NN006 – Failure = Practice

Failure (noun) – a lack of success

Practice (verb) – perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency.

Fear of Failure

Failure is one of those words that just hits hard. It has a finite, definite, brick wall feeling.

You Have Failed.

Those 3 words even look menacing next to each other. This can be a such a hard feeling to accept that people will avoid even getting close to failure in anything that they do. The feelings that are unlocked by this are so crippling that failure is to be avoided at all costs.

I spent a good portion of my life (30+ years) in this mode – afraid to commit to just about anything because I couldn’t deal with the shame, guilt, and imperfection associated with failing at something.

What if we changed the phrasing up a bit?

Fear of Practice

That has a completely different look and feel. None of the same feelings are engaged when you say practice. Practice is something that most folks look forward to. In fact, we have all practiced hundreds if not thousands of times in our life

  • Walking
  • Tie Shoes
  • Ride a Bike


As babies, did we give up the first time we fell down to our butts when we first tried to walk? Did we decide that the failed attempt to walk was enough to never try again?

No, we didn’t. If we had stopped at the first sign of failure we would all be scooting around on our butts instead of walking

Instead, we tried again, and again, and so on.

We Practiced…

Tie Shoes

I could understand if you gave up on this one. I failed a hundred times trying to learn how to tie my shoes. There is a lot to learn and it’s complicated. How could you ever be expected to remember all of that?

But we didn’t give up, did we?

Failure after failure (practice tie after practice tie) until we got it right.

Now we can tie our shoes with our eyes closed….

Ride a Bike

This one has real failure consequences. Failing at riding a bike can lead to road rash – yuck.

That first time that you were able to ride without help was magical though, wasn’t it? Wind in your face, freedom to ride anywhere you wanted to

If you stopped practicing after that first fall, you would never have experienced that feeling

Failure = Practice

Practice is something that is encouraged in life – Practice for your math test, practice for the game this weekend, practice that presentation for your boss

Does anything we do go 100% right the first time we try it? No, that’s why we practice

Change your mindset around Failure to one of Practice. It will open your mind to a level of growth that you didn’t know was possible

Failure = Practice

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