Fail Forward to Me (Essay 2 of 11 / Written For You, By You, From Your Future)

Essays 3 min read

Here’s a series of 10 essays written by your future self, speaking to your present self to give you insight, encouragement, and actionable steps to make sure you meet in the future.

Photographer: Ashique Anan Abir | Source: Unsplash

Let's be honest for a moment.

We've all been taught a lie from the very beginning. Society, movies, and books have ingrained in us the idea that failure is unacceptable.

But here's the truth: if we want to grow and meet our full potential— we need to "fail forward."

It’s Essential to the Growth Process

Failure is not something to be afraid of; it's an essential part of the growth process.

Think about how everything that grows, it is first broken.

Seeds break through their shells and soil to sprout into plants.

We build muscles by tearing them apart and allowing them to rebuild stronger.

And mentally, we grow through challenging thoughts and conversations. They help us create new connections and gain insight.

With age comes the ability to control when, where, and how often we experience failure.

Without seeking out these moments of self-imposed brokenness, our growth will stagnate.

You’ll Need to Embrace Failure as the Process

So how do we embrace this process?

By changing our perspective on failure.

We must redefine what our failures mean to us, and learn how to tell empowering stories after experiencing setbacks. Our mindset, expectations, and emotional connection to our own story play a crucial role in this transformation.

As your future self speaking from shared experiences, I can assure you that you will flourish in those broken places.

Without my own past failures and the encouraging stories I told myself afterwards, I wouldn't be where I am today.

So when you stumble or fall short of your goals, don't get discouraged; instead see it as an opportunity for growth. Each mistake bridges us closer together on this journey towards success.

Embrace these moments of breaking because they strengthen your mindset and emotional resilience. Look for evidence of how each setback contributes to your personal growth;

It's there if you're willing to see it.

From my vantage point as your future self, I have no regrets looking back at the failures that shaped me. That's why I'm reaching out to you now.

So Now What Do You Do?

It's time for you to start.

Think of a baby learning to walk.

They stumble, fall, and get back up without attaching any emotional baggage to their failures. They're motivated by their goal and supported by those around them who encourage and guide them every step of the way.

So what motivates you?

Only you can answer that question.

As your future self, my motivations have evolved over time, and yours will too. Find your "why" and let it drive you forward.

While receiving a letter from your future self may seem silly, find meaning in it that resonates with your present context and story. Let this letter be an encouragement on your journey towards meeting us.

With direction, motivation, and support, you're well-equipped to fail forward and grow closer to becoming who you are meant to be.

Remember these words as you navigate through challenges: fail fast, fail often because in doing so we discover our true selves.

You are stronger than you think;

just remember to rest along the way. Bend but don't break completely because only those who refuse to bend end up shattered beyond repair.

Life breaks everyone in some way or another; it's part of being human.

But not all us allow ourselves to be completely broken.

We must seek out enough challenges and setbacks for growth without losing sight of our own well-being.

Like a baby learns how to walk to the open arms waiting for them at the finish line, I'm here. Like your motivation guiding you towards our brighter future together.

Looking forward to when we finally meet.

Written to all that you are...
From all that you're becoming—

Your Future Self

futureself motivation empathy