Failure is an interesting thing. I think that we are taught from an early age to avoid failure and stay in line. I hated getting into trouble when I was a kid, and so I think somewhere I learned to try to blend in as much as possible unless I was excelling at something. However, playing it safe doesn’t help you to reach your potential in the long run. If you never take any risks, you might live a happy life, but I don’t think you’ll accomplish everything you could.
Again and again, I see people who are excelling in their field say that you have to fail and take risks in order to succeed. They have stories about how they took a risk and it didn’t work out, but that risk led to a future opportunity. They didn’t let that failure ruin their outlook on their situation, but used it as an opportunity to improve. I recently read that George Clooney was in Hollywood for 5 years getting rejected at auditions before he got any momentum. Patience and perseverance will take you a long way if you’re willing to walk through failure. Failure is often on the road to success, where we like it or not.
Ryan Holiday says that “The path of least resistance is a terrible teacher. We can’t afford to shy away from the things that intimidate us.” If we live our lives trying to avoid failure, then we limit our depth and capacity to grow. We change for the better when we have the right attitude in the face of difficult situations.
Are you avoiding doing what you want to do because you’re afraid that you might fail? Well choosing to settle for the rest of your life might just be the biggest mistake you can make.
Plus, here’s the thing with taking risks: either you succeed (hooray!), or you fail, and then you learn from it. Failure is only a waste if you let it. Fail and then learn from it, and you will have more experience to use the next time you attempt something. Seeking the easy life will only take away from who you could become if you challenge yourself.
Failure is an opportunity. Will you crumple under the weight of it? Or will you identify what you can learn from it and improve? If you are willing to step out into the unknown, you will learn more than the person who stood on the sidelines. Be a person who participates, not someone who always watches and plays it safe.