Perhaps one of humanity’s biggest fears is the fear of failure. I mean, who likes to fail? Here is the reality: everyone fails at something, sometime. I love the Zig Ziglar quote, “Failure is an event, not a person.”

The truth is, like everything, life is always a battle of the mind. If we fail in our minds, we fail in life. That realization alone is worth the price of admission. As I look over my life, I realize that I have actually learned way more after a failure than I have ever learned after a success. Failing…does not make me a failure!

So why do we fear or even hate failure so much? For me, I suppose it is my pride. I want people to like me, and if I am totally honest, I want them to be impressed that I am so amazing. Great things never come without some failures! To be honest, it is often through the failure that we discover the best way to do something.

Think about it. If Thomas Edison had been consumed with the fear of failure, we would still be living in darkness. If Henry Ford had given up, we would still be riding on horseback. If Alexander Graham Bell had given in to the clutches of failure, we would be spending less time staring at those small plastic things we call phones that now hold most of our lives captive.

Most scientists are wrong most of the time, and nearly all athletes fail most of their attempts at a goal, a hit, or a basket. The rate of failure and the heartbreak associated with it is part and parcel of our everyday lives. So why, then, do we take failure so hard? Because we forget that success is achieved through trying, and trying most often ends in failure.

Let’s examine seven R’s that can help lead you to success:

Realize that everyone has failed.

Recover quickly; you will have another chance.

Remember what you did wrong, and adjust for the next time.

Resist the excuses that will hold you back.

Re-engage with your newly realized experience from the last failure, and focus your drive to go for it one more time, with a greater understanding.

Relax. You have this. Do not let a past fall stop you from trying again.

Rejoice! You did not give up.

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


Failure is written by Dr. Michael Smalley