Failure is a Friend

Don’t waste a moment of your precious life worrying about what other people will think of you. No good can come of it.

The truth is that you’ll waste far more energy imagining what others think of you than those people will ever invest in it themselves. Most people are far too preoccupied with their own lives to devote considerable attention to what you’re doing. While you’re worrying about what they think of you, they’re worrying about what you think of them. Just worrying your lives away…

Instead of being concerned with that others think, become concerned with what you think of yourself. Your opinion of yourself matters far more than the opinions of others, no matter how wise, intelligent, or well-meaning you think they are.
Realize that other people’s opinions of you are theirs alone and have very little to do with you. No one else really knows what you’re capable of. When you allow others to have their reaction without taking ownership of it yourself, you empower yourself.
Don’t fear that you’ll turn into some kind of inconsiderate, anti-social jerk if you stop being concerned with what others think of you. Even as you meet with resistance from others, you’ll be serving as a role model to help them overcome their own fears.

Whenever you stretch yourself to take bold new actions, like starting a new business or entering a new relationship, don’t be surprised to get a negative reaction from those around you. It’s common. Others may launch into long-winded explanations about why you’re doomed to failure. But there’s no need to let that stop you. Most of the time they’ll be speaking from fear, not love, anyway. Fear speaks from limitation; love speaks from possibility.

What happens if those other people were actually right though? What if you go out and fail big even after they warned you it would happen? It doesn’t matter. Even when they’re right, they’re still wrong. You’re supposed to go out and fail a lot. It’s perfectly OK for everyone around you to tell you you’re going to fail and for you to go out and fall flat on your face right in front of them. That’s supposed to happen. The real lesson is for you to learn to be OK with that.

The truth is that you’re going to fail — a lot. Get used to it! Make failure your friend. Those failures are not the opposite of success — they’re an integral part of success. Understand that it’s absolutely, perfectly fine to go out and start a new business and watch it go bankrupt. It’s fine to enter a new relationship and watch it blow up in your face. It’s fine to give a speech and get booed off the stage. The most important thing is that it is fine to start a blog and watch it fail. We learn more from failure than from success.

You’re supposed to fail. Failure is one of the best ways we humans learn and grow. Allow yourself to be human.

But even more importantly than that, you need to build self-confidence, self-knowledge, and self-trust. You need to learn what your true capabilities are. And you’ll never discover that by sitting still. Even you don’t know what you’re capable of until you’ve tried it, so how can other people possibly know? Just because they sound certain doesn’t mean they’re right.

Sometimes you’ll find that other people were indeed right about you (but only in the short term). But other times you’ll find they were dead wrong. It doesn’t matter what other people think you can do. What matters is what you can actually do. And in order to figure out what that is, you’ve got to go out and take some risks. You must attempt some of those things you aren’t sure you can accomplish.

Self-trust is a far greater possession than anything you might lose along the way. It’s not the end of the world if you lose all your material possessions, blow a big project, or make a complete fool of yourself. You can dust yourself off and keep right on going. But if you can’t trust yourself to take action on what you believe is best, then for you, that is the end of the world.

If other people around you are showering you with “can’ts” and “shouldn’ts,” simply ignore them. Their fear has nothing to do with you. Put your faith in yourself. You may make some bad decisions at first, but in the long run, you’ll stretch way beyond your current limitations. And that’s when your greatest dreams will start to become reality.

Faith in yourself isn’t a result of success. It’s the cause of it. So please go out there and explore as I have already began. Hahaha!

34 Replies to “Failure is a Friend”

  1. MHm well said. They say the downfall of a man is not the end of the world. I said not they. I have failed times without numbers but i never give up and never will.

    1. I completely agree with you Daniel. Everyone is supposed to leverage failure, gather (and learn the lessons) and ultimately rise and begin again as a better (and greater person).

      Who knows when success will actually knock?

      Always,
      Terungwa

  2. Hello Emmanuel,

    Its a great thing that you wrote on the subject matter of fear. Seriously, I like it when you opined that a person is actually supposed to fail a lot. The reason is quite simple: if you don’t fail, how on earth will you grow?

