Failing Forward

Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes Into Stepping Stones for Success ...

Failing Forward

by John Maxwell


– What makes a person successful? It is not the family that they come from or the money they have. Success is not from a grade or an ability, success comes from the perception and reaction to failure in life.

– Just as poverty is more common than wealth and problems are more common than victories, so failure is much more common than success.

– The question is not if you will have problems but how you are going to deal with the problems. So decide you will fail forward and not backwards.

– The first step into failing forward is to realize that there is one main difference between average people and achieving people, how they fail.

– Failure is unavoidable, it’s going to happen in life, but failure does not have to be final. You do not have to give up or quit when you fail.

– Failure is simply the price we pay to achieve success.

– Achievers reject rejection.

– Achievers see failure as temporary. Failures are isolated incidents, they’re not what life is made of.

– Winners focus on what they can do, not what they cannot do.

– Achievers bounce back. Life is made of outcomes, sometimes good and sometimes bad. When things go right check it out to continue the pattern; when things go wrong, figure out how to change it.

– Don’t take failure personally. No matter how many times you fail, it does not have to make you a failure.

– You cannot avoid fear, but in order to conquer fear you have to recognize the feeling yet still take action.

– If you always do what you’ve always done then you always get what you always got – you have to learn from failure to change things.

– Every failure you make is a fork in the road where either you change and go forward or you stop and give up.

– Don’t give up, cover-up or back up, learn and fail forward.

– Change your response to failure by accepting responsibility.

– You do not have to let failure from the outside inside of you.

– Past failures can make you better or bitter but the choice is yours.

– Allow failures to be breakthroughs not breakups.

– To change your world you must first change yourself.

– Learn to give more than take. Giving is the highest form of living. Get over yourself and learn to help others.

– The more you fail, the greater the chances are that you succeed. Most people do not want to fail because after all, no one wants to look bad.

– Regret for the things that we did will diminish, but regret for the things that we did not do stay with us (in regards to attempting to succeed).

– If you wait for the perfect time, it will never come. Do not wait to be inspired, just do something now. The difference between a professional writer and an amateur writer is that an amateur writer waits until he is inspired to write while a professional writer just begins to write and later becomes inspired.

– Failure is either your friend or your enemy, only you decide. Failure can be your greatest friend if you will learn from it.

– Your attitude towards failure will determine the altitude you go after failure.

– Teachability is the attitude that says no matter how good, bad or hard the situation, I can learn something from it. There’s always a jewel of success in every situation.

– There are two ways to learn: experience, which is gained by what you have learned; and wisdom, which is gained by what others have learned. We will not live long enough to gain all the experience, so be wise and learn from others.

– Learning is defined in a change of behavior.


– Here are some reasons why people fail although they can be avoided:

1. Poor People skills – If you have not learned how to get along with others, you will always be fighting a battle.

2. A Negative Attitude – If your circumstances are always bad, maybe it’s a time for change… Love your attitude, not your surroundings.

3. A Bad Fit – If you hate what you’re doing you feel like you’re not made for it, it may be time to change what you’re doing.

4. Lack of Focus – Maybe your priorities are out of wack.

5. Week Commitment – without commitment, you cannot accomplish anything of value.

6. Unwilling to Change – A very big problem for many people is their lack of flexibility. You do not have to like change, but you do have to be willing to accept change.

7. Relying on Talent Alone – Talent is good but it is not enough.

8. Acting on Limited information – not having enough information or the wrong information will cripple you.


– To avoid a lot of failure, take the following steps:

1. Hang around the right people – people can encourage or discourage you, hurt or help you so hang around those that will help you.

2. Eliminate the excuses – we can find an excuse for anything, but bite the bullet and keep trying.

– He that makes no mistakes never makes anything.

– Failure is milestone on the journey to success.

– Get up, get over it and move forward.

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