Don’t be afraid to fail, choose to grow

Rock climbing

A time of change can make our lives more difficult. But it also brings us opportunities.

The first opportunity comes when we realise that, in a time of change, anything might happen. This is increasingly true in politics, technology, society, and the environment so why not in our own lives? Once we realise that we can no longer predict or control what is going to happen around us we can let go of our emotional attachment to achieving specific outcomes. We still do our best to accomplish them, but when things don’t go the way we planned it does not mean we “failed”. It simply means things didn’t turn out the way we expected. Like Thomas Edison we learn to say:

“I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work”

Then we move on to try our next approach.

The way Zig Ziglar said this was:

“When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.”

So this approach will work best when we know our personal goals, our purpose and values and who we want to become. This is the second opportunity of this time of change.

Our third opportunity comes when we realise that ten years ago we probably did not have the skills we have today. Those skills have come from addressing the challenges we faced in the past, so the ‘challenges’ we face today are actually opportunities for us to develop into the kind of person we want to become. And the bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity.

This realisation brings our final opportunity: the understanding that we are not human beings but rather human becomings. Nothing around us is certain. Our only choice is whether to attempt to become, or not to become.

In summary, a time of change means that new opportunities are emerging around us all the time. If we know how to find those opportunities, choose the one that is right for us, and turn it into an inspiring vision then we can be confident that no matter what happens next we will be able to find a new way forward.

The book of Inner Leadership contains tools that you can use to get clearer on your purpose, your values, and who you want to become. You can use other tools to find the best way forward for now, turn it into an inspiring vision, and be confident that no matter how it turns out you will then be able to find new opportunities to move forward.

So don’t be afraid to fail, choose to grow.

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Photo By Kevin Dooley via

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