Embrace Failure

The Unconventional Path to Success

Failure does not mean the game is over, it means try again with experience.  Everything you want is on the other side of fear.

Golf, a game of precision and patience, offers valuable lessons on embracing failure and the importance of practice. Let’s look at two iconic golfers who have used failure as a steppingstone to success.

  1. Tiger Woods. Tiger Woods, one of the greatest golfers of all time, is no stranger to failure. In 1997, Woods became the youngest ever Masters champion. However, despite his success, he decided to overhaul his swing because he believed it wasn’t good enough to sustain long-term success. This decision led to a two-year winless streak in the major championships, a period many considered a slump. But Woods saw it as a necessary phase of learning and improvement. His revamped swing eventually led to an era of dominance in the early 2000s, proving that his willingness to fail and learn was a key to his success.
  2. Jack Nicklaus. Jack Nicklaus, known as the Golden Bear, holds the record for the most major championships won. However, his journey to success was not smooth sailing. Nicklaus had his fair share of failures and missed shots. But instead of letting these failures discourage him, he used them as motivation to improve. He once said, “I think I fail a bit less than everyone else.” This statement reflects his understanding that success in golf isn’t about being perfect, but about managing and learning from failures.

Both Woods and Nicklaus demonstrate the importance of embracing failure in the pursuit of success. They understood that failure was not a sign of inability, but an opportunity for growth and improvement. Their careers highlight the importance of practice, resilience, and a growth mindset.

Your Turn

In our pursuit of success, we often view failure as the ultimate enemy. We fear it, avoid it, and when we do encounter it, we’re quick to label ourselves as defeated. But what if we’ve been looking at it all wrong? What if failure isn’t the foe, but rather an ally on our journey to success?

Failure is an inherent part of the journey to success.  Instead of seeing it as a setback, view it as a steppingstone towards success. The more we fail, the more opportunities we have to learn, grow, and ultimately succeed.  It’s through our mistakes and missteps that we gain valuable insights and experiences. Each failure brings with it a lesson, a nugget of wisdom that we can use to improve and move forward.

So, how do we embrace failure?

  1. Change your mindset.  It starts with changing our mindset. Instead of fearing failure, we should welcome it. We should see each failure not as a dead-end, but as a detour to a better route.
  2. Learn from it. Each mistake is an opportunity for growth. By analyzing what went wrong, we can identify areas for improvement and strategies to avoid similar mistakes in the future.
  3. Persist until possible. Success rarely comes overnight. It’s the result of consistent effort, resilience, and an unwavering belief in our capabilities. Even when faced with failure, we must keep going, keep trying, and keep improving.

Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back. Embrace it, learn from it, and let it guide you on your path to success. Remember, it’s not about how many times you fall, but how many times you get back up. So go ahead, make mistakes, fail, and then rise stronger and wiser. Because that’s where you’ll find success.

5-Minute Cup Filler Exercise

Here is a 5-minute daily exercise to develop your skills around embracing and leveraging failures as a path to success.

Choose to be a better version of yourself every day.

BECOME AWARE:  Identify one element of your life where something you did not go quite as planned, so you gave up.  Or perhaps because you were afraid, you gave up before you even started.   How would your day / life have been impacted for the better if you had been successful?

Example:  I ate a bag of chips because I was stressed, instead of focusing on eating healthy like I had planned.  My health matters to me because I want to be physically fit to remain active with my energetic kids.

BE GRATEFUL: Rephrase this occurrence into a choice you can be grateful for.
I am grateful for __(insert failure)___ because it gives me a chance to reevaluate my path to   __(insert outcome)___.

Example:  I am grateful I am aware of my choices when I reach for the chips as it gives me an opportunity to refocus on a healthy stress managed tactic then continuing to stress eat.

TAKE ACTION: What is one action you will take when faced with the opportunity again?   Name an additional action you choose to take throughout the day to reinforce.

Example:  Next time I reach for the chips, I will remind myself it is my choice and I choose to (take a walk, do 10 squats, think of something to be grateful for, smile for a minute, etc) instead to release some tension.

Choose to commit to repeat daily until you build your emotional intelligence muscle, and it becomes natural!

Jen Weis

The publisher of Morning Cup.