Failures Are Just Part of the Journey to Success

“The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one,” said John Maxwell.

Fear of failure leaves us resistant to change, unable to take risks, and powerless to reach goals. Instead, we have to view change as inevitable, risks as invigorating possibilities, and failure as a vehicle for learning, growing, and succeeding.

The truth is that failure provides learning opportunities that one simply cannot get from an easy path to success. We must be willing to make an ambitious plan, set stretch goals, and dream big, realizing that there will be mistakes and missteps along the way. But we cannot let those missteps prevent us, or derail us, from setting plans, goals, and dreams.

And, in order to learn from failures, we must first take responsibility for them, then let them teach us, and finally, work heartily not to repeat them. While no one relishes the experience of failing at something, I’ve learned over the years that failing to embrace the challenges of career and life is much more limiting than failing at any one task or project.

Once you view failures as learning opportunities, it takes the fear out of moving confidently forward. Without question, you should always give each task or opportunity your all, but acknowledge that mistakes are inevitable and stop fearing the things that you cannot change.

Leaders can’t take credit for their successes until they’ve taken ownership of their failures, too. And as leaders, we must give others room to fail, with the understanding that the biggest mistake is not to learn from them. When team members do fail, their leader should have their backs and be the one who helps guide them through the learning opportunity and back to the road to future success.

I love the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” We all face tasks that feel daunting, but we can embrace that feeling and turn it into anticipation by asking ourselves, not “what if we fail?” but “even with a few missteps along the way, how awesome will it be when we succeed?” Failures are just part of the journey to success!