One Way to Ensure Perpetual Failure

There are more ways to fail than there are to succeed. That's what makes success rare and failure common.

And let me be clear before sharing the best way to ensure failure. I am not against failure. Failure means you are attempting things--and not just any things--challenging things. That's good. I fail because I try.

If you are not failing at anything, you're probably not trying hard enough.

But failure is only helpful if we learn from it. We can fail, fail, and then succeed only if we learn from the failures and come back with a vengeance. 

But there is something that can stop this process. It can turn the cycle into fail, fail, fail, and fail some more.

So what is it?

Making excuses.

I am not different from you. I like to make excuses. Excuses limit the personal damage that occurs after failure. It takes the attention off me and puts it on something or someone else. It makes me feel better. It soothes my wounds.

But what else does it do?

It comforts me so much that I fail to take a hard look at me. I brush off my failure as someone else's fault. Therefore, I never improve. Therefore, if/when I attempt it again, I will fail again.

After several rounds of failure, most people quit. And the more people quit, the more they make a habit of failing and quitting. It's not a fun circle.

If you want to succeed, I suggest you step up to the plate and take some blame for your failures. You don't have to wallow in self-deprecation, but be willing to point the finger in the mirror once in awhile. Don't beat yourself up, but be willing to admit you could have done things better.

Self-improvement begins with honest self-assessment.

Quit making excuses.

Get back to the field, the recording or art studio, the library, the lab, the computer, or wherever you do your thing, and get at it with new information from your last failure.

Image credit:
Failure image from
The poorly designed graphic about making progress was made by me using Microsoft Paint.


  1. This is so relevant to what I'm going through right now . . . love it as it is a good reminder to self evaluate with honesty.

  2. Glad it helped you. I need to be reminded constantly to stop passing the buck. It might not be ALL my fault, but I probably could have done better. It's a process. I hope whatever your going through turns out well for you.