I’m sure many of us have thought “Am I doomed to fail in life? Why do I feel like I’m taking one step forward and two steps back all the time?” 
You feel lost and frustrated because you feel like you just fail at everything you try.
One of the things you have to understand is that you are supposed to fail. 
“Every failure is the stepping stone to success”  John Di Lemme
This quote is not just a cliche, sure it sounds nice, we’ve all seen these types of quotes posted on Facebook. I regularly post such quotes myself (with the intention to make you think and hopefully inspire you). But let’s go beyond the poetic quote and discuss the reason why this quote is true…
Simple answer? Because failure is an experience that leads to wisdom, which ultimately leads you to an evolved version of yourself.
Right now you want that particular career role, loose some weight or whatever you goal might be. It might not be working out the way you imagined. Or you may have had some set backs,  but do you know what you discovered? How to be committed, how you can focus and move forward. You’ve learnt what not to do and how to improve next time. You have won in that regard.
The failure is just a signpost that you’re going in the wrong direction or you are taking the wrong approach. Instead of becoming negative and thinking “I tried and failed a thousand times” try thinking of it as Thomas Edison did:
“I tried a thousand times and found a thousand ways that it didn’t work”
Do you go to the supermarket and drive down the wrong street and say to yourself “F**k this, I’m lost. I’m never going to the supermarket again”
Or do you say to yourself “Crap I went down the wrong street! Ok, so where’s the right street?” Then you either ask someone for directions or you look at a map and you manage to buy that Victoria Sponge cake you’ve been craving…just me? Ok…
I’m sure most of you would think the second way. (If you think the first way then you probably need more help than I can offer!) but anyway, my point being, if we can think so logically about the small daily life failings, why should it be different for the more important failures in life?
Every time you found a way it didn’t work, you are adding to your journey. You are growing stronger, you discovered something about yourself and something about your actions. You are discovering something about your character every time you get up and try a different approach.
It’s not about the goal, it’s about what you learned and who you become along the way.
“I don’t measure a man’s success by how high he climbs, but how high he bounces when he hits the bottom” George S Patton
Think about this for a moment. Imagine your goal is to become a professional UFC fighter. Ok done, you get a call right now and your UFC debut is a few weeks away.
Congratulations, you have achieved your goal! But, are you ready for it?
Do you have the knowledge, wisdom, experience and most of all – the confidence to win that fight?  Put your ego aside for a moment and really think about that.
You need the journey. You need all of those hours of failure. Gassing out because your conditioning needs improvement, getting tapped out and bruised up by your training partners. Failure shows you your weaknesses. You then either run away and say MMA isn’t for you because you can’t face the hard work, or you embrace those weaknesses and strengthen them. Then one day the UFC come a-calling and you are ready, mentally and physically to take that goal and achieve greatness. Because you earned it.
News flash my friends, the best things in life are achievements, but you have to work hard for it. Life is riddled with failure and that’s why most people don’t chase their dreams. Because they are afraid of hard work and even more afraid of failure.
We live in a culture where everyone wants something for nothing.  We look at successful people and put them on a pedestal. But we only see their accomplishments and never once think about all the failings they must have gone through in order to achieve their success!
I have failed my whole life and I wouldn’t change any of it. Exams, relationships, friendships, career choices… I have failed in them all, as have most of you. No-one can live without failure. It has given me wisdom and maturity. It has shown me what I want and what I don’t want. It has given me direction and most of all – passion for what I do.
You failed, congratulations! This is the greatest thing that can ever  happen to you. Because it shows you are alive and not just existing on this planet. Failure is one of the laws of nature, you need to embrace it and look at it as a tool, not as a punishment.


About the Author:
Daughter of a 2-9 British Army Commando and Combatives Instructor, Kelina Cowell grew up on a military base in Dortmund, Germany. Inspired by training with her father from an early age, she continued her combative journey into Krav Maga, Submission Wrestling, Filipino Martial Arts, Pencak Silat and Muay Thai. She searches for the truth in personal protection, simply keeping what can really work on the street and the discarding the “Hollywood” techniques that don’t.
Kelina Cowell is the Founder and Chief Instructor of Apolaki Combat Systems:
  • Apolaki Krav Maga – a unique blend of traditional Krav Maga, with elements of Filipino martial arts, Pencak Silat, Muay Thai and Submission Wrestling. Complete with it’s own 5 Level syllabus and gradings.
  • Apolaki Dirty Boxing – A more in-depth training into Filipino boxing, Western Boxing, Muay Thai and Pencak Silat. Complete with it’s own 5 Level syllabus and gradings.
  • Apolaki SPD: Self Protection for Dwarfs – Co-founded with her student Eugene Grant who was born with Achondroplasia (a form of short-limbed dwarfism). An adapted form of Apolaki Krav Maga suitable for dwarf body types.