Which is worse, failing or never trying?
by Jonathan Hilton
Nobody in their right mind would ever set out to fail, because accomplishment is what people have been programed to strive for. Yet I look at our society and I see a significant fear of failure in the eyes of most. It has been bred from our earliest school days, “Do what we tell you and succeed” , “Never try something your not sure of or you might fail.” I think that history is full of people who have seen their share of disappointment and failure. Yet these initial setbacks worked as a springboard to future success. Failure is never fatal, quitting is. Why is it that our educational systems seem to fear failure so?
A Harsh but Effective Teacher
Failure is a word that has negative connotations attached to it. Nobody wants to be seen as a failure, associated with a failure or even admit that they have experienced failure.
The perception of being a failure can harm different parts of our society, from stock market prices to the power of a celebrity at the box office. Being a winner is preferable to being a loser. Yet it is a fact that sometimes we all lose.
However if you spend a little time and look at the lessons that you learned over the expanse of your life, you probably learned a lot more from the loses you experienced than from any other teacher you have ever had. Failure is not a fun thing to experience but learning to deal with it and rise above it is one of the most valuable tools you will ever aquire.
Failing Can Open Doors of Opportunity
Once you learn this lesson there is really no goal that is too far from your
reach. Once you take ownership of what has happened and recognize why you fell short, you can take steps to continue working to achieve that goal. Often your ultimate success was driven by that initial faltering attempt.
One of the best things about becoming involved in athletics as a child is that you get to learn how to overcome setbacks in a controlled environment.
These lessons are directly applicable to life, you will not always get the job, sometimes there is criticism of your work, and you don’t always win.
If you keep striving to win though, and you evaluate your shortcomings honestly, than a person can overcome almost any failure and find success in the end. That success can extend to any part of your life.
Why Are We So Afraid?
Either because they never want their kids to feel bad, or the parents are living vicariously through the accomplishments of their young ones.
Either way, kids are often times taught that everyone is a winner, and participate in non-competitive games, which I think sends an unrealistic life lesson, because life is not that way.
Life has a way of testing you and finding out what you are made of. Life is a game that you can’t win, you can only play it and a healthy part of it is that sometimes things are not going to work out for you.
I would think that if I had never understood this that the first time failure came to me, I might have a nervous breakdown and never recover. Yet the hope of accomplishment and being great keeps people marching forward, despite the risks of failing and the pain involved in not getting what you want.
If you work toward a goal then you will have an opportunity to achieve that goal.
Give It A Shot, Then At Least You Know
When it comes to never trying you will avoid experiencing this failure, but you will also never learn the lessons that failure inevitably teaches you. That all things are not accomplished easily, but if we persevere in our efforts we can accomplish almost anything.
Never trying is definitely way worse than failure, you will never know your capabilities unless you test yourself.
You will never improve physically, mentally or spiritually unless you push yourself a little. When you push yourself, sometimes you fail.
Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back to it. Learning this lesson will be one of the valuable experiences you will have. And at least you will know, definitively once and for all, what you are capable of. You are a great human soul with unlimited potential and effort and fearless acceptance of the consequences will take you there.
Which is worse, failing or never trying?