If You Never Fail, You're Not Trying Hard Enough

If You Never Fail, You're Not Trying Hard Enough

Sometimes you have to fail spectacularly in order to succeed spectacularly.
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First let me ask you, have you failed?

If your answer is yes, then why did you fail? Did you bite off more than you could chew, overestimate yourself, or did a personal fault shine through in the exact moment you needed to be at your best? Being able to identify a moment where you completely bombed and then being able to identify why you bombed is a huge pillar of maturity. If you know why you failed, you have the ability to address that problem, improve, and then try again.



My second question for you would be: did you feel that you had done all that you could to succeed?

Sometimes, our biggest fails have nothing to do with us. Sometimes you fail regardless of how hard you tried or how much you wanted to succeed, and you have to be OK with that. Sure, knowing that you did your best is a sad consolation prize in comparison to what you could’ve had if things had worked out, but that’s life. Be proud that you were willing to go for it; most people can’t say that they would’ve had the guts to even try.

My question for those who can’t remember a time that they’ve failed: why are you okay with living a mediocre life?

Now before you send me hate mail consider this: how do you know the limits of your abilities if you never challenge yourself and test those limits? Challenging yourself means pushing yourself to the point where you fail because otherwise there's still the potential that you could be capable of more. No weightlifter would ever stick to 20 pounds just because they know for a fact that they could bench it. They would increase the weight until they were at the brink of not being able to lift it, and then work to push beyond that limit. Living a mediocre life just means that you are willing to settle for less than your best or pursuing less than your greatest ambitions. It has nothing to do with comparing yourself to others because for some people benching 20 pounds may be a feat in every sense of the word.

Reminder: just because you fail doesn't mean that you're a failure, and just because you may never fail, doesn’t mean that you’re a success.

This is what it can look like to live a mediocre, "fail-free," life: You only take classes in school that you consider to be easy A’s. You only ask out people that you know for a fact are into you and that you think aren't "out of your league." You apply for jobs that you are over-qualified for and never ask for a pay raise or promotion; instead, you wait and hope that your supervisor recognizes your worth. You let your fear of looking foolish and making mistakes, keep you from trying something new that you've always wanted to learn how to do.

Sure, you might have gotten a 4.0, but how much did you really learn by only taking classes that were easy for you? You may have married that girl or boy who originally said yes to being your boyfriend or girlfriend, but are you truly head-over-heels in love with them, or do you still regret never pursuing the person that you actually thought the world of for fear of rejection? You got the job with ease, but does working there begin to take a toll on your spirit, day-by-day, menial-task-by-menial-task? You never embarrassed yourself by going back to school or learning how to ice skate or whatever it was that you wanted to try, but at night do you still dream about ice skating and at work do you still think about how different your life would've been if you had gone after that degree? You live an attainable life, but did you actually attain a life that you want to live? Is your only consolation that you are, by your definition of the word, a success? Does that “success” sustain your soul?


Let me clear: the only person who can question how hard you are trying or if you are a living a fulfilling life is you.

And if you can proudly say that you live a successful life, then you do, and no one else's opinions matter. But if you’re not sure, try listing your most recent epic fails, and either a) learn from your failure and vow to do better b) accept that you did your best and move forward c) try it again.

The first two are pretty common sensical, but you may ask, why would I try to do something I've already failed at once and will probably fail at again? Because the hell with it, that’s why.

I once tried to do a front flip off the diving board at a local country club. I was afraid of looking dumb, but I did it anyway, and I completely belly flopped. The logical follow-up would be to keep my head down and pray that my friends didn't make fun of me for too long. But no. The hell with that. I tried it again. And again, I belly flopped. At that point, the entire pool was watching, and I thought I heard the cute lifeguard short because he was laughing so hard. And you know what? I TRIED IT AGAIN. And I finally did a perfect front flip into the pool! Just kidding. I belly flopped, but I was laughing so hard that I didn’t even care. And not caring about others think and having the guts to just go for it are skills anyone can learn if you’re willing to just embrace the fail, so keeping trying. It gets easier if you're willing to keep your head up and have a sense of humor about it.

