The dreaded “F” word—failure—is so important… yet so misunderstood.

The key to understanding how to succeed rests on knowing a thing or two about the importance of failure. Failure is both the “teacher's pet” and the “black sheep” of the family of success!

People are naive about the benefits of failure. Wrongly founded assumptions about failure replace potentially accurate assessments of what is necessary to achieve success. Failure, which spends much of its life in the gulag of public perception, is, by all measures, essential to success.

It is failure's peculiar fate that its reputation is routinely reinforced by negative perceptions.

Failure has an ulterior motive… not to get you to quit, but to stop you long enough so that you may learn something, re-strategize, and re-launch again more prepared for success.

Opposites attract. Like yin and yang, light and darkness, success does not exist without failure. Learn to expect failure—welcome it.

Denial of this reality can and will have huge negative effects. Anything worthwhile is worth pursuing, even though the risk is huge, the investment formidable, and failure a possibility.

Failure lobs an occasional grenade at success. Failure asks for your resignation letter, it goads and prods you into quitting, but success hangs in the balance.

Failure is an essential part of the combination required to open the lock on success. Failure measures your personal investment in this goal—it is a test of character, commitment, and courage.

We all live a life of close calls, belly flops, and missed opportunities. The truth is we're all cowards, some are just bigger cowards than others. Your persistence in the face of failure and set back is a measure of your belief in yourself and your goal.

Knowing when to say when is also important. The message this time could be to say “Uncle” and move on to something else. An occasional step back to regroup and reload can, and often does, position you for several more steps forward.

There will always be tension between your enthusiasm for your goal and the fear of failing to achieve it. Quite frankly, you want it that way. The trick is learning how not to surrender to fear but to thrive on its tension.

Expect to get dinged here and there as you pursue your goal, but like wine that gets better with age, you get better when you have failed a time or two and learned from the experience. While there is nothing inherently sexy or enviable about failure, eventually people find you more attractive and interesting because of the knowledge, wisdom, and maturity you gained because of it.

When opportunity appears on the horizon, fear of failure is often riding shotgun. Too many people surrender to that fear. Stay focused, “super glue” your commitment, and persevere. Your reward is having a wonderful stage upon which to ply your craft, to explore yourself, and to let the world enjoy the benefits of your efforts.

Everything Counts!

Author's Bio: 

Gary Ryan Blair is President of The GoalsGuy. A visionary and gifted conceptual thinker, Gary is highly regarded as a speaker, consultant, strategic planner, and coach to leading companies throughout the globe.

He helps business owners, corporate executives and sales professionals manage their time, set their priorities, and stay focused so they can achieve their goals, grow their business, and sustain a lasting competitive advantage. To learn more, visit