Fail Forward!

“Get out of your own way!” was the lesson Jeremy McComb learned after a series of mistakes and failures that led to a drug addiction. This priceless advice is what anyone who has ever battled addiction will tell you.

Addiction hurts everyone around you. However, it quickly becomes a downward spiral, because the person that you hurt most is yourself. This self-inflicted hurt makes you look for relief from the pain… which drives you right back to the source of your addiction to make the pain go away. By now, you can see how this self-inflicted pain turns into self-loathing, which turns back into self-destruction.

The person most likely to help get you out of addiction is also the person most responsible for getting you into the addition in the first place… YOU!  I hope this description of the cycle of addiction will cause you to see the brilliant advice that Jeremy gave in the latest episode of UNBEATABLE.

Getting out of your own way is easier said than done. If it was easy to overcome addition, we wouldn’t use words like battle or overcome! Hearing those words doesn’t make the battle any easier. People struggling with addiction need to know exactly how to win that battle. This is where Jeremy’s next advice is priceless! He reminds listeners to “fail forward!”

In a culture that is obsessed with success, failure is a dirty word.  However, failure can be one of the most powerful tools to improve your life.  Here are my simple suggestions on how to “fail forward.”

Embrace failure

The first step in learning to fail forward is accepting failure as an opportunity to learn. Embracing failure doesn’t mean that you intentionally try to make mistakes. Rather, it’s a willingness to accept your mistakes immediately.

All of us know someone who tries to cover up and minimize their mistakes. This is a fatal error. Being willing to accept your failures is the first step in learning from and growing beyond them. Unbeatable people don’t try to live perfect lives; they just willingly, quickly accept their failures and learn from them.

Failure isn’t final

Maybe one of the reasons people are so hesitant to accept failure is that they believe it sticks with them for life. I’ll admit, I tend to run from failure for this reason. I don’t want to be remembered for my mistakes and failures; I have to fight against this type of thinking personally. I must remind myself that just because I’ve failed doesn’t make me a failure in life. All humans are imperfect. Therefore, my failure only demonstrates that I’m human.

Don’t let the fear of what other people think about you stop you from taking some risks and maybe falling down a time or two. Your failures aren’t final. Read any biography about some of the greatest leaders in history, and you will learn that they made many mistakes on their way to greatness. Failure isn’t final unless you avoid taking risks because you’re worried about what others are going to think about you if you fail. Here’s an article I wrote to help you get back in the saddle after failing.

Turn failure into a future

Think about some of your greatest lessons in life. I’m certain it wasn’t your biggest successes that taught you these lasting lessons. Rather, it was your mistakes and failures that became the most powerful. Who would you be today if it wasn’t for those failures of your past? This demonstrates that failing forward isn’t really failure at all.

Unbeatable people have learned how to fail well! Rather than avoiding failure, they have figured out how to learn and grow from their failures. Ultimately, unbeatable people have learned how to turn their failures into powerful tools that will make life better in the future.

Jeremy McComb’s power over addiction came the moment that he stopped trying hide or minimize his failures. He grew stronger in the battle with his personal struggles when he learned to turn his failures into a future by FAILING FORWARD. 

Listen to my whole interview with Jeremy HERE.

Check out more info about Jeremy and his upcoming tour at

Further reading

Discipline vs. Drive

Angela Fuller displayed the drive and discipline to make a remarkable recovery from her spinal injuries.

It’s not the fight that matters

The strongest force on the battlefield is always motivated by love just like the toughest opponent in a fight, will always give their best out of...