All human beings are going to experience failure at some magnitude. Those who are willing to embrace life and strive to be the best version of their selves should expect to fail to some extent. Taking a brief look into history at famous achievers, such as

  • Albert Einstein,
  • Bill Gates
  • Oprah Winfrey

You will shortly discover how colossal failures can produce great success stories.

Failure is the foundation of fundamental learning. Think about a toddler learning to walk, attempt after attempt will result in what – failure. After 100’s of failures, the toddler eventually learns to walk, and walking shortly becomes something they no longer think about for the remainder of their life. Due to countless failures, continual practice and efforts allowed them to succeed. 

While I think we can all agree failure is necessary to learn and develop in our lives, we HATE it…we RESENT it, we DESPISE it. Most of us feel shame or some sense of guilt when we fail, often leading to depression or even a loss of a desire to live. Some of us allow failure to consume us or even worse define us. When this occurs, it is a result of giving up. We become blind to all the good we have done, and do not appreciate what we have. In addition, we fail to see the future of possibility, due to the detrimental effects of not embracing failure.

Learning how to forgive ourselves and learn from our failures can be the greatest challenge in life.  Life is an obstacle course of experiences, and we must navigate. Here are some strategies to keep failure from defining who you are:

Control the Controllable

This failure is not what is going to define your existence on this earth.  Yes, you failed, however, this does not mean personally you are a failure. You have been successful or resourceful in the past, and you will be again in the future if you start living in the present. The past is over, its history, it’s done. One cannot allow a moment in time within the failure to erase all the good you have done, and the future of good that you still possess. Allow yourself to let the past go, and live in the moment, and the very next moment. Control the Controllable, learn from failure, because it is your only choice.

Own the WHY

Find the WHY in your failure. Stop feeling bad for yourself, stop blaming others, stop acting like the world is coming to an end – pull your pants up and figure out the WHY. This is a very hard exercise to do because you have to clearly identify your role in the failure. Once you figure the WHY it’s like a huge weight lifted off your shoulders because you have just learned and developed your character. Now you can visualize what needs to change, and how you assure that specific failure does not transpire once again.

Find your Sanity

Sometimes failure will begin to drive you insane. It’s all you can think about and you dissect the failure repeatedly, from every conceivable angle – you find yourself stuck in an emotional nightmare that will not end.  This overthinking will not alter the outcome of the failure and will significantly delay your future happiness. The faster you can find family, friends, activities, or something that gives you relief from the nightmare, the better off you will be. Sometimes this happens in tiny baby steps and your patience will be tested, but the nightmare will come to an end. Finding your WHY will allow you to learn from failure and begin to build success.

Feed the Good Wolf

Failure will often bring out a debilitating fear of how others will judge me. You can lose self-esteem, loss of confidence, and you may find yourself constantly thinking about what others are saying. You know who you are and what value you bring to the people that matter to you.  If you give any relevance or pay attention to other people’s opinion you can drown your own passions and confidence. This type of wasted energy can severely delay your arrival to future success. Feed yourself positivity every day!

Prospective can be a game-changer

In general, we all have a fear of failure. The stigma that comes with failure, as we know is often hard to overcome. Maybe if we start thinking about Failure as a positive experience or opportunity in life — our perspective on failure can change I have failed which means I am one step closer to success, I have learned to grow as a human being, or I now have the knowledge to share and help others.

The reality is we are all trying to live the perfect life, but as we have noted —You are going to F’ing fail — how you deal with it and learn from failure is what will define your life as you grow.

About Anthony Marsalo

With over 20 years of experience in both executive and account manager roles, Anthony specializes in leadership and cultural development for businesses to find better performance, productivity, and profitability.


Cultural Development

Customer Relations

Over the past fifteen years, Anthony helped build three successful startups by managing and mentoring his teams to create the best customer experience possible.

His intellectual curiosity also drives him to be a lifelong learner. Anthony Marsalo is currently devoted to being a mentor to people dedicated to becoming a better leader and improving their career through personal development.