November 15, 2020
Failure is a part of life. There has never been a person who successfully avoided it. No matter how much failure you have overcome in the past, there is still more to come.
If failure is inevitable, does that mean I should just give up? No. Instead, you must fail like a champion.
Many people question the term “fail like a champion.” Isn’t that an oxymoron? Like jumbo shrimp?
Every champion fails. They don’t let it define them. It is how they get back up that gets them recognized as a champion.
Michael Jordan once said that “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost more than 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
It’s not the ability to avoid failure that makes a great man great. It is the ability to fail like a champion.
Changing Your Perspective
Although we have been told our whole lives that we should learn from our failures, it is still hard to do.
Our instinct is to try and avoid failure at any cost. More often than not, our fear of failure is worse than the actual failure.
In order to fail like a champion, you must change your perspective on failure. You must learn to see failure as an opportunity.
People have a habit of defining themselves based on their past. Our past mistakes are often highlighted in our minds and it is hard not to harp on them.
Changing your perspective on failure is akin to changing your perspective on life. Those without a fear of failure are those with a positive mindset. Appreciate the things you do have. This appreciation creates a positive attitude that translates to all aspects of life, including how you deal with failure.
Those who fail like a champion are forward-thinkers. People have a habit of defining themselves by their past mistakes. You must learn to always look forward at the next opportunity instead of dwelling on past mistakes.
When we fail, our instinctual response is to be hard on ourselves. “Failure is unacceptable,” our inner voice tells us. The harshness of this inner voice is natural. Those who fail like a champion don’t completely get rid of this harsh inner voice. They simply learn to ignore it.
Changing your perspective on failure is much easier in theory than in practice. We are conditioned to avoid failure. The only way to change that conditioning is by repeat practice.
Failure can be detrimental to one’s confidence. By continually shaking off our failures, we will be much more accustomed to them. We will become less afraid of failure. We will fail like champions.
Taking a Chance
After changing your perspective on failure, it is time to put that new perspective to the test. This is the hard part.
In order to fail like a champion, we must try new things and take chances. This is never easy. But without taking chances, it is impossible to fail like a champion.
It is much better to do something imperfectly than to do nothing at all. We have all heard the Wayne Gretzky quote: “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” However, it is hard for most people to accept this.
It is not the failure that is so bad, but the fear of it. The fear of failure holds people back from taking chances. The longer you wait to take those chances, the more the fear of failure builds and the less likely you will be to take those chances.
By consistently trying new things and taking new chances, you will be more accustomed to failure and fear it less.
Once the fear of doing nothing exceeds your fear of doing something wrong, you will consistently fail like a champion.
Learn From Failures
Changing your perspective and taking chances are not the qualifications to fail like a champion. You must learn from failures.
In order to learn from your failures, you must accept responsibility for your failures. Most people don’t like accepting the blame. But by blaming someone else, even if it may be partially their fault, you are not even giving yourself the opportunity to learn from your mistakes.
If you are not learning from each of your failures, you are just failing for the sake of failing. In order to make your failures worthwhile and fail like a champion, you must reflect and learn from your mistakes whenever you fail.
Remember that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Reflect and understand what mistakes you made that caused you to fail. Make adjustments and try again. THAT is how you fail like a champion.
Failing like a champion is much easier in theory than practice. We innately try and avoid failure. Yet, this fear of failure is actually more crippling than failure itself.
We must learn to take chances and accept that failure is inevitable. Once we do this, we will be more equipped to learn from our mistakes and fail like a champion.