When you think of failure, what comes to mind? Too often, we have a very negative perception of the word failure when in reality, the willingness to embrace failure is one of the most critical components of success.

What do we mean by the word failure? Failure is simply falling short of accomplishing your goal. Failure is very different than "giving up", which we would use to describe quitting on your goal before your goal's timeframe has ended. If you are setting goals the right way and your goal was a 4.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale, then technically you would fail if you earned a 3.95 GPA. We do not see this at all as negative- you put in the effort and consistency to get a great GPA, and fell just short. This allows you to adjust your approach in a few ways to help you get to your 4.0 goal the next time. You adjust your approach, but do not adjust your goal.

This same mentality should be applied to our goals in athletics, performing arts, extracurriculars, business, relationships- everything. Because this willingness to put yourself out there, try hard, and fall short of a goal will allow you to be creative, develop resilience, and accomplish things that others, who are not willing to risk failing and having to try again, cannot accomplish. Separate yourself by embracing failure as a big part of your life.

It is one thing to hear it from us, but check out these resources to find out how failure has been critical for some of the most elite performers in history!

  1. 30 Powerful Quotes on Failure (Forbes.com)
  2. Infographic below provided by OnlineMBA.com.