Failing Forward

Failing Forward

Pushing past failure is a key to success in life. In 2007 a book appeared based on that belief titled, Failing Forward. It’s thesis? That the difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.

Take the job search. You will fail 99 percent of the time. You’ll be ignored or told to apply online for the overwhelming percentage of attempts, but remember, a job search is a unique sales campaign. You only need one ‘yes.’ To be totally successful, you don’t need to be successful for but a tiny fraction of your attempts.

Expect to fail and you won’t be disappointed, and failure will keep you at the task until you get the break you need.

I think creativity demands the ability to be unafraid of failure. One of the best ways to move on is to realize that nothing of value is accomplished without setbacks. Instead of viewing rejection as failure, see it as a necessary step, taking you closer to achieving your ultimate goal. Eldwin Pond says, “An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.”

Why is that so crucial? Because creativity equals failure. You may be surprised to hear such a statement, but it’s true. Charles Frankel asserts that “anxiety is the essential condition of intellectual and artistic creation.” Let that sink in.

Young careerists, in particular, should repeat the mantra, Fail early, fail often, fail cheap.

Creativity requires a willingness to look stupid. It means getting out on a limb – knowing that the limb often breaks! Creative people know these things and still keep searching for new ideas. They just don’t let the ideas that don’t work prevent them from coming up with more ideas that do work.

Assume you will fail. Repeatedly. You will learn more by making mistakes than you will by doing nothing. Fail forward.

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