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Fail better

No one likes to fail. No one plans to fail. But we all fail at something at some time in our lives.

Failing is embarrassing, even humiliating. Public failure is devastating.

I still remember trying to lead a class auction in 5th grade. I had neither the personality nor the skill to do this. And after several very painful minutes I was very publicly replaced. That was nearly 40 years ago. So the memory of failing can stick with us for a long time.

Since we are going to fail at times, it’s very important that we have the right attitude toward failure. If we fear it, we will magnify its impact in our own minds. If we see it as a normal part of growing, it will still hurt when we fail, but we’ll be able to move past this experience. And for those who actually see failure as a growth opportunity, they may feel some temporary disappointment. But they’ll be right back trying again as soon as possible.

So how do you fail? Do you see your failures as temporary, or as a permanent fixture in your life? Do you evaluate what you did incorrectly, choose 1 thing to do differently in the future, and move on? Or do you wrap your entire life around your failures and shy away from new experiences?

The choice is yours. But I encourage you to fail well, to make failure an ally on your path to personal growth. Choose to grow through the experience instead of becoming a victim.

Learn to fail better.

P.S. After my failure as an auctioneer, I later made a living as a public speaker and trainer. So I did manage to get over this – but the memory remains, and I use it to remind me that failure isn’t fatal.

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