I will never forget the first time I felt the sting of failure. I was thoroughly convinced that because of my failures I was relegated to living a mediocre life. All those big hopes and dreams I once had could no longer be fulfilled.
You know the saddest part of all? Nobody told me otherwise. So I’m here to tell you, it’s actually okay to fail. Here’s why.
1. Failure is inevitable.
At least once in your life, you are going to fail at something. Your talent, intelligence, hard work, and/or passion will not be able to save you. Failure is inevitable. Everybody has failed, although some refuse to admit it. Don’t let them fool you. If you research the stories of the most successful people of our time, you’ll find they, too, have failed. In fact, it was failure that produced the success stories of people like Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, and Walt Disney, just to name a few. So calm down. You’re in incredible company.
2. You learn substantially more from failure than success.
There is always room for improvement no matter how great you are. Sometimes, you’ll never know which areas need improvement unless you fail. It’s like training for a job. When you first start, your supervisor may bring to your attention some things you’ve done incorrectly. This is not to break your spirit, but to help you. That way, next time you come across the same problem, you’ll know exactly what to do. Instead of sulking over your failures, ask yourself, “What did I do wrong?” That way, next time around you can correct the problem, and do an even better job than before.
3. Failure makes you stronger.
Failure separates the weak from the strong. Some people fail, and they give up on their goals. Others fail, and they gain invincible strength. These people can be knocked to the ground, but they’re like those inflatable dolls. They bounce right back up. That’s what failure should do to you. It shouldn’t break or stop you. It should make you push harder to achieve your goals and dreams. You should feel as though, if you could survive your present failure, you could survive anything. And trust me, you can.
4. You take more chances when you’re unafraid to fail.
People who are afraid to fail are pretty boring. They play it safe. They never take chances. On the other hand, those who are unafraid to fail take insane risk. They’ll go out for that singing competition, even though they can’t sing. They’ll apply for that big-time job, even if they don’t meet all the requirements. These types of risk make life more enjoyable. And you never know, those risks you take when you’re unafraid to fail just might pay off.
5. Failure allows you to discover new paths.
When you fail, oftentimes you’ll realize the present path you’re on is not the right one. And that’s okay. You can then seek out new paths and discover what’s right for you. But if you don’t fail, you might never consider pursuing different avenues. You’d just continue on down the wrong path.
6. Failure makes success that much sweeter.
How can you know the sweet taste of success if you’ve never felt the sting of failure? To finally succeed, after repeated failure, is one of the best feelings in the world. You’ll feel a great sense of satisfaction, knowing that everything you went through was worth it. That’s because it will be.
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. — Samuel Beckett
See also: Why You Should Celebrate Your FailuresFeatured photo credit: Do not Fear Failurevia Flickr