When is the last time you were grateful to fail? Seriously, have you ever totally messed things up and said to yourself, “wonderful!”? Well, if you’re like most of us, you probably prefer to think of yourself as a complete idiot in such situations. Odds are--if your mistake was big enough--you’ll avoid trying to do whatever it was you were doing, ever again. But not trying again is truly the greatest, and perhaps only, mistake you will ever make.
I just read a fabulous quote by Madeline L’Engle, one of my favorite authors. Keep in mind, Madeline’s book, A Wrinkle in Time, was rejected 29 times by pretty much every major publisher for over two-and-a-half years. She said:
Human beings are the only creatures who are allowed to fail. If an ant fails, it’s dead. But we are allowed to learn from our mistakes and from our failures. And that’s how I learn, by falling flat on my face and picking myself up and starting all over again. If I’m not free to fail, I will never start another book. I’ll never start a new thing.
Here are a few more quotes you should take to heart:
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It's the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill
“I haven't failed. I've found 10,000 ways that don't work.” -Thomas Edison
“Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” –Henry Ford
“Failure is merely feedback that there is something blocking the path of the emergence and expansion of the greatest version of yourself.” –Mother Teresa
I believe one of the most important traits a creative person can acquire is the ability to take risks. You must be willing to risk failure in order to succeed.
Don’t be afraid to try. Don’t be afraid to “say something.” As stated by Mother Teresa, you are in the process of discovering “the greatest version of yourself.” Allow yourself the ups and downs of that search. And allow the same for others.