No One Wants to Fail

You might as well hang your hat up and quit.  You failed.  There is no redemption. You should  stop trying. You’re a loser. Failing never feels good. The word “Fail” makes my skin crawl.  But as much as I hate failing, I have also learned to embrace failing.  But this is not the case for everyone. This is a mindset I have recognized as a way to #BecomeBetter.


One of the most difficult things I’ve had to do is watch my son “fail” at something he loves more than almost anything else in his 12 years of life, competitive swimming. Up until now, he has never really felt what it is like to “fail” in this sport he loves.  He’s been that kid who steps up to his race with passion and fury, ready to out touch every competitor.  He holds himself to very high standards.  He goes 110% at practice.  He eats right. He keeps his mind focused and healthy. He puts everything in to being the best he can be.  But what happens when your best is no longer THE “best”? How does one teach, encourage, and support failure as “good” thing?

How do you value failures and turn them into wins? I don’t start my day saying, “I can’t wait to Fail”.  What I do start my day with is, “What can I do to #BecomeBetter?”  Then no matter if I fail or not fail,  I’m always focused on the outcome to #BecomeBetter.

When faced with helping others turn their failures into opportunities for growth, I try to follow this list:

  1. Empathy
  2. Acknowledgement
  3. Learning
  4. Improvement

EMPATHY: When you start with empathy, you are saying, “I’m on your side” and “I’m hearing what you have to say”.  You are in their “corner”.  With my son, if I truly LISTEN to what he is saying I can understand better how he is FEELING…and that is where EMPATHY starts.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Validating someone’s feelings is being able to recognize and acknowledge how important the feeling is.  Know that you don’t have to agree with someone’s feelings or choices to ACKNOWLEDGE that their emotions are valid.

LEARNING: We must ask ourselves, after the failing has occurred, “What have I LEARNED?” Although a simple question, when faced with hurt and despair, it is often difficult to see the rainbow after the storm.  Time is part of this equation.  Given the right amount of time and space, often reflection will happen.

IMPROVEMENT: When the dust settles, I ask my son, “How can you improve? What can you do to #BecomeBetter?”  Reflecting is an important part of IMPROVEMENT.  Being able to reflect from the past, acknowledge the present, then make changes for the future to be the best you can be is crucial for growth.

So, do we set our sails to FAIL? No. No one likes to Fail.  Can we find comfort knowing that out of  failing emerges growth? Yes! Maybe we should look at things differently? What if we look at failing as an opportunity to #BecomeBetter

How will you #BecomeBetter today?

How will you help others turn their FAIL into their WIN?


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