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Failing Gets a Bad Rap!

If you’ve ever failed, please raise your hand!Fail

I can’t see any of you, but I know all your hands are raised.  (Several have both hands and legs in the air!)

Did you learn more from things you failed at or from things that went well the first time you did them?

You learned more from what went wrong than what happened without incident – Correct?

When something goes right the first time we don’t stop and say, “Great!  I’ll make a template of what happened that made this so good so I do it each time a similar situation presents itself,”

What usually happens is this:

  1. We get made and upset.

  2. We start pointing our finger at people, circumstances and other things that “messed this up!”

  3. Shortly we realize we have three fingers pointing at ourselves!

  4. Then we:

  5. Stop and analyze what happened.

  6. Figure out how to fix it.

  7. Make the needed corrections.

  8. Move on!

Why did the failure occur?

  1. Lack of knowledge?

  2. Study more.

  3. Lack of preparation and practice?

  4. Prepare and practice more.

  5. Lack of skills?

  6. Learn them.

I remember when one of my grandsons, Carson, was about a year old.  He wasn’t walking then – but he was trying!  He would pull himself up to his feet by holding onto a coffee table in our living room.  Next, he’d get his balance, steady himself, and “surf” a couple steps to one side.  Shortly – he would fall!  Then, after sitting for a moment or two, he would pull himself up, catch his balance, move a step or two – then fall!  The pull-up, balance, step-step-fall routine would continue till he grew tired.  He’d go on to do something else, and would try walking another time.  Eventually, he got it right!

When, Where and Why as we’re growing up do we decide if we fall down we don’t get right back up?

Maybe it’s the mindset on “failing” that has to be changed.  There’s a famous story about Thomas Edison that says he tried 10,000 times to invent the light bulb.  When asked how it felt to “fail” that many times, he replied, “I never failed.  I successfully found over 9000 things that didn’t work.  Each experiment got me closer to my goal.”

Perhaps substituting the word “experiment” for “failure” would give us the wherewithal to “get up” when we fall down.  Start thinking about those “failures” as experiments that were not 100% successful, but gave you the learning experience to correct something, and experiment, again!

Failing gets a bad rap!  We should embrace it!

A great formula for success is:

  1. Fail early.

  2. Fail often.

  3. Sometimes, fail BIG!

“Go BIG or Go Home!” is a healthy “success attitude.”

Athletes know it: No pain – No gain.

What are you waiting for?  If you don’t fail nowwhen?

How long are you going to be dead?

I know this for certain: we’ll all spend more time under ground than above it.

Let’s look at this further. Say you want to be a baker, swimmer or a public speaker.  You can read books, watch videos, listen to audio recordings, observe others, and work on it “in your mind’s eye.”  These activities will help, but the real learning is in the doing!

What’s the worst that could happen?

  1. The baker’s cake falls.

  2. The swimmer comes in last.

  3. The speaker makes a fool of himself.


Who cares?

It’s a drop in the ocean of your life.  It’s nothing!

Are you going to die with a huge dumpster full of would’ves, could’ves, should’ves?

Are you going to take all those dreams with you?  Not me, and I hope, not you!

Today – commit yourself to working on them with the goal of leaving a legacy of accomplishment.

Good Luck! For reading, and/or listening, this far I’d like to give you a FREE Gift. Go to: to receive it!

About the Author Fred E. Miller is a speaker, a coach, and author of the book, “No Sweat Public Speaking!” Businesses and individuals hire him because they want to improve their Public Speaking and Presentation Skills. They do this because we perceive really great speakers to be Experts. Perception is reality and we rather deal with Experts. They also know: Speaking Opportunities are Business Opportunities. Speaking Opportunities are Career Opportunities. He shows them how to Develop, Practice and Deliver Knock Your Socks Off Presentations! with – No Sweat!

Fred E. Miller Photo Credit: Alex E. Proimos

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