Fail Forward

My attitude has always been, if you fall flat on your face, at least you’re moving forward. – Richard Branson.


If there was one word that scared the heck out of people it would be failure. So many people put off their goals, their dreams, their aspirations because they are afraid of that word. They are so afraid of the possibility of failure that it paralyzes them to never even get started. That’s kind of crazy to think about isn’t it? You don’t even start down a path in fear of MAYBE failing at it.

Think about your own life for a minute here. Has there been a time where fear of failure stopped you from taking action towards something you wanted? Did you talk yourself out of a goal or a dream because you felt the fear of failure was so imminent why even bother getting started? Why does this one word have so much power over us? What does failure even mean? Webster says: Failure – A lack of success or a falling short.

The definition is pretty telling. It’s telling in the fact that nowhere in that short statement does it say the one thing we all assume and fear about failure. Permanency. Forcing us to realize something quiet intriguing about failure.

Failure is not permanent.

So, if failure isn’t permanent that must mean failure is only temporary right? What if you used failure not as an end-all defeating outcome, but as a resource to learn, grow, get better, and actually move closer to your goals? What if you failed forward? History provides several examples of failing forward into success:

  • Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team and was told he didn’t have enough talent to play.
  • Henry Ford went bankrupt trying to develop the automobile first before he found success.
  • Steven Spielberg was rejected from film school three times.
  • Thomas Edison was told he was too stupid by his teachers and failed at 9,000 experiments before successful creating the light bulb.
  • Fred Smith the founder of FedEx wrote a college paper at Yale about an overnight delivery service. He received a C.
  • Soichiro Honda was turned down for an engineering position at Toyota, he decided to make his own company instead.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven was told by his music instructor he was talentless and would never be a composer.

Even in my own life I can recount numerous times to where temporary failures had propelled me into success down the line. I had to interview several different times for my first personal training job when I was 18 and I was told I was only was hired because the manager needed bodies. I made six dollars a session at that job. The one key thing that every successful person had was the ability to keep going when times were challenging.

Your boss threw a bunch of important meetings at you this week which made you miss your workouts  – Keep pushing.

You had a bad day with your nutrition and ate a burger and fries at lunch instead of your healthy meal you packed- Get back on track tomorrow.

You haven’t seen the scale move in two weeks and your on the verge of tears because you just want one little bit of validation your hard work is paying off. Just ONE FREAKING POUND right!? – Don’t quit.

You are a super mom and exhausted from taking care of the kids, the house, your job, the dog and you don’t feel like waking up at 5am for a cardio session – Don’t quit.

Whatever you situation or struggle may be I wan’t you to embrace it and remember this very important truth. Failure is only permanent if you give up.

Fail Forward.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read this! Please share with anyone if you feel like it could help them!