A determined soul will do more with a rusty monkey wrench than a loafer will accomplish with all the tools in a machine shop. -Robert Hughes
Failure always gets a bad rap. Rarely do we see failure being glorified or being shown in a positive light. The dictionary definition of the word itself puts it into a negative bracket. Webster's dictionary defines failure as “non-performance of an assigned or expected action” or “falling short of one's goal”.
Right from a young age, everybody is taught to aim for success and to avoid failure at all costs. As kids, and later even as adults, people fear failure. They are afraid to fail and are equally afraid to admit they have failed. This false notion is hammered into our heads at school, home, and everywhere, which affects everything we do. It steers us to avoid challenges, tough assignments, and experiences outside of our comfort zones.
However, history is replete with examples of some of the biggest failures turned into the most amazing success stories. From Walt Disney, Sir James Dyson to Thomas Edison and Isaac Newton, many of the most successful people have failed exponentially, and have gone through some major disappointments before they got to where they are today.
These great examples stand as a testament to the fact that failure is not to be feared or shunned. Rather, embracing it in the right spirit will only serve as a stepping stone to your next success story. Here are 20 reasons why failure you have been dreading could be the best thing to happen in your life.
There are people who take failure personally and establish it as a permanent situation in their life. Such people tend to give up as soon as they hit the first obstacle in their path. And then there are people who use it as a lesson and see it as only a temporary setback. Feeling low after a setback is only human. But how you respond to it, is what determines your success. Learning to respond in a positive manner will help you develop a positive personality that can help you face future failures too.
Failing builds strength of character more than success does. People avoid failure because it is bad for their ego. But when a person's ego takes charge, they will never learn from their mistakes. If you put your ego aside, you will have a crystal clear view of the situation, and this will help you look at failure with a new perspective. Getting rid of your ego will help you learn, evaluate, and even listen to other people. This is essential in order to succeed.
As Ralph Heath, author of Celebrating Failure: The Power of Taking Risks, Making Mistakes and Thinking Big said, “One of the biggest secrets to success is not operating inside your strength zone, but outside of your comfort zone”. If you want to reach your personal best, you have to push yourself beyond your comfortable limits. Being tested by fire will reveal your true potential. Turning failure into success is being able to accomplish the impossible for which you need to go to the absolute limits. This will maximise your motivation, perseverance, and determination.
As the famous line goes, “what does not kill you makes you stronger”, stands true in case of failure. It takes courage to try again after a bout or several bouts of failure. Facing failure is what gives you the courage, without which you cannot achieve anything great in life. It is hard to keep the same level of enthusiasm once you have failed. But those who are determined to achieve something, will find it hard to live with the fact that they could do it but did not want to try again.
Encountering failure is the best way to build resilience. Resilience is what allows you to bounce back when life pushes you down. Perseverance plays a major part in learning to get back up after a setback. This is what gives you the insatiable drive and the compulsion to create a change from the existing circumstances. Failure helps build resistance which in turn helps you to not limit yourself to what's immediately doable but helps you push beyond.
Tenacity ultimately determines how hard you fight for your dreams. Improvising, overcoming, and adapting regardless of odds is what is required to taste success after failure. And, this trait is developed by facing failures. A tenacious person never has to say “would have”, “could have”, or “should have”, as they have it in them to take risks and explore all possibilities. You will learn not to dwell too long on the failure, but to improvise on your next course of action.
Failure is not the end of the road. Rather, it is a minor deviation. And, sometimes it takes a brutal push like failure to realise your current plan is not working, and it is time to change your route. Being open to these realisations of failure will help you figure your next move, rather than lingering at the doorstep of failure. A fresh start combined with wisdom earned the hard way is just what you might need to get onto the path of success. Thomas Edison very famously said, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
There is nothing like failure to learn humility, because it breaks a person's ego. It brings you to a level where you are able to see the situation for what it is, thus, giving you a better analytical ability of the situation. It also teaches you to listen to people who have gone through failures and emerged victorious, and have gone on to build successful empires. Failure instils humility, which is an essential trait to being better leaders, professionals, and human beings. It also serves as a reminder that past success does not guarantee future success all the time.
