Why Failure Isn’t What You Think It Is


I have to admit something: for a long time, I’ve been afraid of failing. Like a typical tough guy, I’ve always said that failing is not trying in the first place, but here’s the problem: I never practiced that saying.

I’ve also always known that I have to provide for my family, but there have been times where I’ve had selfish thoughts like, “I don’t want to go to work today, I think I’ll call off.” And I did so knowing there could be a chance that I could get fired for it. So there I was, risking my job and my family’s best interest because I was being plain lazy. I have had those lazy thoughts many times and they have often put my family in a bad situation. There’s nothing like the feeling of knowing that you are responsible for your family in a bad situation; it’s a terrible feeling that torments you.

But I’ve noticed something about myself in the last few months: I’m more confident, and I’m not afraid to fail anymore. I think it means I’m starting to discover my self-worth, and I think that’s from trying and succeeding at things I’ve never done before. Knowing what I’m capable of is making me more confident. I know now that you have to try no matter how worried you are about failing, because if you think about it, if you fail you’re really not failing: you’re just learning ways about how not to do something.

There’s more, too: becoming more confident as a person is making me a more confident father and husband. When I was little I looked up to my mom and dad, because in my eyes there was nothing in the world they could not do. In my eyes my dad was fearless and could do anything he wanted. And that’s how I want my kids to look at me…confident and fearless.

I also think that your spouse can pick up on your confidence. I think if they feel like you truly have a handle on things and they know that you know who you truly are and what you stand for, it makes them feel safe and secure.

I’ve also found that because I have a better understanding of my self-worth, I think more clearly and see my priorities in a clearer way. Like the time recently when I woke up at 3:30 in the morning, and a voice in my head told me that I should call off of work. But then another voice—the right voice!—spoke up and said, “No, you can’t do that: you’ve got a family to take care of.” Whereas before I might’ve given into the lazy voice, now I have the clarity of mind to make the right choice.

I don’t know, maybe it’s because my wife and I started with nothing and we worked really hard and had a little help to get to where we are now, and we’ve come close to losing it a few times, but here we are, standing tall. And there’s nothing that will motivate you more than not wanting to disappoint your family.

The bottom line is that it’s important to know what you’re worth. You’re worth a lot more than you think. Get out there and try things you’ve been too scared to do. You might surprise yourself, and even if you don’t, hey, well, at least you tried and you know what not to do next time you try. It’s like the saying in a song I recently heard that has been sticking with me: “life’s too short to not know.”


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