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Gary Foreman

Transformational Life Coach 

  • Writer's pictureGary Foreman

FAIL … FAILING … FAILURE … REALLY? GREAT!

Updated: Jun 10

HELLO FRIENDS … 

This piece is obviously about failing or possibly even being a failure! This is a culturally common label for those who do not succeed or win right away. According to many in our culture, failing is to be avoided at any cost. Or, so we were led to believe! Let’s take this concept apart. We’ll look at this a few different ways, de-mystify this a little, and expose more about what might be really happening. 


The dictionary definition of the word failure: 


to fall short, to become inadequate, to be unsuccessful, to disappoint the expectations, to be deficient-slight or insignificant, defect in character conduct or ability.

Wow! This is why some people would want to avoid being a failure. I wonder where and when this concept of a person, or event, comes from? The best I can get from Webster’s is 17th century. The belief that failure is something we don’t want has been in our culture for a long time!


Now let’s try something …

Let’s look at the definition of the opposite of failure. Success would be one such opposite. 


Success: favorable or desired outcome.  

This seems a little short and shallow compared to failure but OK. Read on …  


How does one become successful?

Looking back at the definition, HOW does one achieve the desired outcome?  Here are only a few scenarios. One gets to a successful place by creating an intension, target or goal and executing tasks, taking action or putting forth effort leading to that desired result.  Then repeating the tasks and undertakings that lead to that desired result. This repetition creates consistency, which ensures the desired results are produced, again and again. However, we don’t always know, at first, what those tasks are. So, we try something that we believe will work based on preliminary observation of someone else’s success, some brief research, or guidance from a trusted source. We execute tasks that we know will get the desired results, based on the experience of those who have come before us. We do this with and without success.


The process …

Without much experience and proficiency at those tasks, we execute poorly at first and that may be deemed failure. For example: ice skating, roller blading, snow skiing, water skiing, skate boarding, and gymnastics, to name a few are all learned to consistent proficiency by falling down. Falling down is not the desired result so we believe falling down makes us a failure OR we hear in our minds ear “I can’t do this”, … because I fell down! You may have a profound curiosity or “talent” for any of these activities, but I assure you no one is born an ice skater, so falling down is going to happen.  The champion or highly skilled level takes time and repetition. There are successful repetitions and poor repetitions, good practice days and not-so-good practice days, successful attempts and poor attempts. Attempts that can be polished up and placed in the success column, for future repetition. Falling down is how we learn, so

falling is good. No failure, no learn! 


Now let’s look the psychological and emotional implications.

What happens to a child, or less experienced student of any age, when the primary care giver, teacher or coach, blames, criticizes or scolds the student for a poor attempt(s). This may lead the student to eventually realize that success is the absence of failure or not so successful attempts. NOT TRUE! The thought here is; if I succeed by chance, I will avoid the pain of criticism. The implication, the student feels, based on frequent disapproval becomes I CAN’T do this. He or she may give up. They may have far less enthusiasm for future attempts based on fear of failure. Fear of failure multiplies fear and leads to fewer committed attempts or tentative attempts. This is disaster! This fear of failure will spill over like water into other activities and goals. The student then thinks: “what if I don’t get it right”, “what will the teacher say next”. If we combine the fear of failure with our cultural need to “WIN” (losing is not an option), we are left with a student, who needs to be successful right away or one who will not make any attempt at all! This is stifling and does not break any current limits for growth or expansion. We as guides want to encourage the student to feel the feeling of; “what fun can I have learning”, “I can’t wait to see what happens next”, OR “what of it does work this time”! Then we are expanding into breaking limits. 


AND NOW …

Here are my earnest suggestions to you: FAIL … FAIL EARLY… FAIL OFTEN … FAIL BIG … FAIL FORWARD … and keep failing until consistency emerges for the desired results.  The path and the destination, desired results, are both fun and exhilarating! Failure doesn’t mean you are a bad person or completely unsuccessful. Keep going, never give up and master what you are attempting to learn. That is what a champion does!

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Gary Foreman

Transformational

Life Coach

CONTACT

(972) 639-7292
info@garyforeman.me

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Gary Foreman

Life Coach

Gary Foreman

Transformational

Life Coach

(972) 639-7292
info@garyforeman.me

  • Instagram
  • Facebook
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