By Lauren Denos: 4/27/2015 (Mindset)

"Failure" is the beginning of success. Embrace it, it will teach you what you need to learn.

Failure. It makes us feel horrible. We must have done something wrong to have failed; we have proven we are no good. Because failure means you lost right? We have such a crazy fear of this thing called failure that we wind up not taking the risks or even just simple steps we need to take in order to live the life we want. That, right there is what losing is. It is not being willing to risk to live the life you were meant to live.

The most successful people in any arena of life are not afraid to fail, but why? It is because they understand that failure does not mean that they are no good or are losing. They know that this is simply one of the steps needed to be taken towards living their dreams or accomplishing their life goals. That failure is only one of many steps of success.

Let’s take Thomas Edison for instance. How many attempts did it take for Thomas Edison to create the right filament needed for the light bulb? 10,000!. When asked how he felt about failing 9,999 times, he simply said, "I have not failed. I just found 9,999 ways that did not work." He understood that it takes learning through failure to accomplish what he wanted. He didn’t give up. Instead, he saw each failure as being one step closer to finding out what would work. As a result, today, we have light bulbs in every house!

Another example, a little less well-known, comes from a man named Harland David Sanders, the creator of Kentucky Fried chicken. Much of his life, he could not hold down a job and struggled with what to do. Finally, by the age of 40, he was running a popular Kentucky service station, which also happened to sell food. It became a very popular place to the point that the governor of Kentucky named Harland a Kentucky Colonel. In fact, this title is what encouraged him to change his image to the one you see now on all the KFC advertisements. wearing all white with the black tie. Sanders wanted to focus on franchising his chicken. So, he closed his business and devoted himself to franchising his chicken recipe to other restaurants. It took him quite some time to even find his first customer. He sold the recipe to the restaurants and got paid 5 cents for each chicken sold. Today, that would be equal to 64 cents. He did not create the actual Kentucky Fried Chicken chain until he was 66 years old. If he would have seen his failures as losing instead of lessons, then there would be no Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants today.

J.K Rowling has a story that most know at this point. She is a great example of someone who failed, lost a lot and came back stronger than ever. This is a woman who was struggling to support herself and her child after a divorce. She had an idea for a book and, rather than ignore it, she went ahead and kept plugging along with it. Despite how much success she has had, her book was not picked up right away. If you want the success, you have to be willing to deal with the rejections and failures like she did. Besides, the no's you get do not matter (aside from the lessons you get from them), it is that one yes than matters. That one yes is what makes all the sacrifice worth it. But, you have to get through the no's to get the yes. Can you imagine not having the Harry Potter series around because she decided to give into the failure and despair of rough times?

There are many stories like the ones I have shown above: Micheal Jordan, Richard Branson, Walt Disney, Lucille Ball, etc. Most people who have accomplished some level of success have had failures and have had to overcome them. Through these, they learned what they needed to learn to become the person we know them as today.

Another important lesson is to not let other people hold you back. Many people are in such a place of fear themselves that they will warn you away from ever taking any risks. Look at these people and notice or ask if they are living their dreams. If not, if they are someone who is miserable and doing a job they "have" to do, or are not happy with their lives because there is "nothing they can do to change it," then you may want to not give too much attention to their advice. Now, if someone is telling you that you should not jump off a building without something to catch you safely at the bottom because you believe you can fly, they are not swaying you away from dreams. They just want you to stay alive – a very healthy and wise decision. You should be able to recognize the difference.

When you stress about something like failing, and let that fear keep you from following your path, you are destroying your chances to live the ultimate life that was meant for you. Look at failure differently. Start to see it as a successful sign that you are closer to your goal. That you are learning what you need to learn, to grown into what you need to be to accomplish your dreams and your goals.

If you have an inspiration to do something, then just understand that the road you are taking is not all sunshine and roses. You will have challenges and failures. Compared to living your dream though, aren’t those failures worth it? It is your choice to choose how you see failure. You can see it as a tragedy or a lesson. You can give up if you want, but you stand to accomplish great things if you keep going. Honestly, this world needs more brave people living their dreams and passions.



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