Let’s be honest here – we have all had a dream. It is a fundamental concept of human nature to have desire, to be curious, and to pursue what we feel is our destiny. Flashback to 5 year old you, chances are you wanted to be an astronaut, scientist, maybe a professional athlete or even a rockstar! It is one of the most creative zones of life we ever experience, a time where our brain is receiving information at lightening speed, gauging what needs to be retained and what is crucial to life itself. A time where we feel liberated and naive to the constraints life can put on us.
As we grow, we fall down and get back up, sometimes hurt and scared. We are told NO. We apply societal constraints to the dream and it starts becoming farther out out reach, even making it seem impossible. If our success is beyond our current measure, the work we have to do to get there is very intense and risky. We have to put it all out there on the line. We have to make others believe in us. And then the path to our dream looks different than we originally thought. Very different, maybe even uncertain, and uncertainty is uncomfortable.
The roadblocks and crashes can be so intense, coupled with the discomfort of uncertainty and failure, that the thought of staying on this path can scare you off completely. You can be so close to realizing your dream, only to fall down harder than you have ever before. The path to your dream has taken a complete fork in the road and threw a giant NO in your face. You have no idea which path you can take to get over or under this, even around it. You are scared shitless, because you had everything riding on this. EVERYTHING.
The only thing you can do is fail forward.
Failing forward is when you are forced to self evaluate and determine whether or not you want to continue on this dream. It is a phase where you can 360 change you life, identity, and hop on a new path to a new destination, or you can stay on the dream despite the failure encountered.
The fail forward stage happens because the path you were on was the incorrect way to get there. The failure happened to redirect your path to either keep walking in the same direction through your obstacle, or to go on a new path completely. This is a time where you have the opportunity to redefine, or refine yourself.
Failing forward is when staying on the path to your dream is at the hardest point it will ever be. This is because in order to get to the dream you must stay true to the process, even though you are encountering failure.
We can all have a step-by-step list or plan, thought web or structure on how to accomplish our dreams. What is overlooked is the concept of failing forward is the most important step in realizing one’s true success. It is at the fail forward moment when one truly embodies the dream they are trying to live, or they abandon it. It’s at this stage when one’s own self charter is put to judgement – and from that point – you decide if you are still that identity, or you become something else.
If you stay committed, this failure will help you walk over the next hurdle with strides. It will help you build knowledge of yourself, your capabilities, and most importantly, your strength.
When you fail forward and decide to stay on the same dream, you must take a bold approach to realize your goals and avoid the conflict of limitations. You must see beyond and reach beyond. Manifest strategies and methods to work through the obstacles you face and will sacrifice comfort and normal to get to where you want to be.
The inevitable chance of failing (possibly again) is still in the background, and some days you eat it alive. You question yourself and your choices, the places you’ve gone and where you are going. You are your worst critic. You wonder what influence you have on others around you, on your family and the life you are giving them. But still, you refuse to abandon the dream. You feel it in your soul that this is what you are meant to do.
When you fail forward, you have to recognize what you just learned and apply that knowledge to the future. You assess the critical steps that were overlooked, or under appreciated. Maybe the failure was out of your control. It still forces you to step out and look at what you can do better moving forward. It refines your process.
Some days the distress and uncertainty of your future scares the hell out of you, but you try to see that it can still improve regardless if you stay on this path or hop on a new one. You have fallen down again, but you are ready more than every to stand the hell up and charge even harder.
To fail forward and stay on the dream, you have to face it head on and go right through it. The fear of doing this can eat you alive until you decide how you want to look at it.
Fear: Face Everything And Rise. Fear: Forget Everything And Run.
It’s at that point when you fail forward and continue on with your dream, that true success is formed as you walked over the biggest hurdle in your journey. You stuck it out with your dream and followed through.
Fail forward. Achieve your dreams. And remember the path to your dreams coming true is often different than what we imagined it to be!