If you haven't failed, it is not necessarily a privilege. Rather, you have been deprived of an opportunity to look deeply into your strength and capabilities. Not having tasted failure can make one arrogant and even overconfident of what they are doing, and keeps them cocooned in their comfort zone. But those who have seen and embraced failure are confident of taking many such fearless leaps in the future.
Failure has created some of the most strong, compassionate, and loving people. The oft-celebrated Australian co-founder and co-CEO at Vinomofo, Andre Eikmeier has a perspective on life that comes from having failed over and over again in life. According to him, you can't keep seeking an end point at the expense of your life. Failing brings you to an understanding that not getting things right is not a diversion from your journey, but a part of it.
It is said that facing your monsters is the best way to get rid of the fear. So is the case with failure. It is something everybody dreads, as they are taught to avoid it at all costs. But, if a person has encountered failure once or even more than once, it takes away the fear, and eases them into taking risks. And with each failure, they only get bolder, and enjoy taking more risks. The more risks one learns to take, the more they are positioned for great success.
Learning to embrace failure helps break down all the negativity from your mind. Failure has been largely given a negative connotation in our culture. So, when a person fails, it automatically builds a pile of negative thoughts in their mind, given how they have been conditioned against it from childhood.
This wildly contradicts the popular belief that success is inspirational. However, failure can also be an inspiration if you do not let it define you. Right after a failure, it is only natural to think of yourself as a failure and let it encompass your personality. But, with every failure, you only grow stronger, and learn how to swim above those turbulent waters, rather than let it consume you. Failure can be a great source of motivation for some people, as it propels them to show the world that they can succeed in their mission, in spite of the setbacks.
When a person encounters success after success, they seldom develop the skill to stop and listen to others. They are on a roll and tend to think that since their method is earning them success, they will stick to it, no matter what. They find it difficult to take advice from others, and prefer to sit back and enjoy the ride. But, once a person encounters failure, it serves as an eye-opener that they need to adopt another course of action. It makes them stop and listen to what others have to say, and are more open to what others have to say.
Success lulls you into following the same routine. You rarely see the need for a change as it brings the intended results. But, failing forces you to analyse the situation, and gives you a fresh perspective that you would not have been able to afford with success. In fact, even the fear of failure can make you a better thinker. This will teach how to take risks, and not just any risks, but calculated ones. You learn to examine the worst case scenario and how to take it from there in the event of it happening.
If the fear of failure stops you from trying, you will never know if things could have gone right. What if things had gone your way or what if you had won. If what you can win is much greater than what you can lose, then it is always worth a try. Risking a possibility and losing is better than having missed the opportunity completely. As they say, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
Sure success makes for scintillating stories for your listeners, but failure stories are far better. Your worst experiences can turn into the best stories of your life. Making mistakes only proves that you are human, and also makes you more endearing to the listeners of your story. And, you never know who could be motivated by your stories of failure and how you overcame it.
The sooner you realise that failure is part of the success journey, the easier it will be for you to accept it. It is not something to run away from, but is something that will play a crucial role in determining your success journey. Knowing that even if you try, something is bound to go awry at some point will help your failure serve as a learning tool.
If you failed, it only means you did not do it right the first time. And, you will figure out a way to do it differently and better the second time around. Failures are the most valuable lessons, which help you grow and become stronger. It also helps improve your problem solving skills and come up with better solutions. There is great value in failure, and it is through failure you get to know yourself better. Failures give you the ability to rethink, reconsider, and find new strategies to achieve your goals.
When you have been in the trenches, fallen a hundred times, fought the feeling of humiliation, you will understand the true value of success. When success is hard-earned, it sure tastes sweeter. After fumbling, falling, getting back up again through the dark alleys of failure, the thrill and exhilaration of seeing the light at the end of the long tunnel is unmatchable.
The only difference between those who succeed and those who don't is that successful people never give up. Even while battling failures, always remember that you are ever so close to tasting success, and giving up results in ultimate failure. Failure in life teaches you lessons that nobody else can teach you. Had it not been for failure, the world would have been devoid of some of the greatest personalities like Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Mike Tyson, and many more.
Learning is personal, failure isn't.
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