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Last Updated on December 3, 2020

13 Reasons Why You Should Fail Fast to Learn Fast

13 Reasons Why You Should Fail Fast to Learn Fast
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It’s normal to view failures as negative impacts that have detrimental consequences. In actuality, failing is as natural of a process as succeeding is. In any profession, failure means giving yourself more opportunities to grow, to develop, and to truly learn something new. One of my favorite quotes that changed my mindset is:

Growth and comfort do not coexist.

To grow means you’re willing to take risks and evolve. The only way to evolve and change is to fail. You’re probably thinking, Wait, I thought success allows you to evolve? The answer is still yes; success promotes evolution and change. However, to reach that point, you must experience numerous failures with the goal of revealing a bigger picture.

When I reflected on my past failures, I realized something: They didn’t destroy or abolish me. In fact, they were like primers preparing me for a second chance.

Failures promote mental, emotional, and even physical growth. We forget that in any given situation, a second chance or opportunity is available in the future. Only if we apply ourselves will we be able to access this new way of thinking.

As a creative individual, I used to view failure as an end-all-be-all. I’d often kick myself if I screwed something up or acted on impulse. We want our success to happen now—fall from the sky and into our laps this minute. The reality is, anybody who has become successful also experienced numerous failures. And that’s why they’re successful: trial, error, retrial, and then success.

At the retrial stage, you should’ve learned something from your error or failure. Like anything in life, if we give power to our failures, we’ll never do it again, and it’s a fatal response. Never trying again is giving in to the negativity of failing at something. You may feel the loss is too significant.

Really, failures can be blinding and discouraging. They can cause us to lose sight of our goals and aspirations. Accepting that failure is a part of every success story is a stepping stone toward achieving the goals you so desperately want to achieve.

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Author Elizabeth Gilbert said transformations can only happen in ruins. Therefore, let your work and life fall apart if necessary, so that you can reshape and repurpose everything. While in ruins, incredible things begin to reform. And if you view failure as falling into ruins, perhaps this article will help shift your mindset.

I’m going to break down why failure is a good, positive and enriching thing and help you transform your mindset about it. Here are the 13 reasons why you should fail fast:

1. A New Route Is Created From Failure

Failing should be viewed as an opportunity to create a new route. If you feel that you failed at something, journal about it or do some self-reflecting and see what emerges. Instead of giving up after a failure, create another route or path and try again. You’ll gain new insights and a different direction that could get you out of a creative block or a jam.

Sometimes life diverts our path, and we must adapt. Failures may divert our paths, too, so it’s crucial to adapt and embrace them. Thinking and approaching it that way will lead you somewhere different, often to a new and better outcome.

2. You Learn to Identify What Works

Just about every field or industry you go into or are in, failing should help you identify what works and what doesn’t.

Once you’ve figured out why something didn’t manifest, you’ll have another chance to do something in a different way. There is beauty in trying something again and realizing what you did wrong previously. This is when evolution starts to take shape.

3. You Gain New Knowledge in Your Craft or Work

Failures don’t have to equal loss. Rather, they can be gains.

To reach a certain point in your career, you must fail in order to gain new knowledge or perspectives. Creative or not, failures expand our minds and encourage growth. The next time you find yourself in a situation when you’ve said, “Gosh, I dropped the ball on that one,” follow that with an affirmation.

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Give yourself permission to gain something beneficial. Thus, failure can’t be perceived as a setback, and instead, it’ll be a leap toward success.

4. You Set Yourself up for a Second Chance

Failures can only set you up for second chances. Quitting is the most fatal thing you can do. It won’t promote growth. It will result in depletion of motivation, drive, and discipline. Granted, at the moment, a failure can be difficult to digest.

Remind yourself there are other chances and opportunities. Failures can only set us up for success in the future, but it may take a lot of reminding that a second chance is available to you.

5. You Get Thicker Skin

Another benefit when you fail fast is that you’ll develop thicker skin. This thick skin will keep you emotionally neutral and balanced. You’ll be prepared to tackle any challenges that come your way.

Mindset is everything in any given situation where failure occurs. See it as a skin thickening agent, and you’ll be more equipped and resilient farther down the road.

6. You Will Build Emotional Resilience

Emotional resilience[1] means you don’t go bat crazy after you’ve dropped the ball or something didn’t work out. How you respond to situations, events, and failures determines where you’ll wind up in the future.

People remember reactions the most, and reacting irrationally will only work against you. Bouncing back emotionally can be rough, depending on the circumstance. However, the less time you spend consumed in negativity and “why me?” self-loathing, the quicker you’ll move forward to those great things you wish to achieve.

7. You’ll Inspire Others

Someone near and dear to me said the perfect thing at the perfect time when I felt that I’d failed at something. They told me that I should fail fast and often because, then, my story would be even more inspiring.

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Before any entrepreneur or corporate worker reached their destination, they failed dozens and dozens of times. There are authors, such as J.K. Rowling, who were rejected again and again before they became authors. Nobody became somebody without failing first. Don’t forget that.

