Failure versus Quitting

IMG_4711 2.jpg

People hear the word “failure” and immediately grow tense, yet failure is a good thing; it is a celebration for growth.  

Failure is doing your absolute best, yet coming up short of your desired outcome.  When you fail you walk away from your goal feeling good, knowing you did everything possible to succeed.  Quitting, however, leaves a nasty aftertaste.  Quitting is awful.  Quitting is coming up short of your desired outcome without doing your best.  Believe me, quitting is far worse than failure.   

My most noticeable failure is my failed attempt to ride a bicycle around the world.  When I finished the ride (a full continent short) I felt awful. Failure, like quitting, can leave a bitter aftertaste.  And why not?  I went in with a desired outcome and came up short.  With failure, however, this taste fades and becomes replaced by an thirsty determination, whereas with quitting, it lasts forever.  Quitting promotes fear, whereas failure promotes growth.  Fail something (preferably something big) and you will be less afraid to take chances.  Sounds like an oxymoron, and it is, but it is true.   

After I accepted my failed ride around the world, I developed an iron-clad, never surrender, never say die attitude.  It took me years to develop this attitude, and oddly, I could have used it during my ride around the world.  Yet I needed to taste failure for the attitude to grow.  And like I said, I am actually less afraid of failure than before.  Before I had been terrified—I had been insecure, controlled by fear.  But now, I am comfortable (well mostly comfortable—I have my bad days too).  I am in the driver’s seat; and fear is only a passenger.

So be brave and stand tall.  Slap fear out of the driver’s seat and take control.  Be willing to fail.  And when you do fail, wear the crown of failure with confidence.  Because once that crown it placed on your head you will never be the same. 

IMG_4712 2.jpg
Jason ManningComment