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The Truth About Failure

The pain of failure is something that most people want to avoid. Failure is pretty much the only way to succeed. If you're not failing, you are not growing.

As children, we are taught to avoid failure. Nobody wants the red ink on their paper, nobody wants to be told they're wrong, and nobody especially wants to be called out for making a mistake. The problem is, to learn and grow, we have to fail because it's only through attempting something new and failing that we develop the muscle of successfully doing it well. We have to do it badly before doing it well, so to achieve competency and mastery, we must do it often and fail. But because of our programming as children and reinforced as adults, we avoid failing or at least failing in front of others frequently, which holds us back. We struggle to move forward because we are unwilling to make an attempt and risk failing.

We need to change our thinking. We need to change what failing means. If we can accept failure as part of the growth process and remove the stigma and pain of failing, we will be able to succeed faster because we are willing to fail more often.

The story goes that Thomas Edison failed over 1,000 times in inventing the Incandescent light bulb. Finally, one time after hundreds of failures, his attempt created a massive explosion that nearly destroyed the entire lab. Frustrated, his assistants asked, "Are you going to fail 1000 times in trying to create this stupid light bulb?" Thomas Edison responded, "I didn't fail. I found another way not to invent the electric light bulb." But the results were exciting and had potential applications in other areas.

As you can see, Thomas Edison didn't see an unsuccessful attempt as a "failure." He saw it as part of the process of inventing. He recognized that just because we "fail" doesn't mean we are "failures." So, I challenge you to shift your thinking and beliefs around failure.

The magic formula for success includes trying "until" you succeed. Then, continue to attempt, evaluate your results, adjust your methods, and attempt again. Do this UNTIL you succeed. That is how Thomas Edison became one of our history's most influential and wealthy people. His inventions changed the world forever.

What impact can you have if you follow his formula for success?

Want to talk more about this topic? Schedule a time to chat with my by clicking the button below.

Brian Lovegrove

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