Failing Forward


Failure is anything but what we hope to face in life, it’s what we’ve been trained to believe is the antidote to our demise. Yet, contrary to what we’ve been taught, failure is the greatest gift that we can be given. Not to mention, it’s free too :)

Failure teaches us what success will never. Weaknesses exposed, our mistakes highlighted. Our ego bruised, and our pride demolished. Failure is a lesson that we all need in order to be better equipped for whatever our purpose—our callings are in this life. It’s through the miserable pain that failure invites into our lives that we’re forced to face ourselves without the rose colored glasses we often see ourselves from. And, from that place, we grow into individuals we’ve never been. Sharper than ever, wiser than we’ve ever been.

But, how do we allow failure to produce miracles within us, without allowing it to completely crush us? Here’s how you can learn how to fail forward:

1. Change your perception of failure

Without faulting our parents, loved ones, and communities we can acknowledge that we’ve been lied to about failure. Our perceptions have been skewed to believe that failure is doomsday—a prison that we’ve locked ourselves in and will never be able to escape from. Here’s the catch though, it’s only when you welcome failure as your friend, your teacher that you’ll learn the art of failing forward.

 Photo by Reagan Schwantz 

Photo by Reagan Schwantz 

2. Master Your Mind

Simply, because failure sucks, you’ll feel like you suck too. Here’s the good news: you don’t have to, if you don’t want to. Mastering your mind is the secret that’ll set you free from the negative, toxic thoughts that’ll race through your mind following a traumatic failure. Cliché, but true, you’re not in control of what happens to you, you’re only in control of how you respond to it. Remember this:

Our thoughts create our emotions,

Our emotions create our mood,

Our mood creates our state of being.

As you process failure, be mindful that you’re in control of how you feel, so (please) learn how to master your mind. :)

3. Don’t Play Victim

As easy as playing victim is, whatever you do, don’t do it. Resist the urge to deflect the blame of your failure unto others, rather take responsibility for it. Stop yourself from projecting faults onto those around you, rather acknowledge that your failure is yours—not theirs.

Each time you deflect, and shift blame for your own failure onto someone else, you sabotage your ability to learn from the mistakes you’ve made that’ve led to your own failure. And, life has a funny way of making sure you make the same mistakes over, and over again until you’ve learned the lesson it was trying to teach you all along.

So, save yourself time (and tears), by not taking the easy way out playing victim.

 Photo by Sydney Richburg

Photo by Sydney Richburg

4. Reflect.

Now, this one is hard. It’s never fun to sit down, in quiet solitude reflecting on just why you’ve failed. We’re all human beings, made of heart and soul, not steel. Failure bruises our egos, it strips our pride until we have none. Our insecurities are exposed, and our vulnerabilities are put on display for everyone to see. So, taking the time to reflect on the missteps you’ve taken that’ve resulted in failure can be painful, and extremely difficult to do.

Yet, it’s necessary. It’s the only way we can learn which steps, and decisions we shouldn’t take or make in the future. Take a moment, or several to write your missteps out.

5. Please, Be Kind To Yourself.

Be kind to yourself throughout this process. Failure isn’t an easy one to endure, and process so be vigilant with the compassion you show yourself. Be militant with the thoughts that run through your mind—only allowing positive, loving ones to ruminate. You’re not the sum of your failures, nobody is. Failure, if we’re not careful with our perception of it, has an interesting way of making us feel worthless. As if we’re not good enough, intelligent enough to try again. Failure is your friend, your teacher and your guide. As you begin to master your mind, you’ll make peace with your failures, and forgive yourself too. When you refuse to play victim, you’ll be humbled by your humanity, and learn how to take charge of your own life. Reflecting on missteps will empower you to not make the same mistakes twice, it’ll give you permission to move forward with confidence, because now you know exactly what you shouldn’t do.

Yididya .jpg

Wishing you the best on your journey of failing forward.


Yididya Yimer