Turning Failure into Success

In Coaching, Confidence, Discipline, Excellence, General, Leadership, Self Defense by Don Alley

This week in our classes…

We have been teaching our students an important life skill–“failure.”

I love talking about this. I like teaching our students that it’s okay to fail, and as a matter of fact, it’s GOOD to fail.

How often does that message get communicated to our kids?

How often does that message get communicated to US?

It’s easy in our world to try and be perfect, or not “mess up”, but in doing so, we’re only setting ourselves up for major disappointment. Solution? Embrace it!

Learn to love to love failing! And share these with your kids! Here are 4 reasons why we should all embrace the “pain” of not getting what we want the first time we try:

1-By failing, we learn. Thomas Edison is famously quoted as saying, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” With each failure, we gain a new understanding of our problem, we learn more and get one step closer to our goal.

2-We become DOERS, and not dreamers only. Life is full of people who talk about what they’re going to accomplish. If you are failing, pat yourself on the back because you’re part of the group that, even though you may be afraid, you’re taking action. You’ve stepped up to the plate.

3-Failure teaches us how to handle setbacks and disappointment. And more are on the way 🙂 Get used to failing and not getting what you want right away. Life is full of those experiences. And the most successful people aren’t always the most talented, they’re just incredibly resilient and kept going, setback after setback after disappointment.

4-Failure makes success that much more sweet. Ever worked on a kick or technique, or measure of music, or project at work, and you just couldn’t get it? And then you did? How did that feel? Amaaaazing, didn’t it? The harder the goal, the sweeter the success will be to you.

Turning Students into Achievers

As we train our students and help them earn their black belts, one of my main goals is to do for students what my instructor did for me: turn them into achievers. People who are constantly setting new goals, working hard, are driven and want to challenge themselves to be more. To grow. To strive. And then lead by example.

The reality is, if we’re going to achieve, we’re going to fail. You have to. It’s an unwritten rule, but it exists nonetheless.

Let’s bring it home. Ask yourself, What goal have I put off? What haven’t I attempted because I’m afraid of messing up? Of not getting it? Of failing? One of the best ways for our kids to learn from us is by watching us, and if we want them being brave and daring and pursuing their dreams…let’s do the same 🙂

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” -Teddy Roosevelt


Don Alley
Don Alley is the owner and chief instructor at Super Kicks Karate in Ashburn and Leesburg, and has been training in the martial arts for 28 years. He is currently a 6th degree black belt, and has dedicated the entirety of his adult life to teaching children and families martial arts. He is also the owner of Center Stage Preschool, a Montessori-based, performing arts preschool; and co-founder of Testudo Addiction Recovery, a non-profit organization serving families in the Northern Virginia area.