What Does It Mean to Fail Forward?

July 19, 2021
Stephanie Renna

What Does It Mean to Fail Forward?

The fear of failure keeps us from continuing our pursuits when a failure has occurred. So, how do we overcome that fear in order to fail forward?
Are you ready to push through fear and fail forward? Learn how to grow your confidence and overcome uncertainty and doubt!

So often, failing is seen as an insurmountable setback. How often has failure resulted in the end of a journey for you?

Perhaps you were doing great on a workout and nutrition program, but one indulgent weekend made you think you weren’t capable of success, so you quit. Or you’ve been in the job market for months with no offers and decide to give up on your career search. Or rather than work through a fight with a significant other, you call it quits.

The fear of failure keeps us from continuing our pursuits when a failure has occurred. It can also prevent us from even attempting to go after what we want in the first place.

It’s Time to Reframe Failure

Failure is inevitable. No one has accomplished 100% of their goals on the first try. So, what if you were to reframe failure? Rather than failure being the end of your journey, what if you actually saw it as a vital step in the progress toward your goal?

There are countless examples of some of the most influential people in history suffering epic failures. Thomas Edison had 1,000 failed attempts at creating the lightbulb before finding success. Walt Disney was fired from a job because his employer thought he lacked imagination. Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.

Fortunately, they used those situations as an opportunity to fail forward. They used those failures to get better and fuel their passion.

How Do You Fail Forward?

So, now the question is, how does one overcome their fear of failure in order to fail forward?

At Succeed On Purpose, we’ve identified three critical elements that will help you identify, confront, and overcome your fears and failures in order to succeed.

  1. Find your spark – Your “spark” is that thing that sets off a force in you to achieve your desires. What do you really want? Why do you really want it? If you’re neither clear nor certain in your desires when you experience an obstacle, it’s much simpler to quit. Start by getting clarity on what you want and why to fuel your journey.
  2. Tap into confidence when you need help to overcome your fears. Find the courage to push through fear, uncertainty, doubt and failure.
  3. Finally, strengthen your ability to believe and expect what you desire will come true. Even when faced with a failure, actively deciding that you still expect your desired outcome to happen is a critical skill in failing forward.  

Fail Forward with Succeed On Purpose

Succeed On Purpose has created the Find Your Spark series of programs designed to help you fail forward. These bite-sized programs are available on-demand, allowing you to work through them at your convenience. Learn how you can get clarity on what you want most, find the confidence to pursue your dreams, and develop the skills to always believe and expect your desired outcome to come true.



Stephanie Renna has been working with Succeed On Purpose since 2012, and now serves as the brand leader. Her purpose is to bring joy.

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