When, Not “If” You Fail…

The old saying, if at first you don’t succeed try, try again, was written with good intent but is really a little backwards. Perhaps it should read, if at first you DO succeed, you’re lucky, unusual, and don’t get used to it!

Many people today assume that failure is a horrible experience and that it should be avoided. While failure resulting from our own faults (poor choices, not researching an issue thoroughly) is certainly unpleasant, failure is one of the greatest ways for us to learn and improve. Incorrect decisions made with good intent and the best information available at the point of the decision will always result in positive learning outcomes.

The topic of today’s blog is persistence, which we can all practice more in our personal and professional lives. Instead of treating failure as a major setback, we need to embrace what we learn from our mistakes and apply the lessons learned. Of course, it is never easy to be that accepting of failure. As someone who has failed many times, I am at least beginning to recognize a pattern of persisting through my mistakes, fixing what needs to be fixed, and moving on!

For me, admitting that a mistake was made is sometimes harder than resolving the issue. Countless times I have experienced failure in the classroom, failures in competition, and failures in my professional life. However, in each of these situations, after feeling sorry for myself, I persisted through the hard times and achieved what I wanted to. I managed to pull off a B in accounting (after bombing the first 2 tests), I finished a race in 2nd place after wrecking my bike, and I discovered that I love working with people and will never return to a “cubicle job” ever again!

The ability to persist will always serve us in the long run, we just need to be willing to accept the challenge of fixing our errors and doing our best to take a positive lesson away from our experiences.

What is your favorite persistence story?

Picture credit


  1. Its like a video game. Say you’re playing mario: you’re not gonna beat the game without being killed by the mushroom dudes a hundred times and learning how to get over them. Or there’s always the task of getting a girl. You’re never gonna get one if you don’t fail miserably with ten other girls first.

  2. Huh… It’s kind of like this comment. I failed the first two times at trying to come up with a witty comment, but I’m still trying…

    … And still failing. But if I keep trying, it will come, right?


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