steve@stevehansonspeaks.com

Failure To Achieve

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

If you’re like me, you’ve heard this proverb repeated dozens, if not hundreds of times, throughout your life. The message is simple. Don’t give up. Persist in your efforts. It’s the kind of obvious advice we might give to our children, just as our parents gave it to us. If it were our own sons or daughters who were taking on new challenges in the name of personal or professional growth, we would most likely encourage them to give it their very best shot. And if after their first attempt, the results were anything less than stellar? We’d tell them to keep going; that practice makes perfect. We’d tell them to…

Yeah, you guessed it. We’d tell them to try, try again.

But what’s interesting, is that as we grow older, we oftentimes fail to take our own advice. It’s not that we no longer try, try again. It’s that we no longer dare to step out of our comfort zones, and try anything new at all. That’s because new adventures mean unknown outcomes, and at a certain point, it’s just easier to stick with the tried and true. And why exactly, is that? It’s because the mere thought of failing, specifically the thought of failing publicly, is flat out terrifying. We’ve worked long and hard to become established, and to open ourselves up to the possibility that we might resemble anything less than competent is, for most of us, a hard pill to swallow.

It’s not really the failing that scares us, it’s worrying that others will see us as the failure.

And if we’re being completely honest, we might even wonder if they’re right.

So, in the interest of getting a grip, let’s take a little inventory.

What are we doing? Whatever it is, this much is certain. Not everyone has to love it, or even like it. It does not need to be widely recognized, or even minimally understood. If it is legal, ethical, and is of no harm to others; if it inspires us, gives us a feeling of satisfaction, and brings us a sense of peace or joy, we owe it to ourselves to keep pushing forward. 

Why are we doing it? Whatever the reason, this much is certain. Not everyone has to love it, or even like it. It does not need to be widely recognized, or even minimally understood. If it is legal, ethical, and is of no harm to others; if it inspires us, gives us a feeling of satisfaction, and brings us a sense of peace or joy, we owe it to ourselves to Keep Pushing Forward. 

Who are we doing it for? Whoever it is, (and I strongly recommend that YOU are at least part of this equation), this much is certain. Not everyone has to love it, or even like it. It does not need to be widely recognized, or even minimally understood. If it is legal, ethical, and is of no harm to others; if it inspires us, gives us a feeling of satisfaction, and brings us a sense of peace or joy, we owe it to ourselves to KEEP PUSHING FORWARD.

We all make mistakes. Learn from yours, and then try again.

After all, our failures are not just part of the process,

they’re the reason we ultimately succeed!

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