In today’s article, we’ll be examining the lessons and importance of failure.
Failure! Something that we all fear. Somehow, we are always scared of receiving “NO” or failing to do something we really wanted. Our fear stops us from seeing the true essence of failure, and what we can learn from it.
Most people, who are in their older age, whom I’ve had the privilege of meeting and interviewing, often share that one of their biggest regrets or disappointments involves not being able to do something they really wanted. Or failing at it, even though they tried. For some, recovering from failure is extremely hard. And it can often lead people to depressive feelings.
“Everyone faces defeat. It may be a stepping stone or a stumbling block, depending on the mental attitude with which it is faced.” — Napoleon Hill
Personally, as a young budding entrepreneur, I can relate to all these feelings. Failing at things that I was very passionate about always scared me way too much at some point. Sometimes, I would even avoid actually trying. The fear of failing was bigger than my fear of never trying. It is almost as if you are keeping the faith alive. As long as you don’t try, you won’t know that you suck at it, right?
Well, wrong! Failure is an indispensable part of the success that we all have to embrace and deal with. Although we are scared of it, and will probably stay fearing it, we must endure it; and it can’t be a factor strong enough to stop us from trying. Though it is a certitude that we all must deal with someday, one has to get to grips with the fact that failure is an inevitable part of the creative process. As Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb said: “Of the 200 light bulbs that didn’t work, every failure told me something that I was able to incorporate into the next attempt.”
1. Failure is the best teacher
Failure is something difficult to deal with. But there isn’t just a simple thing we can do to avoid it. Unless we never try something new, we will have to eventually deal with it.
For us, the best option is to try and learn how to overcome it, and improve ourselves when facing these circumstances. If you’re going through failure right now, I cannot stress it hard enough — “Don’t give up.” It doesn’t matter whether this is your first or hundredth failure. What matters is that you just keep going. This way we can become stronger. We must then learn not to avoid it, but to learn the importance of failure.
There are a lot of controversies about the differences between someone that had things the easy way and someone that had to work for it. You might think, “this does not have anything to do with failure” Well, someone who got their opportunities handed to them doesn’t know what this is. They don’t know what it feels to try something and receive a no, or simply fail.
Although most of us can agree that we could enjoy having it easy here and there. There is no denying that you can actually become much more resilient and stronger by actually working hard. By actually trying and going after what you want. Failing and simply getting right back up to try again. Now, with a new perspective, since you already tried once. A person that had the chance to try and try all over again, will become an individual with much more baggage. Someone that can appreciate and learn from their mistakes. Better yet, we learn how to deal with it.
2. A chance of improvement
“When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.” — Napoleon Hill
When you fail, it’s for a reason. Because you didn’t plan things right. Or because of bad timing. Regardless of the reason, failing means that a step went wrong. And most of the time, we have the capability of knowing exactly what happened. The importance of failure is exactly this, learning what doesn’t work. This allows us to change, improve ourselves, and try again more prepared, improving our chances of success.
As a matter of fact, most successful people have failed multiple times before. This allowed them to compile all the information and knowledge they had and use it to create a better plan. This makes you wonder if failing is really a bad thing. Especially in a long-term line of thought. Often people who ironically fail to experience failure are very naive, unprepared.
They tend to crash when things don’t go their way because they are not used to this experience. I guess the lesson is that you shouldn’t seek failure, but seek to learn from it when it happens.
3. Valuing your achievements
Failure teaches you to value your achievements. When you have a life full of easy paths, we don’t appreciate the importance of dedicating ourselves in order to achieve our goals.
It seems to be as if failing is a consequence of trying. And if you never failed, it is because you never took a risk. Let’s then go back to the “having things easy or working hard for it” debate. We could agree on a consensus that when we fail multiple times and eventually find our way to success, we appreciate it much more. This is probably the best way to describe the importance of failure. We know how hard it was to finally get there, so we understand the importance, and the value of our achievements. We become more grateful.
We often display similar behaviour in other aspects of our lives as well. When we earn money ourselves versus when we happen to find lost money. That sensation that we “received” something instead of “earned” it might make us appreciate it less. And eventually, become careless about it.
4. The opportunity to live
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” — Napoleon Hill
Failing is often a consequence of trying something different. Taking risks. If you have never failed, there is a high chance that you never truly tried something unique, against the norm. We often need to get out of our comfort zone in order to grow and improve ourselves, learn. If you are always trying to take an easy path and free yourself from failure, there is a chance you are never truly doing what you want.
“There will always be times of trials and times of triumphs; learn from your trials so that you can use what you learnt to manage your times of triumphs…”
This is because we can fail in almost every single thing. It is what happens when you try when you take that one step. By following basically just what it is expected of you, you don’t really get the chance to do anything better. If you are often doing the basic, you will never accomplish anything greater. And with every big step, the chance of failure will be there.
More important than to fear failure, one must try to learn to cherish it. Use it as a learning opportunity to improve, instead of an excuse to give up. Apart from this always remember that the past failures are stepping stones for future success.
From my own personal romance with a series of failures and subsequent success in some entrepreneurial endeavours, plus having worked in the catering industry for the most part of my life, I can conclusively arrive at a conclusion which brings me to the last most important point.
5. Success tastes better when seasoned with failure
As salt is an essential flavor in cooking, so is failure an essential recipe for success. Failure makes success a little sweeter and we kind of appreciate victory more, when we’ve tasted defeat prior. There’s a special kind of high you feel when you eventually win after a dreadful failure. Believe it or not, it is possible to taste success after failing.
Naturally, human beings like success, but we fail to achieve it in most cases because we are such in a hurry that we cannot stand the stress of an ounce of failure, and eventually give up trying when faced with the slightest obstacle.
Read Also: Embracing the negatives – What they can teach us and how to overcome them
Final thoughts on the importance of Failure
Failure is an opportunity to improve and grow from. No matter what you may have experienced, you are still worthy of achieving your dreams and goals. Fail as many times as it would take you to find out what works because, in the end, all that matters is that you’ve figured out how to make the engine run.
Sometimes, not getting what you hoped for is a blessing in disguise. As a matter of fact, failure can be at times actually beneficial. Don’t see failures as problems, see them as lessons. Considering failure is something we will all have to face eventually, better to master how to come back up instead of just crashing later on.
And remember that, THERE’S VALUE IN FAILURE!
Watch this Youtube video explaining more about the value in failure
What part of this article resonated most with you and why? What have you learned from failure? How has failing shaped your journey? Share your ideas, tips, thoughts and experience below in the comments.
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