Guest post: Failing your way to the top

March 31, 2014 -  By

Photo: felixtsau/

The concept of success through failure is nothing new. 

Winston Churchill said it this way: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” If you do any research on the subject, you’ll come up with innumerable books, articles and blogs to support this notion.

Yet, for those of us trying to get to the next level, failure feels like the last thing we should be looking for. And that’s the irony. We most often hear about the successful folks’ glitzy ending, not the first few chapters that tell the story of how they got there—the chapters that are sprinkled with failures.

In order to advance there’s a darned good chance we need take a risk now and then. It’s scary to think about taking chances, trying something for the first time and knowing there’s no guarantee it will be a success. My approach is to focus on the benefit of the achievement to convince myself it’s worth showing up and taking the risk. That gets you out the door. And when things don’t go the way you had hoped, that’s when you find out what you’re really made of.

You just may find the lesson to be learned is waiting in the wake of a failed attempt. The insight you really need is likely to be found right there in the rubble, waiting to be claimed and used to make the next attempt a success. If you can suck it up and push through the embarrassment of a failure, you have a better chance of getting it right the next time…and maybe even the time after that.

Finding success requires the will to achieve, a ton of stamina and courage to walk away from some of the tried-and-true. I’m pretty sure Churchill had it right. Our successes are nestled between our failures, and we’ll see that if we stay focused on the win and maintain our enthusiasm along the way.

 Photo: felixtsau/

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About the Author:

Leslie Boomer is an organizational health consultant with Pro-Motion Consulting. Reach her at

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