Art Of Failing Forward


Recently, at one of the Girls Empowerment Workshops I was facilitating on the topic of leadership, I was sharing with the young girls that a leader must be willing to fail in order to ultimately succeed in some way. This idea really struck a chord with the girls, and they challenged me to no end to try and understand how failure could possibly be seen as a positive. Yes, there is definitely a stigma attached to failure for all of us.

I invite all of us to reframe our failures and see the gifts that come along with situations in which the ultimate outcome is not the one that we chose. Over the years I have learned that there was a blessing in each and every one of my failures. Some of the greatest insights of my life have come from learning to fail forward: the art of seeing each failure as an informative, important and necessary milestone on the way to success in all of its forms.

Failure As Feedback

When we can be open and willing to understanding and analyzing our failures, they can serve as a great source of information for us. They inform us on how to find creative solutions to reach our chosen path. They show us that as human beings we are equipped with the free will to take many different courses of action. Sometimes they simply remind us of just how badly we may want to achieve our goal, thereby further motivating us to get back in the game and see our purpose through.

The nuggets of wisdom are endless when we are willing to receive the messages that come along with each downfall. How can you open yourself up to all of the communication that is available to you?

Failure As Effort

We’ve all heard this before. Yes, failing is proof that we are trying. Without making the effort to create what we most wish to show up in our lives, we need to at least take a step in the direction of our goals, even if that step turns out to be a temporary misstep. Consider all of the greats on our planet that have built empires after first failing and then failing forward.

Examples, to name a few, include Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates. The more we fail then recover then improve, the better we are as people. In what ways are you willing to fail forward?

Failure As Redirection

So frequently failure naturally redirects us on a path that is even more aligned with who we are than the one that we originally were striving for. If with each setback, we can create the space necessary to re-evaluate and re-define what our ultimate vision looks like, we just may find that we are being guided to something even greater and more rewarding than what we had envisioned. How are you willing to let your failures work for you, not against you?

We can all learn more from a single failure then we ever could from a lifetime of success. The late Mary Tyler Moore said it best: “Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.” Wishing all of you the gift of failing forward on the path to living your dreams.

Melody is a Women’s Life & Wellness Coach dedicated to bringing Girls Empowerment to communities on a global scale. For more information visit and

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