I Dare You To Fail


One of my all time favorite motivational speakers is Eric Thomas. I used to listen to him before my college lacrosse games, we put one of his speeches on our game day warm-up CD, and most recently I started listening to him while I’m at the gym because he is much more motivating than any music.

To me, one of his most motivational lines is “I dare you to fail.”

And that’s a personal challenge I set for myself, but it’s also something I challenge you.

I dare you to fail because at least when you fail you’re not giving up on yourself.

These days we quit more than we fail. Things get hard and we walk away. Classes get challenging and we drop out, we withdraw, we quit. We don’t make a team we throw in the towel and say we didn’t want it anyway. We don’t get the lead role so we throw a fit instead of trying to get better. We miss out on the promotion so we talk shit about our boss. We give up instead of pushing through because it’s easier to give up than it is to fail.

We fail to realize that the most successful people in the world had to fail in order to achieve great success.

We fail to realize that most successful people failed their way to success.

You have to fail in order to figure out what works and what doesn’t. You have to keep trying once you find out that way doesn’t work or else you’ll never get to where you want to be.

We have all the resources available in the world to us and we still make excuses for why we can’t do something.

You complain that a class is too hard, but are you really trying? Have you exhausted every possible option? Did you read more books than what you’re assigned? Did you meet with your professor? Did you go see tutor after tutor in order to better understand? Did you truly try every option or do you just not want to understand it? Are you looking for an excuse as to why you can’t do something?

Don’t just give up because you decided you didn’t want to put the work in.

You never really tried, instead you’re just giving up. You’re saying you can’t do it not because you can’t but because you don’t WANT to do it.

You say you can’t do it because you’re not willing to make the sacrifices needed in order to be successful.

There is the difference.

You might not think you’re smart, but that doesn’t mean you’re not capable of achieving greatness if you just keep trying. You might fail a time or 10 along the way, but if you don’t quit trying you will achieve everything you’re after. It might take you five times longer to get to where you want to be than it took someone else, but if you don’t ever quit when you fail you will get there.

We strive so hard for perfection all the time, we strive to be naturally the best because anything less is failure. Anything less than greatness makes us look weak and that allows space for vulnerability. We think vulnerability is a weakness, when in fact it is a strength.

Humans are capable of so much and while some make the most of everything, there are also some who give up before they even truly try.

Failing is good. It’s a true test, failing means that you are going after what you want. It helps you learn and find what works best for you in your situation. Failure will get you so much closer to achieving your goals than quitting ever will. 

You can’t go through life faking it until you make it; I mean technically you could but how fulfilling would that be? How much satisfaction would you really gain from never pushing yourself and challenging yourself to be better? You’ll never amount to anything great and meaningful if you don’t have heart.

We want instant gratification, that is why we give up so quickly. We stop going to the gym because we don’t see results in a certain period of time. We give up on eating healthy because it’s hard. We walk away from challenging situations because we’d rather not try at all than feel the devastation of failure.

We give up because it’s easier to stop than experience the bottom of failure because once you’ve hit the bottom you’ve got to choose either to stay down there or pick yourself up and try again. Most people don’t want to be in that position, most people want to experience comfort and stability. Most people don’t push themselves to the point of failure and that’s why most people will never amount to anything great.

Keep working towards what you want, if everyone quit when things got hard we would never amount to anything. If NASA decided to quit we would have never put a human on the moon. If medical professionals decided to quit when they felt like they exhausted every option we wouldn’t have bionic limbs or HPV vaccines. If Michael Jordan gave up when he got cut from his basketball team in high school he wouldn’t be one of the best players in the world. If Eric Thomas gave up when he was homeless he wouldn’t be one of the most motivational speakers.

If everyone gave up when things got hard we wouldn’t have anything we have today. Instead all the greatest people failed, but more importantly that failure led them to keep trying. They failed and they learned a new way, a successful way.

Humans are resilient, but you shouldn’t quit before you try. Please don’t quit before you fail because failure is getting you closer to your dreams that quitting ever will. You owe it to yourself to try to be your best self. You owe it to yourself to reach your dreams and your goals — I want you to reach your goals. So don’t quit when things get tough, exhaust every possibility before you even consider it.

You can quit if you want, but I dare you to fail first.