Struggling with the fear of failure? Here’s why I believe failure is success in progress – and how you can get there, too.
The thing most people forget about failure is that it’s subjective.
What looks like failure to you might be an incredible accomplishment to the next person.
In fact, with the right mindset, failure doesn’t have to be a bad thing at all.
Albert Einstein once said, “Failure is success in progress.”
I say failure is an honor reserved only for those who try.
Regardless of the definition you live by, choosing an empowered perspective on failure can make the difference between chasing your wildest dreams … or remaining stuck in your current circumstance forever.
Ready to create a positive relationship with failure?
Here are three steps that helped me, so you too can move toward your dreams with confidence.
How To Turn Failure Into Success
Reframe The Fear
If there’s something you really want to do – start a business, write a book, lose the weight – but you’re not letting yourself try, then you’re most likely getting stuck in your fear of failure.
You see, that fear is often the number one thing that holds us back from chasing our dreams. It gets in the way of living our best life, and it holds us back from some of life’s greatest joys and achievements.
But here’s the thing. Even if you don’t achieve your goal, it’s never a failure – as long as you learned something. When we reach for a goal, even though we didn’t achieve it, we have learned throughout that entire process.
Maybe you learned what not to do. Maybe you realized that goal isn’t exactly the right one for you. Or maybe you learned that you want something else more.
All those lessons provide valuable insights and information that will steer you toward your next success. Inside of the learning and growth and perspective shifts, you’re gaining the skills and mindsets that will support you as you try again next time. You’re strengthening the muscles that create success.
When you think about it that way, then failure is exactly what leads to success.
Rewrite Your Narrative
Once you can see failure from a new perspective, it’s time to apply that perspective to your own life. Reflect on the moments when you feel like you’ve failed in the past. Can you see them now as attempts to improve your life and the lives of those around you? Can you see where you learned and grew from those experiences?
More importantly, can you forgive yourself for judging those efforts – and make the choice to applaud yourself for them now?
You will feel the biggest shift when you stop seeing failure as the narrative of who you are.
As you look back on your own experiences, remind yourself that failure doesn’t mean you’re incapable or unwilling or unintelligent. It simply means the steps you took didn’t lead to the exact outcome you desired, and now you know to try something different.
And that’s all it means.
If you try to start a business and it fails, that does not mean you’re a failure at business. It means your business was affected by a multitude of factors, some within your control and some outside of your control. Now you have more knowledge and experience for next time – and that’s a win!
You see, failure is not an ending or a judgment. It’s actually just the search for a new right answer. When you think of failure that way, it’s never about you.
Repeat Your Success
Once you’ve reframed your beliefs to see that failure is success in progress, you have the right mindset in place to try again.
But oftentimes, it’s not just failure that needs reframing – it’s also success, too.
Most people think success is something you arrive at. It’s a destination you spend most of your life working toward. One day, you’ll get there and everything will be easy and perfect.
But you don’t arrive at success because it’s not a destination; it’s an action you take every single day.
It’s in the trying that we become successful. Why? Success is about the willingness to move forward. It’s about the commitment to taking small, daily steps that add up to bigtime rewards. In fact, I don’t know a single successful person who stays idle for long.
So I say fail forward, and fail forward often.
Keep taking action after action that you believe will lead you to your desired result. And if it doesn’t lead you there, then let go of the judgment and simply try again.
Use failure as the means to achieve success, and you will get there.
In the meantime, make sure you’re taking those action steps that will support yourself along the journey. For example, I like to use positive affirmations to reprogram my core beliefs and change my thought patterns. Try repeating to yourself: Failure is an honor. Say it as many times as you need to until you start to believe it. Work your affirmations into your meditation practice or nightly prayer. Write it on post-it notes and stick them all over the house if you need to.
Turn your commitment into action steps, and then follow through. That act alone is a huge success because you’re changing the very foundation of your relationship with failure and success – and with yourself.
You’re rewriting your story in a way that will support you in everything you try for years to come.
That’s a success you can always be proud of.
Ready To Take Action?
Do you believe failure is success in progress? If you’re not quite there yet, I can show you how to get there.
I’ve been working on this practice for over 20 years, and I’ve learned quite a few tools, techniques and mindsets along the way.
I share all my best strategies for navigating life’s toughest moments inside of my membership community. You can even find a video course on this exact topic that includes everything you need for self-discovery and empowered action.
All you have to do is show up for the journey.