What if we taught failure as a positive thing in life, rather than cast a dark shadow on it? What if we taught about the lessons that are to be learned in failing? What if we made this a word to embrace with open arms, to hug it when it appears, and to be proud that an attempt was made at something worthwhile, regardless of the outcome?
I have shared in the past that to me, to FAIL is to feel alive in life. It means that you are actually taking risks, you are embracing discomfort, you are going after your dreams, you are working towards creating the life that you truly want to live. Failure is not a disease to be avoided at all costs. In fact, it is something that should be praised as it means that someone had the courage to try something new. It means that someone decided to push play on their creativity. That is a beautiful thing.
When you take your test for your lead certification in rock climbing, you are told that you must fall in order to pass the test. Yes, you must purposely do something that is seen as failure, in order to pass the test. But that’s not all. They tell you between which clips you must fall and that you cannot stop and think about it before letting go. You must actually just do it without hesitation or you will fail the test. It is scary and summons fear to the surface. But, when you do not allow yourself to get into your head, when you do not over think it, and you just let go, there is such a rush of accomplishment and amazement that you actually did it.
In case you missed that let me boil it down: When you hesitate to take risks in life because you are afraid of failing, you actually fail the test of life. You actually fail in creating the life you desire. Because true failure as a result of giving it all you’ve got, is what brings vibrancy to your life. You feel alive!
Understand that when you hesitate—be it because of fear, self-doubt, negative thoughts—you remove the possibility to receive the gifts that are wrapped within failure. You rob yourself of building your courage and confidence muscles. You kill curiosity and progress in its tracks. You welcome regret and mediocrity.
Before I took the actual lead test, I did some mock lead climbing so that I could practice falling as if I were actually leading. The first time I fell was because I could no longer hold on, and I let out a little scream. It wasn’t too bad once it was over. The second time, I did a little countdown and just let go. That time felt even better; I felt proud. I fell a few more times so that it didn’t bother me as much when I had to take the test (for which I did pass).
Life is one big practice. You keep trying. You know you will fail. You also know you will win. But don’t give up. Feel alive by going for it. Welcome the gifts of failure. Extract the lessons from the experience and try again. Take action. Have fun. Feel alive in life!