Hey You! Get Out There And Fail OK?

"In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure" - Bill Cosby

Photo Courtesy of ktpupp via Compfight
As a crazy passionate gardener, I often hear these types of comments from people after they visit my house .... "Man, you were born with a green thumb! I kill everything" or something like "How do you do this! It's so easy for you!" Um. NO! What people haven't seen is how many plants that I've killed in my day or the numerous dumb things I've done in my garden that totally failed. I've spent a lot of money and time wasted in my garden. I've naively tried to grow the same tree in one spot 4 times. Failed. I've tried to make a colonial style mixed garden. It looked like a  bunch of weeds. Failed. I was dumb and planted some bamboo that really likes to wander. Hello?????? In short, I have had a whole lot of failures before I was able to perfect my craft in order to have a beautiful garden today. Brown thumbs aren't yet black. They CAN become green with failure, practice, and persistence!

As I have gracefully aged, I have eagerly expected and embraced failure. It took me a long time to appreciate and accept it. Like most people, I grew up expected not to fail. Our society loves to see people fail and punishes them for it. It has taught me so many critical lessons. Failure has helped me grow and become a better person. It has humbled me and brought out my strengths. It is what makes me human. I've learned more about the dark side of  people who punish failure, rather than seeing what a blessing it can be. Failure has made me an awesome gardener, a better person, and more self assured in my path through life.

Successful people make it look so easy. Learn their story and find failure after failure...

Walt Disney, Oprah, J W Rowling, Van Gogh, Lady Gaga, and Steven Spielberg are all big failures. They failed, disappointed their families, were teased or looked down upon. In the end, failure was a gift. They learned, overcame, and succeeded. They made it look easy. I bet that if you look up someone who you admire you will find failure. Makes you feel a little better huh?

Over the years I have worked with (and walked with!) numerous people who literally hit the dumps in their career for one reason or another. One friend had to quit her job because of the sheer stress and load of work that she carried. She felt like she was ready to crack. She took some time off to reflect and recoup. She failed, struggled, and is now an HR leader at an international company. I had a boss that lost his job due to a merger and prospects looked grim. He is now a senior marketing leader at a large financial institution. A friend of my lost everything while she was an entrepreneur. She was dead broke and without a home. She picked up the pieces, licked her wounds, and is now successfully running her own company. All these people embraced failure with a positive attitude and moved on. They learned and didn't give up. Any one of  the people above will tell you that failure is good and that they are thankful for it!

Photo via gareth1953 at Compfight
Great companies, leaders, and your closest peeps know that failure IS good. If you work for or live with someone who punishes you for every little failure then RUN! This can become a toxic and unhealthy situation. Accept failure as your friend and use the lessons learned to grow.

Try a little fail once in awhile.....

  • Failure gives you time to reflect
  • It offers you proof of what can be done better and how
  • Your failures can be a valuable lesson to others
  • Failure is your best teacher
  • Failure helps you confront fear head on with more confidence
  • Failure means a new start
  • It IS OK to fail!
  • Try new things and if you fail, you grow
  • Failure helps you to be a survivor and will give you more "grit"
  • Our supreme victories are those that are the most difficult
  • Failure brings you one step closer to success
  • Failure will help bring you nearer to your real potential
  • Don't be afraid to experiment. There are worse things in the world than failure
  • Jump out there and try new things - what is there to lose?
  • Do NOT avoid failure. Dump any pre-existing notions that you have
"Success is not a destination, it's a journey" - Zig Ziglar

I love Zig Ziglar. If you read his story you will quickly learn that he experienced a lot of failures. He didn't achieve the huge success that he did until later in life. If you are truly afraid of jumping out into the world and out of your comfort zone, then jump online and read about all of the failures that successful people have made before you. If anything, it will ease some of your fears and push you to jump out there to fail.

What are you willing to fail at today in order to succeed????