How To Fail Successfully

If I have not done something before, then failure is inevitable.  I never learned to swim, ride a bike, drive, build a company or give a speech perfect the first time.  None of us are that remarkable.  We learn by doing and taking first steps.

However, we have a lie going on in our heads.  We are such a success infatuated culture that we are continually looking at appearance and performance.  It’s hard to remember that there was a lot of hard work and failure backing a successful person’s showtime.

Well, if you are committed to succeeding in the things that will help you grow yourself, your business or your life, then here are the ways to fail successfully.

  • 100 times. Have you tried doing it 100 times?  Your 100th time will surely be better than your first.  Commit to frequency and be unemotional about it.  Don’t judge yourself until you do it 100 times.
  • Value learning one new thing.  Every iteration better teach you one thing new to keep in mind.  Repeating the same mistake without attention and determination to change specific issues is not going to get you anywhere.  Go for small victories.  Your progress can be measured by changing one thing at a time on every failure.
  • Separate truth and lies. Your internal dialogue frames your perspective.  Identify the lies you tell yourself.  “You can’t do this,” and “It’s impossible,” need to be examined and eradicated by your logic and determination to succeed.  If you work hard enough, then things are possible.  If you work hard enough, you will fail enough to succeed.  The truth often is that you need to be willing to work hard.
  • Value sounding boards. We all have blind spots.  If you cannot see yours, then you are prone to failing unsuccessfully.  If you solve problems with the same characteristic – pessimism, narrow-mindedness, arrogance, guesswork, etc. – then allow trusted advisors help call out your blindspot.  I need this just as much as the next guy.  We are all looking at our problems and attacking them without full clarity and excellence.

Failing successfully is how winning is done.  Failing with ignorance and without resolve is just pure failure.  The difference is whether failure is part of a process in your success approach or a discouragement.

I anticipate problems and know that hard work and tenacity drives obstacles further down as solutions arise from failing forward quickly with success.  In our fast moving world, this formula will serve you well to keep moving the challenges of your business and life forward.  Embrace the process of failing successfully and watch what truly matters change – yourself.

What strategies can you incorporate to help you through the failure process?

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

4 thoughts on “How To Fail Successfully

  1. Another great post! I tend to be very hard on myself, so I’m learning to give myself the grace to fail (and learn something from it). I really like the “100 times” point…good takeaway!

  2. this is awesome .
    willie nelson once said, “so you think you’re a songwriter? write 100 songs and throw them all away. your 101st will be a hit.”
    I’ve always said that if you want to be good at something you have to be willing to suck at it first.

Leave a Reply

Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
Bi-weekly Newsletter:
%d bloggers like this: