Failure is Not Trying

Posted: 30th December 2007 by Barb in Failure, Goals, Success

“I am not judged by the number of times I fail, but by the number of times I succeed; and the number of times I succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times I can fail and keep on trying.”
—Tom Hopkins

No matter how hard we have tried to reach goals in our lives, but have fallen short, the only time we truly failed were the times we gave up and let go of our goals. Life is a series of events that we label success and failure, but we all know that the difficulties in life are what teach us and the times in our lives when we felt the most distressed usually turned into the most spiritual growth.

If we feel ashamed or guilty for our past mistakes, or for failing to reach a particular goal, it’s time to let go. We let go of the guilt and shame and move forward. We must forgive ourselves for not being perfect because that is not expected of any human on this earth.

To fail is to give up. To fail is to never try. Not reaching a goal just means we need to try harder or set a new goal. It’s good to set our goals high, but we may need to set them a bit lower in order to achieve them. They need to be realistic or they are not worth striving for, and only set us up to not reach them thus setting off feelings of being ashamed.

Remember that we never fail if we continue to grow. We may not have reached goal A, but we learned to be more patient along the way. Or goal B eluded us, but along the journey to try to reach it, we learned a new skill or way of coping. Just as people are placed in our lives to help us grow and to meet our needs, so are our plans and goals means of growing and learning even that which we may not have strived for.

Do not feel ashamed for failure; instead let it give you momentum for the next goal.

  1. Aravis says:

    I have trouble letting go and accepting that perfection isn’t expected of me; I tend to project that others *do* expect it of me. That’s all in my head, of course. I have also set my goals too high initially, setting myself up to fail. It’s crushing.

    It can be hard to know what is a realistic goal and what isn’t until you try but, if in trying you learn, it seems to me that then you can try again, learning from the past.

    There’s a Dyson commercial in which he mentions that he tried 5,000 prototypes before getting it right. That’s 5,000 times he dusted himself off and tried again. If I’m passionate enough about something, I hope that I have that sort of courage and determination to see it through.

  2. Loving Annie says:

    Happy New Year 2008 to you, Barb !

  3. e.e. says:

    Happy New Year, Barb.
    Thank you for writing, and giving me a place to go this past year….