I see a lot of signs that say “failure is not an option.” That drives me crazy! Because it’s harsh and meant to intimidate. And the only place where “failure is not an option” belongs, is in a life or death situation. If you fail….you die. Plain and simple. But here’s why failure is an option.
(This is an update to a post that was originally published in April, 2014)
It’s just not an appropriate phrase for everyday life. Instead, it causes people to think twice before trying something new….possibly stopping them. And I hate that! Everyone is a beginner at something and Failure is an Option. Even tying your shoe was something you had to learn at first and fail at a few times, before you became an expert. (And I recently found out, I wasn’t even an expert in shoe tying according to this TED Talk.
In her new book, Everything is Figureoutable, Marie Forleo discusses failure and how she doesn’t keep a running list of her failures because she doesn’t truly see them as “failures” but as opportunities to learn. One of her mantra’s is “I win or I learn but I never lose.” Instead, she sees her failures as stepping stones.
FAIL is a Faithful Attempt In Learning according to Marie. You truly fail only if you stop learning and stop trying.
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan
“I can accept failure. Everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” Michael Jordan.
I love these two quotes from Michael Jordan. It’s about trying, it’s about practicing it’s about doing. It’s about getting up and trying something new and then doing it again to try to get better at it. So I thought about that phrase “failure is not an option” and wanted to turn it on it’s head. I decided it should be “Failure to Try is not an Option.” I hope you like it. (If you do, there are free printables in different colors below.)
Below are more quotes on failure and the important lessons gained from both trying and failing.
“I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.” Thomas Edison
“The greatest failure is the failure to try.” William Ward
“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again. Only this time more wisely.” Henry Ford
“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.” Truman Capote
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill
“It is hard to fail, but it’s worse never to have tried to succeed.” Theodore Roosevelt
“I didn’t fail the test. I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.” Benjamin Franklin
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” Robert F. Kennedy
Don’t be afraid to fail. Be more afraid to NOT try something new. Be more afraid to allow a failure to stop you from trying again. Be more afraid of NOT learning from your failure.