Most of us have been conditioned at a young age to believe that failure is something to fear. It has become such a terrifying idea to us that we end up losing sleep over it.
Our mental and emotional energy gets drained from thinking about the different ways that our lives could be ruined if things don’t go according to plan.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that’s any way to live. Yet we’re all guilty of feeling like this from time to time. Failure is inevitable, and it happens to the best of us. The real question is: how do we change our views about failure so we can grow from it?
The answer lies in our perception.
The moment we look at failure from a different angle, we also begin to see the different ways that failure can serve us in reaching our goals. And that’s what I’d like to talk about in this blog post.
All The Greats Have Failed Before
“The biggest failure is failing to realize that all great things are achieved by learning to be okay with repeated failure.”
Have you ever come across a story that said, “this person reached the peak of their success without experiencing any kind of failure”? Neither have I.
When we think of larger-than-life personalities like Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, and Steven Spielberg, we focus on their accomplishments and where they are now. Yet we also know they went through struggles and failures—in fact, a lot more than ordinary people like you and I do. Of course, other factors helped them succeed, but one quality stood out the most. And that was their ability to move forward and get better with each failure.
Below, I want to share four reasons why failure can actually be a blessing in disguise:
1. We learn faster when we fail.
This is an insight that many successful people share. We learn a lot from failure, but from success, not so much. Every time things don’t go as planned, we have a chance to reassess our belief system, question our approach, and check the tools we were using if maybe we missed something important.
Or maybe the problem is that we’re not surrounding ourselves with like-minded people. Perhaps we took bad advice from someone. That’s okay, it already happened, but at least we can move forward wiser and more informed.
2. Failure makes us stronger.
The first major failure we experience can have a devastating effect on us, and it can take months, or even years, to overcome it.
But despite it all, we do eventually find the strength to get back up and realize that we aren’t defined by that one event. This courage to rise up doesn’t just make us wiser, but it also develops our ability to bounce back whenever we encounter another setback in the future.
3. Failure boosts creativity.
Another surprising advantage to failure is that it can help us come up with new solutions and ideas. Hardships force us to become innovative, and experts would agree that there can be no innovation without failure.
This is because creativity is a journey that involves making choices that can either go wrong or right. And that’s just how life works. Failure isn’t just a part of creative living; it’s an essential ingredient of life itself.
4. We learn to appreciate success more.
There are many great examples of how struggles and failures can make us more grateful.
For instance, getting a promotion feels more rewarding when we know we kept trying to do our best at our jobs even when we made mistakes or experienced painful setbacks. Or finally hearing that we passed the board exam after failing it the first two times.
It’s always more satisfying to reach a destination when you know the journey was long and hard. Yes, it may have taken you more time than you planned, but you can be sure that the success will taste that much sweeter too.
Keep Moving Forward
If we can learn to see the fun and opportunity of every challenge we face, I’m sure we wouldn’t be so afraid of failure anymore.
The genius, Albert Einstein, made a great point when he said that life is like riding a bicycle. To keep our balance, we must keep moving. As kids, we didn’t give up after we fell a few times and scraped our knees learning to ride the bicycle. We kept trying and adapting, finding different ways to get ourselves moving and falling less.
So whatever you’re going through in life right now, just remember that it’s a bicycle ride. We will all fall once in a while. What’s important is that we get back on, enjoy the journey, and keep our focus on the destination.