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Success is a Horrible Teacher

When I was in Jr high, rollerblades were all the rage! I saved, bought a pair, and started “blading”. And then I ate it, hard. Both knees all scuffed up, confidence gone. I thought I would just put those babies on and be a great rollerblader. I was wrong. And unfortunately, thus began, and ended my blading career. 

While my knees healed, my ego didn’t. I can still remember how I felt, so thankful no one saw me fall! But why? No one with any sense would expect me to be amazing at a sport I had never tried before. Yet the idea of ever falling again, and someone seeing me, was more than I could handle.

When Was the Last Time You Failed?

When did you last try something new? Trying a new sport like Karate, or a dance class? Can you learn without first not knowing what you are doing? You can’t master something without first learning what NOT to do. In dance, you can’t learn the steps until you see what doesn’t work. 

Success is a terrible teacher. If you are succeeding at everything you are doing, you are not growing. Failure is where we grow the most. If we know this, why is there still such a stigma about failing? We need to learn from our mistakes and not be afraid of doing it wrong. 

Most of us think we’re afraid of failure. But I learned recently that it isn’t failure we are afraid of. Nope, not at all. What we are really afraid of is what we think failure means about us

We think it means we don’t have what it takes. Or that maybe “they” were right about us. Or worse, we don’t really deserve it! 

But all these thoughts are nonsense. The only thing failure means is: you tried something and it didn’t work. It has no merit on your worth as a person. The more we look at failure as a chance to learn and grow, the quicker we will grow - in all aspects of our life.

You Can't Steer a Parked Car

I think a common failure is the failure to not even begin. We are not sure we’ll succeed so we don’t even try.

Well, you can’t get to your final destination by putting the address into Google Maps. You have to start driving. It’s true, you could hit a detour, or take a wrong turn, but guess what, you can always recalculate. Your GPS can always find another route. You may not reach your destination at the time you thought, but you will get closer. You will get there.

Related: How to Move Past Analysis Paralysis
How to Tap Into Your Motivation
8 Keys to Reaching Your Biggest Goals

I can admit I do this all the time. I need to read more about it before I can start. I need to make one more list before I begin. A little more planning, get a few more supplies. There is always going to be an excuse to start. And there is always going to be something you can learn, so jump in

It’s important to be prepared, but it isn’t necessary to know every possible outcome before we begin. All the learning in the world won’t matter if you don’t put your plan into action.  

What are you afraid to start? A new job? A new skill? A new you? Getting financially stable? Plot your course and start your engines! Don’t wait and find yourself at the “if only I had tried” destination.

Fail Fast, Get up Faster

Don’t be afraid to mess up because you learn faster if you’re willing to fail. The faster you get up the sooner you’ll figure out the right path you need to take.  

While failure doesn’t feel great, it will teach you more than your successes. And what is success without failure? “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm”. While the person who first said this is lost to history- some credit Abraham Lincoln, others Winston Churchill- it still rings true for us.  Success isn’t in not making mistakes, it’s in moving forward without giving up.


What else tends to stop us from trying new things? Drop me a note in the comment section below to share your thoughts. 

Related: How to Move Past Analysis Paralysis
How to Tap Into Your Motivation
8 Keys to Reaching Your Biggest Goals


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