"Winners lose much more often than losers. So if you keep losing but you’re still trying, keep it up! You’re right on track.” – Matthew Keith Groves Have you ever had an “ah-ha moment,” where you wished you could go back and have a do-over because of the mistakes that you made? If you are anything like myself, I am certain that you have had plenty of times where you wished you could just blink and magically cause your mistakes to be a mere memory in the wind.
Life has taught me to embrace the lessons learned from my experiences, rather than to discredit them as a category 5 failure. Sure, you may have not gotten the results that you were hoping for. No, things didn’t turn out exactly like you had calculated and yes, you ended up embarrassed and slightly ashamed. Take a moment and ask yourself, what was the lesson that you learned from that experience?
Failing forward may sound like an awkward cliché, and one that may actually not be that appealing. However, it is a practical concept that we must all apply to our everyday lives. The truth of the matter is that no one is perfect and in order to succeed, it is imperative that you fail at something. We have to live life knowing and being able to boldly admit that we dropped the ball. We may have stayed in that relationship for far too long, spent much more money than we could afford, picked the worst person possible to have a child with, had a great idea but neglected to properly execute it and we refused to adhere to wise counsel from those who actually had our best interest at hand.
“In life, the question is not if you will have problems, but how you are going to deal with them. Stop failing backward and start failing forward!” Failure is the price you must pay on the road to success. That is just how it works. There are no shortcuts that you can take in order to learn the lessons that will help advance you to your next stage in life. The good news is that the better you are at failing forward, the sooner you can accomplish your dreams.
Sometimes when we think we are failing in life, it is really not a failure; it is ultimately a stepping-stone toward your next level of success. There is a saying that is often referred to, “a setback is a setup for a comeback. The setback is perceived as the failure when the reality is that it’s the foundation needed for you to achieve greater heights. So, whatever you have failed forward at, be it your marriage, being a parent, being a friend, managing your finances, pursuing your dreams, finishing school or simply living the quality life that you deserve, take all of the lessons learned and forge ahead. Leadership expert Peter Drucker says, “The better a man is, the more mistakes he will make, for the more new things he will try.”
Mistakes really do pave the road to achievement. Most people try to avoid failure like the plague. They’re afraid of it. But it takes adversity to create success. NBA head coach Rick Pitino says, “Failure is good. It’s fertilizer. Everything I’ve learned about coaching I’ve learned from making mistakes.” If you desire to be a high achiever you can’t see mistakes as the enemy. Embrace adversity and make failure a regular part of your life. If you’re not failing, you’re probably not really moving forward.
Bernada Nicole is the founder & CEO of The Princess Within Foundation. She is a minister, an educator and the author of Unlock the Treasure: Discover the Princess Within. •