8. A New Way of Organizing Develops After Failure

Preparation and organization are key ingredients one needs to be successful. The good news is that a failure forces us to reorganize and restructure our work lives.

Through a new organization and structure, a new sense of self will form. You’ll be compelled to reboot your workspace and any area in your professional life that feels cluttered or in disarray. This new change will enhance curiosity and be another key element in moving forward.

9. Failure Resets Your Focus

After I experienced major letdowns, I noticed a shift in my focus. That’s not to say my focus wasn’t there before, but my second time around, my attention to detail was sharpened and more precise. Only with fresh lenses are we able to visualize a clearer path toward where we need to go.

Failures can be powerful forces capable of rewiring our minds, thoughts, and actions. Resetting your focus means finding a new way of approaching a situation in your work life that you might have initially overlooked.

10. Failure Strengthens Your Mindset

A stronger mindset provides emotional stability and balance, especially when everything hits the fan. In life, setbacks and failures are a part of human nature and growth. Leonardo Da Vinci, a man who was 500 years ahead of his time, is known more for his failures than successes—what he dared to imagine and bring to fruition is what he’s famous for, whether his inventions worked out or not.

You’re not known for what you do; rather, you’re known for the kind of person you are: curious, a risk-taker, someone who persevered and remained strong regardless of how disappointing things became. A curious mind is one that is willing to keep exploring, keep building, and doing so without fear of failure attached.

11. You’ll Experience a Transcendence

The word transcendence means “existence or experience beyond the normal or physical level.” Philosophers describe transcendence as a climb beyond. The difference between failure and success is what we choose to take from both[2].

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Only failure allows such a divine transcendence to manifest, and this manifestation happens in our minds. Only failure can lead us toward a change that will result in something monumental and life-altering.

12. Failure Leads to Mastery

No matter what field you’re in, trial and error is basically a science experiment. It’s a process of trying and failing. The willingness to keep trying results in mastering your craft. Individuals in creative and technical jobs must undergo this process daily.

As a creative person, I’m constantly testing something out and redoing it later. It wasn’t until recently when I realized I was mastering my craft and learning from deconstruction as opposed to constructing. Every time I’ve had to start over or redo something, by the second trial, I’ll nail it.

13. Failure Encourages Mental and Emotional Growth

Failures also result in mental and emotional growth. Curiosity drives us to explore, do more, solve problems and find solutions in our work lives. Our failures grant us an empowering dose of mental extension. Our thoughts and perceptions of failures and successes strengthen in this growing period.

If we perceive failure as an end-all-be-all, we’re robbing ourselves of an enriching transformation.

The Bottom Line

Instead of striving to be the next big thing or success, fail fast and often. A whole array of benefits comes from failure.

Interestingly, I’ve noticed a conflict amongst humanity that is overlooked: People fear success as much as they fear failure. In reality, failure is not something you should be afraid of—it’s a learning curve. If you take the time to reflect on everything you’ve viewed as a disastrous failure, you might be pleasantly surprised when you realize it wasn’t so disastrous after all. It got you somewhere.

Failure is the key ingredient that will unlock all kinds of life-altering experiences. Don’t resist or live in fear of something that can only bring you to the place you desire to go.

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More About How to Fail Fast

Featured photo credit: Kelli McClintock via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Tessa Koller

Author, Motivational Public Speaker and Artist

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd

17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd
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If you are like most people, you probably have big goals and dreams that you would like to succeed in — you want to be the top in your career, live a healthy lifestyle, or flourish in your relationships.

Everyone dreams of a positive future, but most people don’t realize the secret to a truly successful life:

You determine your future in the way you spend your everyday moments. If you want to be a successful person, you must consistently develop good daily habits. As Aristotle pointed out:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”.

Building positive daily habits is a huge challenge, but can you imagine the amazing things you could accomplish with just a little commitment and determination?

Creating lasting, healthy habits is the real key difference between people who are successful in life and those who are unsuccessful.

You might be wondering which specific habits make the biggest difference. Not to worry, I’ve compiled a comparison list to help you get a jump start on a successful future.

1. Successful people embrace change. Unsuccessful people fear change.

Change is a constant for all of humanity, and it is important that you develop a positive relationship with it.

When unexpected or unwelcome changes arise, ask yourself how you can embrace it instead of running away. A few practical ways to reverse a change-fearing mindset include:

  • Take a moment to recognize and address any fears associated with the upcoming change.
  • Communicate with a person you trust about your negative feelings toward change.
  • Practice positive thinking, which you can read about in the next section.

2. Successful people exude joy. Unsuccessful people think, say and do negative things.

A joyful, positive disposition can seem like a distant reality in today’s cynical world, but it may be easier to achieve than you think. All you have to do is notice the good things around you and practice being thankful.

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Mindfulness and gratitude are not just buzz words – choosing a positive attitude can honestly change your life. Many studies have found that thankfulness leads to greater happiness. Furthermore, research indicates that gratitude may even have a lasting positive impact on the brain and overall mental health.[1]

3. Successful people forgive others. Unsuccessful people hold grudges.

As a human being, you have likely been offended or hurt by others plenty of times. Don’t give in to the temptation to hold a grudge. Let it go.

