This proverb says that if a person fails once, they should not lose heart. They should observe the mistakes that led to the failure and try to overcome them in their next attempt.

In the course of my life, I’ve had the opportunity to discuss this concept with many people. And have learned that how you handle your failures, setbacks and mistakes will ultimately determine whether you soar with the eagles or gobble with the turkeys.

Once a project falls apart, don’t rush to blame the client or your team, own up to what went wrong and forgive yourself. It may sound soppy, but it won’t do you any good to torture yourself over what you ought to have known. Just remember that failure is feedback and feedback is breakfast for champions.

Did you know that every successful person who has ever lived has experienced more failure than success!

You may have heard the story about Thomas Alva Edison an American inventor and businessman. Thomas invented the electric light bulb, but when experimenting failed over one thousand times. While most people would have given up after the fifth attempt, Thomas kept going, he kept stepping out of that dark cave called failure until the light turned on. He later said,

“I’ve not failed; I just discovered ten thousand ways that wouldn’t work.” 

Failure is one of the keys to success because it teaches us more. Surely someone’s told you to ’embrace failure’ before. If you find yourself in that place, you need to step out. But what might that involve?

It might mean making a phone call to confront a situation that you’ve been avoiding for a long time. It might mean opening a book that you’ve been meaning to study for a project because it feels so overwhelming. It may mean writing a letter or sending an email to get a new job that would be a dream to you or it may be trying to acquire a new skill that will lead to significant growth in your life.

Don’t listen to negative people. Fear of failure immobilizes you, restricts you to that dark cave, prevents you from moving forward in life and hampers your chances of success. If you get “knocked down”, get back up again.

“A mistake is only a mistake if we fail to learn from it.”

Have you heard of a man called Ray Croft. Ray tried many business ventures throughout his life and nearly every venture he tried failed. He was almost bankrupted. But he kept going and when he reached the age of 55 he had a brilliant idea to establish a restaurant. This restaurant would only serve burgers and milkshakes. The first one opened in the United States and people started flocking in. It was America’s first fast food restaurant. His logo was like golden arches. This restaurant was so successful that he said I have another idea, I’m going to build another one in another state, and he built another and another. In 1973 the first one was opened in Southeast London. Ray Craft became a millionaire because he refused to give up. Failure would not let him down, he said I’m going to keep going and out of failure came success.

Abraham Lincoln is arguably the greatest president the USA has ever had. I don’t know whether Donald Trump will surpass him. When Abraham Lincoln started out in life, he failed in many things. His first job was working as a stock keeper in a shop and he failed at that. Then he became a surveyor, but he failed at that. He then entered the army but failed at that. He started to practice law, but he failed at that. He then decided I’m going to enter into politics and he even failed at that, but he kept going. He kept trying until one day he was elected president of the United States. He didn’t give up and out of failure came success. It is the law of nature.

On the other hand playing it safe can also be risky. It puts you out of action. You choose to forgo potential opportunities and push yourself into mediocrity. Buckminster Fuller, the renowned American philosopher, architect, and inventor, popularly considered to be the father of American landscape architecture once said,

“Whatever humans have learned had to be learned as a consequence only of trial and error experience. Humans have learned only through mistakes.”

Remember failure is not the greatest enemy. But in action is. Have you ever heard the phase, it is better to have loved and lost than never have loved at all. It’s similar with failure. It’s better to have tried and failed then never to have tried at all, because in the end, in the act of trying there is exhilaration, there is power and learning taking place.

Never be afraid of failure. Remember, you’re trying to succeed brilliantly at something most people can’t do at all.

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