If you asked yourself whether in order to succeed you’d be willing to fail many times, would you take the risk? Nine times out of 10 you’d get a reply with a resounding no! Avoidance of failure is a very human condition and settling for second best seems most preferable to risking it all and looking bad.
Yet as children, the thought of failure doesn’t even come into it. Children naturally will just go for it without a second thought. Why is that do you think?
As you grow, failure is everywhere. You are taught to not fail at school tests, to always be the best and anything else is just not good enough. You’ll get into trouble with your parents for doing things wrong, or laughed at by class mates for being different. You simply cannot win! Yet failure is vital for success. Failure makes what you want to achieve worth doing and doing well. So with that in mind, I’ve come up with a few reasons why this is so, and some tips on how to succeed through failure.
1. It will provide you with a lesson to learn from
When something’s not gone quite as well as you had hoped, or indeed failed completely, there is always a message within that failure. Recognizing that failure is a lesson in life will keep you in good spirits each time it happens. It provides you with a chance to reflect back on what happened, what you would change for next time and what to not do again. Remembering that failure is an asset to your success is vital; it’s your greatest teacher and will make you far more grateful for your success when it arrives.
2. It’s a test of how committed you are
Failure can be hard to bear, it can make you feel like quitting and put doubts in your mind that weren’t there in the first place. However, if you look at failure as your ally and use it to push yourself even further forward than you were yesterday, it will make you realize how really committed you are to your goals. Failure teaches you to either give up or keep going, and will help you decide if you really want it enough.
3. Failure builds and refines your character
When life throws you a curveball, it tests your resilience and strength of character. Knowing that whatever happens you can pick yourself up and dust yourself down, builds confidence and a good attitude. No matter how hard things get, you know you can get through it. The knowledge that you are stronger than you were before is not only gratifying, but also makes you 10 times more attractive to those around you.
4. It gets you trying new things
Instead of always doing what you’ve always done, which then makes sure you get what you’ve always got, failure will force you to try new things. The lessons learned from failure will be valuable, they will help you to work out what didn’t work before, what might work next, and in turn will get you to step out of your comfort zone. Staying stuck won’t be an option. If success is important to you, you’ll not want to fail again, so trying something new will be your only option.
5. It gives you room for growth
Failure teaches you that not everything happens when you want it to. However, it also teaches you that sometimes a change in direction or attitude is all that is needed to make something a success. Failure is important to your own growth because it makes you more aware of yourself, your choices and your actions. It also helps to question your belief system and values, making you realize you don’t always have to know the answers. Questioning more provides growth and change.
6. It increases self-awareness
Much the same as with growth, being self-aware helps you to understand your decisions and choices in life and your own reaction to them. When something doesn’t go to plan, you might have reacted in a negative way or perhaps felt angry about it. Failure will help you to look back on how you deal with it, making you realize, perhaps, that your own actions have contributed in some way to the failure. This makes you more accountable and responsible for your own life, and this is only ever a good thing!
7. Failure helps you to seek out new relationships
When failure happens, whether it be in a personal or professional capacity, you will tend to seek out others for advice and guidance. This is a powerful way to establish new relationships, as they can help to nurture and complement you on your journey towards success. Also, knowing that you have someone or some people to discuss future strategies or failures with will help in the long term.
8. It reconnects you to your priorities
When you fail, it stops you in your tracks and helps you to question the reasoning behind your previous actions. It will help you to work out your priorities and what is most important to you. Your priorities are what makes you do what you do, and most importantly, are the reasons why you do them. Failure helps you to regain focus, take a step back and re-establish your roots.
9. It makes you realize you are not superhuman
Life has a habit of giving you stuff to get you thinking again, to knock you off track a little to make you realize you are not superhuman after all. Sometimes you have to take a few knocks to make you humble, and to recognize your perceived failures are really just chances to look at yourself again. It’s there to test you, to give you that sense that there is still so much more you can give and to help you to believe in yourself again. After all, success only comes to those who fail, and if not, it wasn’t worth it anyway!
Featured photo credit: Flickr/DennisChow.com via flickr.com