Note from Jonathan: This is the first ever guest post on Illuminated Mind. For a long time, I didn’t accept guest posts because people often don’t match the content theme for this blog. But I think Justin did a great job of fitting the groove here.
Please give Justin a warm welcome. I think you’ll like what he has to say. It’s an important message.
What are you afraid of failing at?
Taking risks, doing things that are outside your comfort zone, or making mistakes? You’ve heard the question “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” Well, writer and business man, Og Mandino, did this question one better. When he was asked what the secret of success was, he replied, “You should triple your rate of failure.”
What could you get from trying to fail?
- You learn. You get a direct insight that is going to stay with you better than reading any blog post. This can be even more effective if you keep a record of what caused you to fail.
- You get through it. Every time you fail, you learn a little more about what you can take. You learn more about who you are, and what you’ve got in you. You realize, “Yes, I can get through this. I’ve survived this and now I’m ready for more.” You know the future is going to be awesome.
- You get perspective. Most of the things you worry about happening will never happen. It’s like being afraid to look under the bed with a flashlight because you are scared of what may get you. If you look anyway, to your utter disbelief you find … the cat. Sure, something is going to happen when you try, but when you actually try to fail, you will find that even messing up is almost never as bad as you think it is.
- You stop worrying about what others think. You are trying to do all the things that you thought meant failing. What is someone else going to say to stop you, “you might fail”? You are now free to say, “du-uh”!
What about tripling your rate of failure?
If you want to triple it, you can’t afford to stay down. You fail, get up, and you do it again. You keep trying to fail, until you get so good at it that you miss the mark. Then, when you fail at failing, you’ve just made the mistake of succeeding. Oh well, can’t win ‘em all.
So what are the best ways to fail?
- Make sure you do the things you want to do. As awesome as it is to go against the flow … make sure that it’s your flow that you go with. If you go with everything that every other rebel does, then it’s just as bad as if you followed the mainstream. Listen to your own voice.
- Look for where the risk of not trying is higher than the risk of failing. You only have one life to live, and it’s not going to live itself without you. Do not go to the end of your life without making sure that you didn’t waste it!
- Always get up and try again. Commit to following through. It is going to take time to fail as many times as you need to. If every time you fail, you get back up, you will just keep getting a little better.
It’s always possible to fail, so why fight it? Run head first at the things you were afraid of failing at. People learn best through trial and error.
Make the errors.
There will never be a time when you know that you won’t fail. So what? Instead of trying to trick your mind into thinking that failure is impossible, embrace the possibility of failure. It’s just not worth living your life in fear of failing.
So, I dare you to try to fail.
You just might make the mistake of succeeding.
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