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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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Why You Should Bring Your Close Friend As Your Formal Date

Before asking that cute girl to formal think about asking a friend

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Every year since I was a junior in high school I have always looked forward to homecoming or prom. When I got to college I began to look forward to my fraternity formal. I was never concerned with what to wear or the expense of formal but rather who I was going to ask. It can be difficult to make a decision. If you ask anyone friends with me they will tell you how I am one of the most indecisive people out there. There are so many people I am friendly with or have a close relationship that it can feel difficult to make a decision. But let's look at that phrase again. You might think why does he want to bring someone who is his friend to his fraternity formal rather than someone he likes or is dating. To answer this question, some of the girls I have liked I have not been able to be the true me around and that also applies to the girls I have dated as well. I am different around my friends and I want someone to know the real me rather than me just having to pretend.

Maybe I am still experiencing the effects of a fun weekend but I have noticed that every formal or prom that I have brought a date with not only was a fun formal but interacted and connected well with my friends. That is the main thing I look for in a formal date, they need to be liked by my friends and many of them are still pretty friendly after the formal. You are spending the weekend with them and the drive down for you formal. There will be a lot of time spent with your date so it is important to bring someone you know you will have fun with. I am not saying that there isn't anything wrong with bringing someone else but I always found it best to bring a friend if you are not dating someone.

Think about the people you know you will always have fun with. This can be an indication of who you should bring and why but you should also think about the positives in this situation. Your fun and the time spent with the people should be prioritized before anything else. This event is about you and you should have someone with you that you know is fun to be around and someone you can enjoy yourself around along with your friends. Friends know you as well as you know yourself so there is not an idea of having to pretend to be someone else. The good thing about friends is that you do not run out of things to talk about and there is always something new to learn. Take your formal as a trip that you get to experience with the people closest to you. That is my take.

The key for me is to know that I will have fun with my date at formal. The drive to formal can be long and you are sharing a hotel room with your date along with spending time with them during the trip. I talk a lot. I want someone I know who I can carry a conversation with and will not just respond with words such as Yeah or Sounds good. I have always been able to remember not only my formals but specific parts of it as well. I think this is possible because of who I have brought and the memories I made with them.

Formals are important to everyone so think about who you want to spend that moment with. There is nothing wrong with bringing someone who you like but there also is nothing wrong with bringing a friend. Some people might bring someone they are dating but you should not have to compare yourself to other people. Do what makes you happy but remember this weekend is about you and you deserve to bring someone you will have fun with.

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