Note that forgiving someone does not equate to giving up your boundaries (which are very important) or even admitting that the offending party is right. You should choose to let go for your own peace of mind.

4. Successful people track progress. Unsuccessful people just criticize.

Some kinds of criticism, such as constructive criticism, are good for personal and professional development. The kind of criticism I’m talking about is the pessimistic, nagging, unhelpful variety. This is the kind of criticism in play when you are unfairly harsh to yourself or others.

Toss unfounded criticisms aside and consider tracking your “wins” or your progresses, no matter how small. Take mental notes or keep a progress journal.

If you have a solid sense of what you have achieved, you will be less tempted to be hard on yourself.

5. Successful people share information, data and ideas. Unsuccessful people hoard.

If you have useful information or generate brilliant ideas on the regular, your first instinct may be to keep it all to yourself for personal gain and solo recognition.

Instead of hoarding bright ideas, share them with your team. Your talents will be on display for the team, and the team will be able to support you and make your ideas a reality.

6. Successful people are humble. Unsuccessful people talk more than they listen.

Humility is key. The ability to listen to other people, really listen and understand, is essential to success in both work and relationships — and to listen you have to be humble.

Everyone has experienced the frustration of being in a one-sided conversation. When someone approaches you with a question or concern, put your own world aside for just a moment and give them the kindness of your full attention.

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7. Successful people take risks. Unsuccessful people take the easy way out.

The next time your heart is racing and you want to walk away, consider embracing the risk. You never know what might happen if you take a chance.

Embracing risks looks like accepting the speaking engagement even though it seems a little scary. Success takes the courageous route, not the easy route.

8. Successful people learn, improve and read every day. Unsuccessful people stop learning.

Instead of binge-watching a show tonight, save an hour before bed to read a book and expand your mind.

Unsuccessful people are afraid to be flexible – they don’t challenge themselves to learn new things. Avoid this pitfall by exposing yourself to new thoughts and ideas every day.

9. Successful people handle problems well. Unsuccessful people act before they think.

The next time you run into a problem or even an emergency, try to work through your initial panic reaction with a few deep breaths.

Instead of acting rashly, think through your next actions as quickly but as logically as you can.

Learning to handle problems thoughtfully is an absolutely essential tool in the successful person’s toolbox (that’s you!).

10. Successful people accept responsibility for their failures. Unsuccessful people blame others.

Along with a previous tip about humility, this is one of the hardest things you’ll ever learn to do – but also the most rewarding. When you’ve failed, you must fight the urge to pass the blame. Successful people are able to fail honestly and gracefully.

And, hey, don’t feel bad about failing. Some of the most successful people in the world have failed too many times to count. It’s all a part of the process.

You can check out this article for more tips on how to fail well:

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How Failure Helps You To Succeed and Grow

11. Successful people work with passion and commitment. Unsuccessful people have a sense of entitlement.

A short and sweet lesson for you:

You should never expect to achieve the things you want without working hard.

Follow your passion and stay committed to pursuing it. Work hard and stick to your habits every day. You’ll earn your reward.

12. Successful people spend time with the right people. Unsuccessful people think they already know it all.

A lot of people miss out on useful relationships and information sharing because they think they can do it all alone.

Spend time with people who inspire you, spur you to be a better person, and remind you that you can’t go it alone.

13. Successful people make to-do lists and maintain proper life balance. Unsuccessful people waste their time.

Ah, time management. Unsuccessful people never master the art of organization and planning.

Here are a few tips for you when it comes to time management:

  • Make to-do lists. Seriously, this will help you. Make time to do it every morning, evening, or whenever you are able.
  • Keep track of your time. Are you happy with the way you are currently balancing things? What changes can you make?
  • Keep a calendar full of your long-term goals (see next tip).

14. Successful people write down goals and think long term about their burning desires. Unsuccessful people get distracted every day.

Why is it so important to keep a long-term goal calendar? Here’s the deal:

The things you are passionate about today need a backbone.

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Give your passionate ideas sustainability by writing down goals and staying on task instead of succumbing to distraction.

15. Successful people compliment others. Unsuccessful people try to bring others down to their level.

There is no greater confidence than saying “no” to sudden jealous or envious feelings and choosing to sincerely admire someone’s talents instead.

Unsuccessful people live in a world driven by competition, but successful people know that building people up is far more rewarding than bringing them down.

16. Successful people want others to succeed. Unsuccessful people secretly hope they fail.

In the same vein as the point above, this tip is all about good intentions.

Care for the people around you. Encourage them toward their successes. Hoping that others fail will not help you at all.

17. Successful people know their purpose and mission. Unsuccessful people don’t know what they want to be.

The last thing that differentiates successful people from unsuccessful people is one of the most important:

Keep your mission in mind.

Don’t be swayed to and fro by passing emotions and events. Know who you are and pursue your dreams wholeheartedly.

Final thoughts

Above all, stay confident. Truly believe that you can be and are successful. Strive to prove it in your day-to-day habits and activities!

What are you waiting for? Choose one of the habits above and get started today.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Berkeley University of California: How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain

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