Blog > Why you fail (and why you should do it more often)


In today’s culture we are brought up believing that it is essential to be prepared for everything, and if we are faced with a situation in which we have no prior knowledge to deal with or that we haven’t prepared for we cower in fear. We try as hard as possible to avoid these type of situations. We are fearful of the uncertainty these situations hold.  After all, that is what school and society has taught us. If you are not prepared, you are no good. A failure. If you raised your hand in class to answer a question and you happened to be wrong you made a “fool of yourself”, and were then less likely to raise your hand in the future to save yourself from being laughed at. If you were not prepared for a test, you receive a failing grade. Even as grownups we keep our thoughts to ourselves to avoid being laughed at, given that what we want to say might be “wrong” or “stupid”. School and society has programmed us to always be very calculated in our decision making. But what if we are faced with a situation in which we cannot prepare, what do we do?


This way of thought is influenced heavily by the school system and our society. What schools offer to people is a road map. If you were able to follow the road map directions you were praised. If you were unable to follow the road map you were scolded. But this is isn’t how life is, there is no road map. The illusion is that there is a road map, a “right way” to approach life. There are many situations in life which are an equivalent to a “pop quiz”, but rather one with problems we have no (or very little) knowledge on. Its in times like these we just have to make the best guess, take a chance and have conviction in our decision to solve these problems, but we don’t. We think and rethink our decision until we come to the “perfect solution” or the “perfect time” to execute or solve these problems. But there is no such thing as the “perfect solution” or “perfect timing”. We just have to jump and make decisions on the fly, and trust that we made the best stab at the problem we could. Most people try to avoid these situations because people have an addiction to being right and keeping their perfect image. We don’t want to look stupid for making the “wrong” decision or messing something up. This way of thought has been built into us because we learned in school that if you were not prepared for a test you would fail. But what we did not learn was that not everything has a road map to follow, and this is why I believe we fail… to fail.


fail betterWithout failure there is no progress. It is failure that allows us learn the most. If you were to never fail how would you be able to know what success is? If you were to never fail how would you have gained the knowledge of what doesn’t work, and come closer to what does? The answer to that is you wouldn’t, failure is ESSENTIAL for growth and learning. Without failure we grow stagnant and our progress flat lines. You are your own enemy if you keep yourself from failure. You hinder your own growth. We must see were we are wrong, were we messed up, see where we have failed so that we may correct our process or positioning, and with that information from that failure use it to help us improve and grow. Failure is a tool for progress and growth, it is not the enemy.


Most of us believe failure to be the enemy, and that we should strive to always be right.To be perfect, so that we don’t look like a fool in front of everyone else. What that does to us is make us scared to venture out into the world and make mistakes and learn. By making mistakes we learn lessons quicker than we would by trying to find the “perfect” solution to our problems because we will never find the “perfect solution”. There is none. In life 1 + 1 does not always equal to 2. There are Many different ways in which to get to 2, but that way is totally up to you to decide. Even then, you shouldn’t worry about the end result, do what you feel is right, and if it doesn’t work you are now sure of what doesn’t work. With the knowledge you gain from failure you can now continue with your knowledge of what doesn’t work to figure out what does.

Fail forward.


When you learn to be unprepared, unprepared in the sense that you accept that you will never have the perfect answer to anything, then you will be able to face daily problems, situations, and uncertainties with a new found confidence. You will no longer have expectations on how things should go, your fear of not being right will be lifted because you realize you (nor anybody) will ever be right. You become more focused on the process you are working through toward your goal rather than fixating on the end result. Enjoy the process, because it is in the process that we learn. When we focus on the process rather than the end result we are able to see what is in front of us, and with that information we are able to take the next step (another leap of faith) taking us to where we want to go. In learning to be unprepared we learn to be prepared for situations in which we cannot prepare. 

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