You Have To Fail Before You Can Succeed
Updated: Oct 19, 2020
As a society we tend to glamorize things and make them look easy. If for some reason you try something and suck at it on the first shot, you weren't cut out for it and need to stop trying. When did this happen? At what point in time did learning and hard work become uncool? Because for as long as I can remember, the lesson was always that you have to fail before you can succeed. You need to be a student before you can be a teacher.
If you look at a lot of famous people who we admire today, they failed before they became successful:
There are so many more but I'm pretty sure you get the point. These are all super famous people who had a dream and the tenacity to go after that dream, despite failing over and over and having people tell them that they were no good at what they were trying to achieve.
I am a huge fan of Walt Disney and couldn't imagine a world in which he gave up on his dream and we didn't have Disney movies or the Disney theme parks. He had such a beautifully large dream that it became infectious and is being grown and carried out long after his passing. Think about that for a minute.
We all have dreams and we all have fear. If we can learn anything from the list of people above, it's that if you want to succeed, you need to fail over and over but keep going. You can't give up on your dream, no matter what others say or think. You need to believe in it enough that you quit being afraid to fail forward along the path to achieving it.
Note: I am guilty of this myself. I was reading old posts that I have written in various places and look at where I am today, and while I have made progress, I have allowed fear to keep a tight grip on me. Am I proud of this, no, but I am proud that I have not given up. I may have slowed myself down but I am still moving forward and learning from failures as I go. I have not given up, I am still learning and I am okay with that now.
As I sit here writing, I am wrapping up day 65 of 75 Hard - that is huge to me. It has not been an easy 65 days at all. I mean, yes, some days were easy but there were days that I just wanted to quit and go back to my comfy routine. Thankfully I stopped myself from quitting each time because I reminded myself that the comfy routine wasn't making me happy anymore. I was desperately searching for a way out of it which is why I started 75 Hard in the first place. I can't turn back now. I needed to push forward through the discomfort because something better is waiting for me on the other side. I will apply myself to the best of my ability to finish out these last 9 days strong. Because if I don't, I'm not cheating anyone but myself.
That is my message for you all today. Keep pushing forward, no matter what. That comfort zone that you are thinking of going back to when things get hard isn't serving you anymore... it's why you started out on a new journey to begin with. So don't turn back because things get hard. Remind yourself that things weren't easy in your comfort zone either, you just know how to navigate that version of hard a little bit better. It's time to fail forward!
We need to realize that if we are going to be successful in life, we need to embrace the suck. We need to be students again and allow ourselves to be okay with not having it all figured out already. We need to realize that it takes time to master new things or blaze a new path. That timeline will vary depending on what we are doing but no matter how long it takes, it will be worth it. And once we apply the lessons we learn and finish failing over and over again, we will become a badass at what we are working towards. We will gain knowledge and confidence and that... that is so much better than any comfort zone we may have been afraid to step out of.
So today, I ask you to think about your dream. Envision what life will be like when you achieve this dream. Then pick one small thing that you can do today, that you won't fail at and feel proud of that once you complete it. Then you need to build upon it day after day, adding in tougher daily tasks, knowing that if you fail that day, it's not the end of your dream. It is only a lesson that you needed to learn before you can that next step toward making your dream come true and unlocking your true potential.
Stop living life small. Stop selling yourself short because you are too busy comparing yourself to other or those damn social media highlight reels. Harness that energy and set out to fail. Embrace the suck. Fail forward. Chase your dreams. I guarantee you the doing so is more rewarding that sitting back wondering what if.
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