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“Ever tried. Ever Failed. No Matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better” – Samuel Beckett
On the journey to success, there is no such thing as a smooth path. Regardless of how much we plan, and how much we promise to keep to that plan, things are going to happen that get in the way that make things tougher than anticipated and may even want us to stop trying.
Not only are these roadblocks inevitable on our path, they can actually make us better in the long run. Resilience is a buzz term floating around the business and sporting world right now. We often hear of athletes and sporting personalities exhibiting great resilience, making come backs when we thought success was out of sight (Johnny Sextons last chance drop goal against France in the 6 nations), or returning from debilitating injuries (Lyndsey Vonn, Alpine Skier returning from multiple injuries time and time again to win Bronze at this year’s Winter Olympics). We hear of entrepreneurs showing resilience in coming up with business ideas time and time again, especially after a failed venture (Steve Jobs was fired from Apple). That is the common thread between these two groups: failure.
Sometimes in order to become better, first we must fail. The basic theory behind this is that by failing, we learn how to deal with our adversities, so that if we come face to face with them again, we will know how to handle a situation better, swiftly and with more purpose. You only fail if you fail to learn. In fact, research following the 2012 Olympic Games in London showed that many of the Gold Medal winning athletes had faced some kind of adversity in their path to success. The same researches that discovered this relationship between adversity and success, suggest setting up young athletes to fail. Not to the point where they will want to quit but so that they can learn that not everything in life will go to plan or run smoothly, this way when something goes wrong in competition or training, they know how to deal with it.
Essentially learn from your mistakes, sometimes we reach mountains on our journey, and one way or another, we get over them, so the next time we come up against an obstacle, we can assess it. Is it easier to go over, through or around that mountain?
Embrace the failure, but don’t let it defeat you. Try again, fail again, and learn from it. Dust yourself off and keep going.