“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”
― Randy Pausch
Most of my time is spent trying to figure out ways to overcome failure. To me, failure is the default. Whenever I become complacent, whenever I take things for granted, whenever I become bored or lazy, there’s some failure to wake me up a bit.
Failure is the default.
At the same time, I believe that a lot of people try to live their day to day lives in such a way that they avoid problems. They fear failure so much that they also avoid setting goals, dreaming big, trying new things. They build a web of routines, a comfort zone. They use all the crutches that society provides, even though they do not need them.
But I do wonder… even if healthy, if you were to use a crutch for a long period of time, would you still be able to walk properly? Or would you become dependent on the crutch?
It’s not the fall that breaks people, but the fear of falling.
“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
― Maya Angelou
You cannot succeed unless you fail. Romantics might argue with this, but it’s true. Failure is a stepping stone to success, and not its opposite.
And this is basically all one needs to overcome failure. As a matter of fact, it’s probably enough to make you even welcome it with open arms.
You fail at something, it means you’re trying something new. It means that’s an opportunity to grow, to expand, to become a better version of yourself.
Every single failure has something to teach you. Something about certain realities of the world around you, about yourself, about what you are trying to achieve.
Don’t get me wrong. Failure hurts. Failure can be embarrassing. You can fail so hard that you don’t know if you’ll ever be able to get back up again.
When you lose everything. And there’s no one around to offer comfort. And you can’t sleep at night. A true dark night of the soul. When thinking about others having it worse does not help you one bit. That’s when you know you hit rock bottom.
But as long as you are not defeated, there’s always a way out.
I’ve been working on irevuo for almost six years. You couldn’t tell that, mostly because I quit on it about five times. Changed the domain, the hosting, the idea, the topics, the…
I quit on it five times, but I decided to try one more time, just this once, for about six times.
I only quit writing once, and for about five months, but I failed at it a lot more than that. Let’s call them micro-failures. For every published novel there are about ten projects that never got finished. A million words deleted. Words that I struggled to write, yet they weren’t good enough.
I’d write this wonderful post. You know, write my heart out, and no one would seem to notice.
I spent weeks trying to figure out new products, stuff that could actually help others, and no one would buy them.
This is why I do not believe in talent, as some sort of natural ability to do something. When I’ll see a new born baby write a brilliant first draft, that’s when I’ll believe in talent.
Anyway, let’s get back to failure.
Yes. Failure. It’s not a big deal. You get used to it. Practice is a sort of controlled failure, right? There’s a learning curve to everything; this also means frustration is inevitable at some point.
You overcome failure the moment you decide to stop having such a negative relationship with it. You stop letting it get to your heart, and you just analyze what happened and how you can improve.
You overcome failure the moment you realize being afraid of it is the biggest mistake you could make.