Failure And Success: The Twins Of Exponential Self-Growth

Never let a fear of failing overpower a great learning opportunity.

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Never let a fear of failing overpower a great learning opportunity.


Failure And Success: The Twins Of Exponential Self-Growth

Never let a fear of failing overpower a great learning opportunity.

Share this article

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost 300 games. 26 times I have been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I ‘ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And this is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan

A few years ago, I went to a public speaking training. A few people were selected to come on stage, read a quote and talk on the spot about the quote. I was hoping they wouldn’t select me as it could lead to a major embarrassment and a miserable fail. I was selected…went on stage, picked a quote from a basket and as opposed to reading it, I voiced a quote that I already knew. I was not prepared to fail…

This short story raises a few important points:

1) How my fear of failing overpowered a great learning opportunity

2) How do I find the courage to embrace a potential fail?

3) What if I actually fail?

Here are a couple of pointers to help you embrace failure – the fastest way to success.

Debug your fear of failure first.

What is your relationship with fear? When you were a child, fear had a limited presence. For an adult, however, fear plays by its own rules without asking for your permission, it often overrides your system. Fear often stays with its feet on the desk eating popcorn and telling you what to do. Personal growth and fear are always competing inside you. Sometimes fear is right, sometimes fear is overprotective

Consider skateboarding. There is no failure, they celebrate falling off – they don’t need a library of self-help manuals to understand the science behind their board speed or jumping angle because they learn by failing again and again.

On the other side, my CEO clients’ greatest fear is failure. The very thing they fear is actually what propelled them to where they are now. Fear is simply mismanaged imagination, debug it and you will open new doors.

Look your fears in the eye, know what you fear, be clear about it – and you will be on your way to exponential self-development

“It is not a case of getting rid of the butterflies,

it’s a question of getting them to fly in formation”

Jack Donohue

The courage to take the jump – whatever the result.

Courage is an impulse to stand up for what matters to you. Like a muscle, it can be trained by taking bold decisions and acting upon them.

In the beginning, it feels like you know what to do but can’t make yourself go through with it. Our brain is designed to protect us and prevents us from doing things that are uncomfortable, scary or difficult.

When you are under pressure, your entire system is being tested – your heart rate rises, you start to sweat, you feel muscle tension, your attention narrows, your breathing becomes shallow. – You have a few precious seconds to act before the fear kicks in to overprotect you.

“Avoid mistakes at all cost” or “achieve excellence”? What kind of person are you when under pressure?

A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. How about you? Are you ready to start making bold decisions?

I failed, so what?

Your failure does not define who you are, your determination does.

Failure is an opportunity to begin again, smarter than before.

The key question isn’t actually about failure, it’s about what you do with it.

Remember. Learning from each and every failure is the most important element - because when you are on the growth trajectory, you want to achieve certain things: set up a successful business, be a caring mum or dad, become black belt in Karate, attend your Yoga session twice a week…

The faster you learn from failure, the faster you will reach success.

"My great concern is not whether you have failed,

but whether you are content with your failure”

Abraham Lincoln

A few pointers to embrace failure

Because I support High Performers and write about success and performance, people believe that I never slip up when it comes to these areas.  But of course... I am human. I fail at things more often than you could imagine, and far more than I’d certainly like to admit.

Let me share a few more tips that have really helped me along the way.

Observe your mind : Our mind spends most of its time projecting the future (plans, dreams, fears) or reminiscing about the past (memories, regrets, nostalgia) – I always try to work on my mind and not in my mind by looking at myself from a 3rd person perspective and studying my reactions.

Catch your thinking patterns: Your brain constantly tries to match new experiences with the old ones.  But depending on how emotionally attached you are to the original experience; it can lead to false patterns which inevitably lead you astray.  This is especially true with failures…For instance, a past failure may be perceived as a burden or a weight and not as a learning experience.

Set yourself a clear vision: When I don’t focus on what matters to me with a clear vision, my mind can sometimes transform into a misbehaved dog, constantly chasing squirrels! Setting yourself clear mental and emotional goals is key.


Perception is critical as it relates to failure. If you perceive failure as a learning experience, chances are you will force fear into the back seat & move courage into the front seat. Failure will become your ally and partner.

And believe me when I say that the outcome will be absolutely life changing for you.

To find out more about Alex Kergall visit https://alexkergall.com/.

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Failure And Success: The Twins Of Exponential Self-Growth

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