Failing Forward

One mother asked Dr. Henry Cloud, “If you could teach my son one thing in life, what would it be?” After pondering that thought for a moment he replied, “To learn how to fail!” “Why would you teach him THAT?!” she exclaimed. “Because he will…” Failure is an inevitable part of life, impossible to avoid. Here are 3 steps to Fail Forward…

1) Try. Failure is not trying. One of the worst feelings in life you can experience is regret. Through media we hear success stories all the time, but what they don’t mention is the failure they encountered along the way. I’d say the more successful a person is, the better he/she deals with failure. Successful people aren’t scared of failing, they embrace it.

2) Learn. Failure is a better teacher than is success. Don’t look at failure as an end in itself, see it as an opportunity to learn from. People learn by trail and error. In certain situations, you can prepare to the best of your ability, but there are always unforeseen circumstances that just happen. Remember, failure produces perseverance, perseverance, character; and character, hope. Learn to become more adaptable to adversity. It can become your best friend during times of crisis.

3) Move on. In coaching, we tell our clients that the past has no power over the present or future. For some reason, most people like to dwell on the past, but that gets us nowhere. Next time you fail, grieve a little, then pick yourself up and move on! Your biggest obstacle to success is getting past your doubts. History has taken place in the past, so leave it where it belongs. Focus your thoughts on the future, then set goals in the present to make it happen!

The most successful people deal with failure the best. Instead of getting “stuck,” they see failure as necessary to succeed. In life we experience “teachable moments” all the time. The problem is most of us forget to learn from them. Everything happens for a reason, therefore don’t be afraid to fail. Try, learn and move forward!

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