Let them Fail

What is the opposite of success? Sadly, most people say “FAILURE’, however, failure is not the opposite of success, it is PART of success.

We need to change the way we think, teach and lead and encourage our children, students and employees to learn from entrepreneurs – to try and to fail. Trying and failing is a great motivator and it teaches resilience, and resilience is a virtue.

let them fail

Fear of failure is not natural, it’s a learned behavior. When we were learning to walk for the first time, time after time, we failed, but we got up and kept trying until we get it.

It starts at a young age.

I coached youth soccer and after a game, some parents would say things  like, “I am not sure what was wrong with Johnny today, I can’t believe he missed an open net.” And of course, I would reply with a smile, “I am happy Johnny took the shot, I promise by the time he is twelve, one of them will go in.”

Our schools train us to fear failure. How do we grade students? A, B, C, D and F, but the F is the only letter grade that actually stands for a word… FAIL! Do kids forget this association when they become adults?

The media promotes our fear of failure. We see highlights of amazing catches, shots and dunks along with hyped up music, then… cue the circus music and laugh track and let’s watch the bloopers of all the horrible ‘fails’.

Let’s change the way we think and GET IN THE ARENA and dare greatly as Theodore Roosevelt told us to do in 1910:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

The opposite of success is not failure, it is never trying. Go out and try to do something great, because life is too short to fear failure.

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