative wasn’t pretty” which is a rift on the “failure is not an option.”

        but the most important part here, is “I am I paying attention?” “What am I learning?” “How can I do this better?” and don’t let the fear of failure hold you back from trying something out.

        thanks for the thought provoking ideas Ellory!

  • Couldn’t agree with you more. Failure, though often a painful process, is the greatest teacher in the world. Love the quotes, too. I mean, if Michael Jordan can accept failure, so can the rest of us. Great post.

  • Couldn’t agree with you more. Failure, though often a painful process, is the greatest teacher in the world. Love the quotes, too. I mean, if Michael Jordan can accept failure, so can the rest of us. Great post.

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