Failing Out Loud

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter.

Try again. Fail again. Fail better. 

-Samuel Beckett

Stan Wawrinka had failed his whole career.

Although he was a world-class tennis player and had made millions in prize money, he would always come up short when it mattered most.

At the four Majors, Stan could always be counted on to falter in the big matches. Sometimes he would simply get dominated by one of the top players, other times he would play just well enough to lose a thrilling close match.

The days of promise had seemingly passed him by. He was pushing thirty when he arrived at the 2014 Australian Open and no one considered him a threat. Why would they? At the Majors, all he'd ever done was fail.

But then something magical happened. The moment of failure against world #1 Novak Djokovic arrived like it always had--and he didn't blink. He looked into the abyss, and this time he wasn't afraid when the abyss looked back.

Showing a newfound boldness while constantly looking at his coach and pointing to his head, Stan slayed all the dragons.

Don't be afraid, Stan, you can win this if you just keep thinking.

And he did.

Beating the odds and shocking the world, Stan Wawrinka won the 2014 Australian Open title at age 28. Afterward, he was asked what had changed. Stan said he decided he wasn't going to panic anymore. He wasn't going to be afraid. And he showed everyone the tattoo he had gotten. The tattoo contained Beckett's words: Ever tried. Ever failed...

When he committed to failing better, he became a champion.

That opportunity is there for all of us.

If we're committed to failing, and then immediately improving upon that failure, we become indestructible. There's no more fear because we've already admitted we're going to fail.  We've also already committed to trying again. Fear has a hard time festering when faced with that logic, and if there's no fear, all of our obstacles melt away.

This mindset sets us on a never-ending journey toward success. All we have to do is fail better.

Stan has gone on to win two more Majors. He is now a threat in every tournament he plays.

We can do the same.