Fail Your Way to the Top

by Mark Fournier

Have you ever wondered why some people consistently succeed in spite of obstacles, while others (perhaps even you), can't seem to get a break no matter what they do? Is there really a secret to success and if so, why has it eluded so many for so long?

Chances are, you've not only wondered about the secrets to success, you've read dozens of books, articles and seminars on this very topic. However, you are STILL likely searching for answers. Even those who achieve success on many levels, typically admit that they have never reached their true potential.

Like most entrepreneurs, I eagerly began my career brimming with hope and passion. There were days when I felt like nothing could stop me, yet there were also times when my confidence gave way to the weight of a thousand challenges and uncertainties. Still, I always managed to succeed just enough to keep from giving up, and just enough to offset the suffocating fear that crept into my psyche during many a sleepless night.

I used to view my 'climb to the top' as a series of little failures and setbacks, followed by bigger failures, and then by colossal failures. It was as if the gods of mediocrity had cursed me, or perhaps I simply lacked the talent, skill, or character required to succeed on a truly meaningful level. When others acknowledged me for the successes I had achieved, I felt like a fraud: "I sure have them all fooled, if only they knew about all my failures," I would think to myself.

It took many years for me to realize that my so-called 'failures' were in reality, normal and healthy steps toward achieving success.

I wasn't cursed at all, I was blessed, for it appears that those who succeed the most, usually fail the most as well. There are those who consistently reach beyond their comfort zones and fail, and those who do nothing at all and fail. However, those who consistently reach and fail, succeed as well, where the others, ONLY fail.

As George Bernard Show wrote: "Life isn't about finding yourself; Life is about creating yourself." And we create ourselves through failure… because failure is how we learn and grow. No artist, athlete or musician ever 'got it perfect' the very first time. In fact, most musicians play a thousand bars of screeching clamor for every measure they perform with flawless precision.

It turns out, the secret to success is failure—failing your way to the top. Embracing failure as an essential step toward your eventual growth and success is healthy. Viewing your failures as proof that you're out there taking risks, expanding your comfort zone, gaining wisdom, and moving ever closer to your ultimate goals is powerful!

If you're looking for a more positive spin on this negative sounding word, just think of it as a habit, not the habit of failure, but of reaching—reaching and never giving up, for in the end, you will find that the most powerful success habit of all is perseverance. Perseverance is the habit that allows you to trip and fall and keep getting up, until you finally find your way. The most successful leaders from all walks of life will tell you that ultimately, it was perseverance that drove them to their goals.

And how do you create the habit of perseverance? Like any other habit… you make it a priority, you live it, you apply it, you teach it to others, you study it time and again and if you're really serious, you get yourself a habit-mastery coach or take a habit-mastery course, or at the very least, read a book on habit-mastery.

In the end, you'll be glad you did, for HABITS rule everything!

"At first we make our habits… then our habits make us."
~John Dryden

Do you like what you've read?

Subscribe to Networking Times and receive a whole professional journal packed with similar insightful and motivational articles. A subscription to Networking Times includes the following benefits:

  • a perfect-bound issue of Networking Times in the mail
  • a FREE E-subscription: access to the latest online issue
  • online access to the entire library of back issues since 2002


Social Media