Most people avoid failure at all costs. They would rather not try at all than try and fail. I see failure in a completely opposite way. I ask for failure. Why?
Because all of the most successful people in the world use their failures to learn and grow. Sure, you could learn from other people’s failures. But it won’t have the same impact as learning from your own mistakes.
The Right Way to Look at Failure
One of my all-time favorite quotes on failure is from Michael Jordan, who is arguably the greatest basketball player ever:
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six 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 was the first athlete to become a billionaire. He has had massive success on and off the court due to how he looks at failure. Great successes like Jordan look at failure as a necessary precursor to success. Of course, you’re going to fail if you’re constantly pushing the envelope. It’s the only way to grow.
How many times in your professional or personal life have you given up something after failing a few times? What if I told you the only reason you “failed” is because you didn’t fail enough to succeed?
Failure is a crossroad. People react in one of two ways. Some crawl up in a ball and get down on themselves, and others use it as a learning experience to grow and become stronger.
When you look at failure in this way, ask for failure starts to make sense.
You Learn to Fail When You Learn to Walk
I’m not denying failure is painful. Pain is necessary for growth, though. Think of how your muscles get sore after you work out at the gym. This is a sign your muscles are growing. Ask for failure is the idea of treating failure like a muscle…the more you fail, the stronger you become.
If you want to learn from failure, you have to remember how to fail. We learned to fail when we learned to walk. Before we took our first step, we failed thousands of times. Then, one magical day, we took a couple of steps before falling on our face. That was a small success followed by an immediate failure. This happens so often in our life.
Right after our biggest successes come our biggest failures.
When learning to walk, we have an inner drive to learn how to walk at all costs. We kept going until we got the results we want. Then, we start to be okay with how we are somewhere between the ages of 5 and 18. We stop pushing ourselves and become scared of failure. You cannot reach your full potential without changing how you see failure. You have to lose a lot before you get the big wins.
I have failed a TON in my businesses. I once lost $500,000 in one day in my recycling business. This didn’t put me out of business. I learned from it and used what I learned to grow my business.
The Order of Operations to Success
Failure is part of the order of operations to success. See, there are an order of operations to everything in life. For success, the first operation is failure. Next, you learn from your failure. Finally, you grow.
Use this order of operations in your favor. Start tomorrow by making a promise to push the envelope in an area you’ve been meaning to make a change. Stop playing small and avoiding failure. Ask for failure and watch your life improve.
A peak performance coach can help you implement the concept of asking for failure faster than you can on your own. Schedule a consultation to learn more.