Failure Is Not Final – Try Again

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(Last Updated On: November 1, 2018)

By: Sharon Branch – Contributor

If you have ever failed at anything, then you know that awful, embarrassing feeling, which follows. Who likes to fail, right? Then, there are those overwhelming thoughts of having lost your integrity, self-worth, respect and the rest. But do you know that failure is a part of success and that it’s not how many times you fail but whether you get up and try again? I have never met anyone who didn’t fail tons of times before succeeding.  You are not a failure, you are on your way to success but only if you keep trying. Failure is not final, try again.

I enjoy watching documentaries that reveal the hidden world of wild animals but one group which takes the cake is the lion. I admire their dominance: stalking and hunting techniques and their determination to succeed, as they target the weak and defenseless.

lion - Failure is not final -

I sit on the edge of my seat, hardly daring to breathe as the hunter scopes out the scene, inches forward on his belly, with eyes focused on the target. Then, believing he is close enough, he jumps “out of the blocks” and chases after the unsuspecting prey.

I would silently cheer on my ‘friend’ and finally breathe when I realize he has escaped. I smile, glad that the predator has lost, at least on this occasion. The chasing game for my ‘friend’ is over but the desire to find food has now started. The nature of the lion is not to roll over and play dead; if he does, this defeatist attitude would cause his demise. He might fail on one hunting spree but giving up is not an option for him.

A few months ago an acquaintance said to me:

If a man fails 1000 times, this does not make him a failure. He becomes a failure when he refuses to try again. 

Our problem is we surrender after failing once or a few times.

In life, there are many ‘prey’ we have to target and ultimately conquer. They include but are not limited to, health setbacks, financial struggles, and relational challenges.

I know of a lady who was in a dating relationship. Her spouse called it quits and moved on, but she stopped trying and refused to live, not even taking care of her personal hygiene. She built a wall around herself, stopped going to work, refused to socialize and spent her days sitting and looking through the window. Her chasing game was over but like the lion, she should have scoped out the scene once again, proceeded cautiously and take the lunge.

  • Can you imagine a lion, unsuccessful in catching its prey, grieving over the failure?

  • Can you imagine him hungry, yet saying, “Since I have failed on this first occasion, I will continue to fail?”

  • Can you hear him saying, “It makes no sense trying again, let me starve to death?”

Of course not! If this does not happen in the animal world, why should we allow it to happen in our lives?  God has created us with far more intelligence than they and if they never give up, why should we? We should be willing to keep trying until we succeed. 

toddler trying to walk - Failure is not Final -

Even the natural instinct of children teaches them to rise again. During the walking stage, no matter how many times they fall, they desire to walk as adults do. They fall over, cry and move again. Yet, many of us fall over, cry and stay in that position, wallowing in self-pity.

When you fail, it may not be as bad as you think. See it as an opportunity to grow. In fact, failure is like the wings of a newborn bird; a little struggling at first but the more the chick flaps its wings, the stronger it becomes. The more you fail, the more it should be in your resolve to succeed. Be a lion, today! Be hungry enough to try again.

Please share your comments with us. Tell us if this has inspired you.

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12 Replies to “Failure Is Not Final – Try Again”

  1. Hi Sharon,
    I enjoyed this article. It is easy though to say get up and go again and many times that first step to get up and go again is the hardest. I remember when I first started university in 1997. I stopped in 1999.
    I had to repeatedly tell myself that I was not dumb. I had to pause. Change directions and eventually restarted in 2005 doing a different course of study. They were points when the feelings of dread returned but five years later I had my degree. Failure is definitely not final.

    1. Andrea
      Thank you for posting your comment.
      It is true that teachers impact their charges significantly and I hope that you do the same in a positive light. Children admire their teachers and your words can propel them forward to help them realise their dreams or turn them into failures.
      Keep up the good work!

  2. Although you may feel within to try again, they are some human beings that seem to be on this earth just to make you feel stupid, Some people are not strong enough to be able to ignore them and keep trying. It may not be in everyone’s DNA to look at failure that way. All the preaching and talking, if the person is adamant not to try again, they are not going to.

    1. Hi Sandra
      Thank you for your comment. Some people believe they are unable to try again because of the negativity that has been planted in their minds from an early age. However, with some encouragement and positive words they can be set on the right path again.

  3. Yes, we should never give up so easily, but many of us do. Maybe we are not as hungry for success as we should be. I once had a tutor who said that some people fear success. Something to think about. Also, unlike the lion, we worry too much about what others think or say about us.

    1. Hi Monica
      You made a very important point. Maybe people are not as hungry for success as they ought to be. Hunger, along with a goal in sight, propels us forward toward success. Encouragement in life promote that desire. At times, those who are constantly failing need to ‘rest’ for a while. They also need someone in whom to confide and a few words to encourage that hunger.

  4. Thanks for posting. I agree 100%. You only fail if you stop trying. It reminds me of the story “3 feet from gold” – that guy who stopped digging after months of hard work just 3 feet from the gold he did not know was there. That just kills me. It’s difficult to know how much time must pass for a goal to manifest, but it’s not really for us to know. What we need to know is what we’re going after and why. And then…we act…we persevere. It’s amazing what perseverance can do.



    1. Hi Norman
      Thank you for your comment. The key is to persevere for nothing beats a determined spirit. Many goals have not been realized because people did not follow through. Reminds me of a song athletes sing in order to encourage the team:
      Don’t give up no matter what the task is
      You’ll succeed but only if you try
      Only if you try real hard
      Only if you give your best
      Try real hard, give your best
      Give your best, try real hard

  5. Hello Sharon,

         I couldn’t agree with you more.  Yes we fail, but we try again.  We’re not failures until we quit.  Failing is just a learning tool.  Analyze it, what went wrong, what went right, revise your strategy and move forward.

    Yes it’s embarrassing.  Yes it’s hard sometimes to pick back up but, if you don’t, then you’re defeated.

    Look at it this way.  When a sporting team loses whatever coveted game marks the end of the season, do they close up shop and leave town?  Of course not.  They analyze, regroup, make changes and hit it hard the next season.

    I’m on board with you when it comes to cheering for the prey as I hate to see animals injured but such is the cycle of life.  Eventually the hunter will succeed.

    Thanks for the great post.

    1. Hello Scott
      An important strategy of moving forward when we fail is to analyze what went wrong and what went right. Too often we focus on all the negatives and beat up ourselves. Many do not look at what they did that was right. Focusing on what was done right can be used as an encouragement, for after all there was something positive about it.
      Adopting a hunter’s attitude is important, going after that dream is important and if that means getting up after I have done it all wrong, then go for it.
      Thank you Scott

  6. Very good post and good info!

    Everybody has failures, but with it, you got experience, so indeed, failure is not final.

    Personally, I’ve gotten many failures, but with it, I knew more how to do and especially, how not to do it!

    Don’t be afraid to fail, since it can actually help you.

    Thank you for this post and sharing it with us!

    1. Hi Emmanuel
      Experience is the greatest teacher and along with it comes wisdom. Failure teaches us the ‘holes’ to avoid on the next occasion when trying. I am pleased to see that you have used your failure and your experiences to improve in future endeavours.
      Don’t give up, Emmanuel.

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