By Mike T. Smith
First some quotes from some notable failures…
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
“You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”- Wayne Gretzky
“It’s failure that gives you the proper perspective on success.” – Ellen DeGeneres
“Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.” – Robert Kiyosaki
“When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.” – Eloise Ristad
“It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!” – Rocky Balboa
“The moment that my fear of missing out trumped my fear of failure is when I started living. ” – Yours truly
There is this misconception about life that failure is a bad thing. Sure it stings like being reminded of a paper cut on your hands by rubbing hand sanitizer on them. But with the right mindset and perseverance, failure is the quickest way to success. In fact it’s necessary for success. I once heard failure described as massive data acquisition. So when you’re chasing a goal and it doesn’t work out the first time, it doesn’t mean quit. It means regroup, take notes, adjust as needed and keep moving forward. At some point in life most people are taught to play it safe and avoid failure at all costs. This leads to an unfulfilling life. We were made to do extraordinary things, but we aren’t born with those skills. Those skills are discovered, acquired and refined through trying new things, and trying new things means there will be discomfort and failure. In the movie ‘Meet the Robinsons’ there is a scene where this kid is enthusiastically showing off a project he was working on, only to have it literally blow up in his face.
You could see the disappointment and embarrassment he was feeling with so many people watching him. Then all the people watching him smiled and yelled with excitement, “You failed!!” Understandably he was confused at the reaction, so they explained to him that failure meant he was one step closer to success. All he had to do was keep trying.
The first time I gave a speech in front of a massive audience of seven people I did horrible. I stuttered, stumbled, and stammered through six painful minutes.
By speaking standards it would be deemed a failure but that failure changed my life. I learned that I could actually get in front of people and talk and I learned how to become a great speaker because I kept pushing forward, despite the failure.
Failure also conditions and strengthens you so that in the process you can become the type of person that can handle success. Now I ask you this…Is there something that you’ve been putting off because you were afraid of failing? In the next twenty-four hours, throw the fear of failure out and welcome it.
Mike T. Smith is a youth motivational speaker, author and a failure at GuitarHero. For more info visit http://miketsmith.net.
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