Failing once can make it easier to actually go for it again. After the first two belly flops, what did I care if I flopped one more time? This lesson can be applied to just about anything; it can keep you from withdrawing from a class after bombing a test, suggesting an idea at work even though your last idea was shot down, or asking someone out even though you got rejected last time you asked a person on a date. The quote, "Don't let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game," almost sums this all up, but I would add, that after striking out once, you realize that it's not the end of the world, and it's no longer a fear that will deter you from playing the game you love.

So reach further, try harder, fail harder, and repeat.

You’ll reap the rewards of challenging yourself because as soon as you are willing to accept that you could spectacularly fail, then you are also opening yourself up to the possibility of spectacularly succeeding.

And if you don’t succeed? Well, at least you won’t live a boring life filled with regret. You’ll grow as a person by addressing your faults and discover new personal limits beyond what you could have ever imagined. Fear of public embarrassment or rejection will never deter you from pursuing what you want, and you’ll be well on your way to attaining the life you want to live, rather than living an attainable life. If that isn’t success, then I don’t know what is.

Want to know more about pushing yourself past your fear of failure?

Watch Jim Carey's Commencement Speech to Maharishi University of Management graduating class of 2014. You will most likely cry because I sure did.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V80-gPkpH6M

Cover Image Credit: Quotesgram/Robert Kennedy

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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The Cliche 'Follow Your Heart' Is Probably The Most Important Cliche Of All Time

Our heart or our brain? What should we listen to first?

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In life, we are constantly faced with tough decisions concerning relationships, college, career, marriage … the list of decisions we must make in a lifetime is endless. This means, however, that there are plenty of moments in our life where we will put into question our very own intuition, where we will waste time going back and forth between our mind and our soul. So then we ask ourselves when faced with a decision, what do we listen to? What should we listen to? Our brain or our heart?

Yeah, okay so following your heart is probably the most cliche thing you've ever heard. Our younger selves constantly heard the saying all the time growing up. Did we act on it? Maybe, but not in the ways that we should be acting on it now. Give it a chance and just think about it for a second.

I've realized that as you get older, it becomes harder to just listen to yourself. There are distractions all around you. Some come from the comments of your peers, some come from the devices in your hands, some come from the news headlines you see in bold. With this, you find yourself struggling to find a balance between thinking about something and just doing it. You find yourself unable to decipher what exactly you should listen to. You suddenly become lost within your own little world.

Who would you be if you didn't follow your heart? Would your life be completely different than it is now?

If we think about how we got to the place we're at today, we simultaneously also think about those decisions I mentioned earlier. And those decisions were probably mostly made from our own intuition, not from logistical thinking. The sad part is we don't even realize this, and we don't even realize how important this is.

How did you choose a college? Deciding where you're going to spend the next four years of your life, working towards a career is a big deal. Some will describe their decision as a feeling they got when they stepped on campus. Yes, the tuition was a factor along with retention rates and undergraduate programs and study abroad opportunities, but the one factor that truly mattered was how they felt so at home, while in reality being so far away from their hometown. So, this decision was made from a feeling, this decision was made from the heart.

Relationships. When deciding to tell someone you love them, you're following your heart. When deciding to commit to someone in a relationship or in a friendship or whatever it may be, you're following your heart. You're putting everything on the line because of how you feel. Nothing else matters. Just the two of you, together, happy and in love. And because of that, because of the magnitude of that one feeling, you listen to your heart first and figure out everything else later. Now, being able to have that, being able to experience this type of love, well that's just one of the best feelings in the world.

We can even consider a career. When trying to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life, you are looking for that feeling, for that career to find you. You are searching for that inevitable inclination telling you, you're meant to do something in this world. You dream big imagining yourself doing this one job that you feel so passionately about, changing the world and inspiring others to do the same. You are motivated by this one field so much that you decide to do it for the rest of your life. If that's not following your heart, then I don't know what is.

It seems so obvious. We hear "follow your heart" all the time. But do we ever actually realize how much impact a heart can have on one's life? No. And that's why it's maybe not so obvious. Because we're told to follow our hearts, but we never actually take the time to comprehend it. And so, we live our lives letting this concept of intuition before cognition become underrated. We let it secretly impact some of our most important life decisions without even ever realizing it.

So realize it. From now on don't just listen. Act. Follow your heart as much as you can and never look back.

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