    Watching my boy learn to walk was perhaps the greatest lesson in failure and how it leads to success. You see, the boy attempted to sit first, then crawl before he finally attempted to walk. The walking experience itself was the greatest lesson: he failed more than 200 times! But you know what? He never gave up and because of that, he now walks with daddy and does not crawl like a baby again!

    I leave you with this quote. It is from Steve Jobs and was delivered at the 2005 Standford Commencement Speech:

    “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

    Always,
    Terungwa

  3. You know when I think of the word Fear. I think differently of it. Now, if you asked me how I felt about failure a few years ago, it would be a different conversation.

    Failure to me should be categorize the same as having an experience. Experiences help you grow as a person and anything that you do otherwise.

    Sometimes we look at failure as a bad thing but instead it should be perceived as a good thing.

    Thanks for the great post!

      1. really awesome i liked it very much keep going on
        Thank you for the absolutely wonderful job you did
        on this blog.Good Job Keep it up and thank you for all of your hard work

  4. Excellent post! Failure is something that so many people … well, fear! They see it as a terrible thing. But we failed the first time we tried to walk, the first time we tried to feed ourselves, etc. We eventually learn. And, you are right about worrying more about what people think of us than they actually do. They’re too preoccupied with themselves. Thank you for sharing this interesting post. All the best!

    1. Hey Emmanuel,
      Well Written Post! It is truth that one should learn from the failures.
      The person who will not learn from his failure can not achieve success as well.

  5. Emmy,

    Love it man! Failure is our friend. See the lesson. Embrace the lesson. Learn from mis-steps to take the right steps in the future.

    All successes are borne of failure.

    Thanks dude!

  6. hello kabenlah, successful people experienced a lot of failures which helped them became successful. because failures helped them learn from mistakes

    1. Yeah, that is the point I intend to carry across.Thanks Madam Cada for your and I do hope Little Cada is doing great.

  7. I aggree with you friend. If you have fear for failureand never tried something new then you are not going to succeed in life.Failure teaches us lots and lots of things and i think failure is the first step towords the success. WITHOUT EXPERIENCING FAILURECIN LIFE NO ONE IS GOING TO BE SUCCESSFULL.

  8. Hello Emmanuel,

    This is really an inspiring article. Failures are the steps to success and you are exactly right, when you mentioned that others may blame you for failure and they can comment on you. But, to get success you need to forget all others saying and what makes you successful is your self confidence. Nice write up mate.

    ~Ganesh Narayan Gupta

  9. Agreed 😀

    In fact, this is the same statement I tell myself, every time I start to think about what others think.

    I tell myself – it doesn’t matter what they think!

    But, there are situations (and certain people) where things change – like with our customers, we need to think about what they think of our business and of course, us.

    Same thing with our parents or loved ones – we should perhaps care about what they think.

    Of course, all this also depends upon the situation, especially with our loved ones. They might be saying it because they care.

    Anyways, thank you for sharing this, Emmanuel 🙂 Hope you are well!

  10. Hi Emmanuel,

    Its a very nice article describing the title very well. I too beleive that failure should not be considered as a foe, it may lead to more failures.

    We should try to learn from our failures considering it as a friend or an advice.

    This article will surely help many people boost their motivation as well as passion in their respective fields.

    Thanks,
    Iftekhar

  11. Well I’m totally agree with Emmanuel, failure is a very good friend and of course a way to success BUT you must be a learner from failure and mistakes.

    1. Hi Rais,

      You are right, I totally agree with you. We learn a new lesson from our mistake. If we success in any field we just make fun, We don’t learn new thing but If we fail we get new lesson and after that we get success.

      Thanks for your comment.
      Areesha Noor!

  12. Failure is not a deterrent to success but a lesson teacher that you can make it work out for you when persistence steps in …

  13. Hello Emmanuel,

    You raised a good point here in this post.
    You are right. We learn a new things with failure not with success.

    I totally agree with you.
    thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

    Areesha Noor!

  14. Hi Emmanuel,

    Its a very nice article describing the title very well. I too believed that failure should not be considered as a foe, it may lead to more failures.This article will surely help many people boost their motivation as well as passion in their respective fields.

    Thanks,
    Vithalreddy

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