Don’t Be Afraid To Fail

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One of the best lessons I ever learned was that it was OK to fail. It is OK to make mistakes. Failure has a wonderful way of teaching you lessons, sometimes very painful lessons, that you can use the next time you tackle a problem. You may not learn the lesson the first time, or the second, or fifth time, but eventually each failure will teach you something you can use later.

How did I learn this? By recognizing one crucial thing – no one starts off being the best at something. All the greats of anything did it through hard work, something you can read about in Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers and his 10,000 hours idea (that to truly master something you need to spend 10,000 hours on it).

And you know what? The first thousand hours were probably filled with failures.

And the best part about failure is that when you succeed, that’s all anyone will ever remember.

{ 14 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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14 Responses to “Don’t Be Afraid To Fail”

  1. Patrick says:

    Failure only makes you stronger. Nobody gets everything perfect on the first time. I have made so many mistakes in my life and each has made me a stronger person coming out of them.

    • bert says:

      Very true. It’s good to put this into perspective daily. Even though I usually tell people this message, even I forget it myself from time to time. Thanks Jim for this post, it has certainly gotten my day off to a brighter start. 🙂

  2. “If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Then quit. No use being a fool about it.” — Dilbert’s Rules of Work


  3. dilbert69 says:

    Failure makes you stronger if it’s occasional and mixed with success. If you do nothing but fail, it actually rewires your brain in unfriendly ways.

    As for the 10,000-hour thing, I have no doubt that it’s true, but at the age of 44 I have yet to discover the thing I want to put 10,000 hours into mastering.

  4. Anonnymuss says:

    I’ve learned more from failures than I’ve ever learned from successes.

  5. Very good find, Jim.
    Thanks for posting this. It is articles, stories, videos like these that helps me continue to strive for better in life. Truly inspirational and it made my day.

  6. Chewbakka says:

    A great reminder, especially in these economic times. We cannot lose sight of this lesson “Don’t Be Afraid to Fail”. Most of have learned this lesson at one time, but some forget, so this is a valuable reminder. And we do need to be reminded from time to time…

  7. Greg says:

    My fathers words have been replayed to my children….

    “Better to break an arm trying than to never have tried.”

    One of the best things I have ever learned…

    Too bad he didn’t teach me about money!

  8. MLR says:

    This is one thing I am not frugal about. I know a lot of people are so averse to credit and debt… but I am waiting for my “one big idea” that I will be willing to max out my credit cards for.

    Go big or go home, right? :p

    Failure happens, and most people who are afraid of failure will have a problem succeeding!

  9. Julio says:

    Wise man once said. It’s better to keep trying and eventually stand atop a mountain of failed attempts triumphant, than to give up and be crushed by that mountain.

  10. As long as you are eventually able to learn something or grow as a person, failure isn’t terrible.

  11. pooja malik says:

    may be its true true dat failures are the steeping stones to success and mani others but a failure in ani field shatters a man either completely or mkes him furious enough to achieve success and never ever turn back to his failures and also help him recover of his fears….!!!!

  12. sneh says:

    i appreciate it from heart. it gave me a new hope, whatever be the result i dont care but next time i will try to overcome the fear of failure.i dont know whether it works practically bt i know it will give u strength to face the worst moments of ur life which u think bt they are nt worst actually. i myself think that it is totally nonsense bcz even i havent followed this way but i shared wat my heart was trying to say.

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