What happens when you fail at everything?
Every time that I try something new (grappling, pro wrestling, starting a YouTube channel, writing books, etc.), I feel like a complete failure. Why? BECAUSE I FAIL. It feels like I’ve failed at everything.
They say that if you don’t fail the first time around, your goals might be too boring. I say that failure sucks.
Here’s the thing: The trick to being even remotely successful at anything is to stay motivated when you feel like a complete failure.
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley
I’ve never been a natural at anything. I’ve never truly been successful at one thing in my life. I’ve failed at so many things. It’s demoralizing. It’s awful when you don’t see instant results.
On the flip side, you have to stay positive when you fail because you don’t want to give up right away. You want to stay in the fight a little longer. It’s so much easier to just settle down. It’s so much easier to just do the easy things in life.
What happens when you fail at everything?
Any fool can post a quote to social media about stepping out of their comfort zone or failure. Nice quote. Most will just read it and keep on scrolling until they see a funny meme about pizza. Then they go back to being comfortable and boring.
What do you do when you fail at everything that you try?
You either give up or you keep on trying on that specific thing.
What else can you do? These are the only two options. Let’s look at both options.
Option #1: giving up.
There’s no shame in giving up. You can give up on one thing to focus on something else. I know that I’m never going to be an MMA fighter. I know that I’m never going to be professional chef. There are some goals that you can give up on to focus on what you have a chance at.
I know that there are a million quotes out there on failure. I get it. The reality is that there’s no benefit to failing in the moment. Who the hell wants to feel heartbreak? Who wants to feel like a loser when their business idea fails and they lose money?
You’re reading this because you care about getting ahead. It’s not easy to stay motivated. I feel like giving up all the time. You have to make a decision. There’s nothing wrong with giving up on the wrong things so that you can focus on the right things.
Option #2: keeping on.
This is often glorified. We all know someone who stuck around long past the point that most would’ve given up at. The world doesn’t always reward you for sticking around the longest (ask any guy in the friend zone). If you’re going to keep on keeping on, then you better be ready for the road ahead of you.
How do you stay motivated?
Here are a few quick ways to stay motivated with your goals:
- Watch acceptance speeches. I love watching speeches. You see a successful person struggle to put their emotions into words. You get excited because you want your moment. We all want our moment. I live for the moments where it’s all about me. Take some time to go through YouTube and find the various inspirational graduation/retirement/acceptance speeches. These should amp you up.
- Think of why you started. Why did you start? Find that fire from day one. Don’t get caught up by those who didn’t make it telling you that you can’t do it.
- Remember who’s watching. Do you have critics? Do you have supporters? They’re all watching. Everyone that you know is watching. People who you don’t even think know you exist are out there watching you. Never forget this.
- Plan for little wins. You’re not going to get signed to the UFC after your first grappling session. You should get excited about the small wins. This is what successful athletes do. All you can think about is the next practice or the next play. You can’t be worrying about what’s going to happen two years down the line. Focus on the next small task at hand. For me, that task was finishing this article.
- Reward yourself. It’s okay to have some fun. This planet is filled with some boring people. Reward yourself for a job well done. I used to reward myself in college with little escapes after every semester ended.
It doesn’t matter how you stay motivated as long as you don’t feel sorry for yourself. The world will never reward you if you spend any time whining on social media. Find any way you can to motivate yourself. Decide quickly if you’re going to give up on that goal or keep on moving forward with it.
Is it okay to fail?
You should fail. You should do stuff that scares you. You should always be stepping out of your comfort zone.
It’s okay to fail because at least you’re going to know that you tried. I don’t know about you but I feel much better about trying and failing as opposed to just not trying.
The way I see every challenge is like this. I think of being 60 years old and looking back on my life. Do I want to live with any regrets? If I give it my all and do whatever it takes, then I’m never going to feel ashamed of myself. The biggest shame comes from not trying or giving up too early.
For some quick motivation read up on how Matt quit his job or how Jacquelyn paid off her debt. These were the readers who weren’t afraid of success. Too many of us are afraid of both success and failure. So we do nothing because it’s safer.
What’s left to do?
You need to write your goals down. You need to find a way to stay motivated and accountable. You need to keep track of where you’re going and where you’ve been.
You need to start writing shit down. Hope isn’t a game plan. Start writing about your journey. We often forget how far we have already made it. It’s critical to remember where you started and how far along you are in your journey.
It’s also EXTREMELY critical that you know where you want to go and how you plan on getting there.
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill