Failure: I struggle to even use the word at all here because of what it typically implies. Yet I tend to think that anything deemed as a failure is actually something that helps us grow, and has the potential to be incredibly positive.
In personal development circles, the question that often gets asked is “what would you do if you knew you could not fail?” Or some derivative of that question. How great would life be, if you feel you can only succeed, win and learn? What kind of dreams would you follow, when you would really feel you can’t fail, but you can only succeed, win or learn?
One of the central points I want to make today, is that failure is not necessarily so, it does not always have to be a fact. It’s just a way to look at something that happened, that hadn’t worked out exactly the way you wanted it to. In these kinds of situations, you can really train your mindset by changing the words ‘I’ve failed’ to ‘I’ve learned’. You can’t control everything that will happen in your life, but it’s good to remember that it’s always your choice how you look at it and ultimately how you respond to it.
If you say ‘I’ve failed’ it sometimes implies an ending to a story. But life is a journey. As long as you learn, you’re growing. If you train your brain to see everything as succeeding in some way, as developing, as necessary and as learning, you’re ready to really follow your dreams. What’s more if you have that attitude installed before you embark on your goals, the journey is one of pure development and not one crippled by fear of failure.
The most surprising thing is many people just keep within their comfort zone. The magic happens outside of your comfort zone. If you see everything just as a challenge which you can win and/or learn from, you’re ready to get out of your comfort zone and pick up new challenges every day. Read these articles to really learn why and how to step out of your comfort zone:
“I failed my way to success,” Thomas Edison once said. He could have said that he “worked his way” to success and/or “obtained knowledge” on his path to success. Why didn’t he? Because working hard and obtaining knowledge comes part and parcel with failure. How can you work hard yet never stumble? How can you obtain knowledge yet never fail to optimize it? You just cannot. One’s mindset towards failure should be that each failure is simply getting us closer to the success we are after.
To be an effective leader, you must embrace failure as inevitable while and make meaning of your circumstances in a way that will benefit you and those around you. Effective leaders and pioneers embrace failures as opportunities. They imagine the problems they would prefer to have and understand that in the solutions lie the real products of success.
Charles Barkley once said that “If you are afraid of failure you don’t deserve to be successful!” And I think he was right. You can’t become a successful person unless you go through a set of failures. Why is that? Well, there are many reasons why failure can lead to great success! Here are some to bear in mind:
1. Failure builds character:
There is a lesson to be learned from everything, including failure. Perhaps the greatest benefit earned from failure is strength. Think about it: if life were perfect and every endeavor ended in seamless success, what sort of person would you be? The truth is this – failure teaches us more about ourselves and builds character better than success ever could.
2. Failure is a great teacher:
If you are successful right from the start, you miss the opportunity to learn deeply. You may end up with the wisdom and the depth and breadth of experience missing. Unfortunately, this won’t help you learn a lot in the long run. You could have gone on to much, much greater success. Failure, on the other hand, is a great teacher. It let’s you know that you are not always right and thanks to it, you will be able to reach your true potential! It keeps you humble and makes you wise and your success is ultimately much more rewarding.
3. Failure opens up the door to new possibilities:
Henry Ford once said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” If you fail, you can always build up what failed but make it a success using your lessons from failure. Once you do this, you can create new possibilities and take your ideas to new heights. If you reflect intelligently and learn from what you did, you broaden horizons, and open up many new possibilities.
4. Failure makes you more courageous:
When you fail, it can make you more resilient. You learn how to roll with the punches, you build your wisdom with all the lessons you learned from your failure. It can be a great experience for you, and the value will be fantastic due to that reason alone. You also get to be stronger, and you learn how to deal with failure. This helps create a better character, and it toughens you up in the way towards success. Many people do not even attempt to reach their goals due to fear of failure, yet having experienced some failure, you get to become braver, more resilient and tackle your dreams with vigour.
5. Failure gives you a new way to think:
Once you fail, you know that there are probably other, better ways to think. You get to be more open minded, and in the end, the results can be worth it. You also get to learn some coping skills, and these will provide you with a much better way to handle stressful situations. It’s not easy to go through a failure, but the benefits you get from it can be very well worth it. You seek out viable alternatives, and you get to be more and more creative in finding solutions. Read these articles to advance your creativity:
a) Creativity: 8 Brilliant Ways to Increase Yours.
b) Be More Creative and Enhance Your Creativity With Self-hypnosis.
6. You build perseverance:
Perseverance is key, but you won’t get it until you fail. Yes, failure teaches you perseverance, and it shows you that you should never give up until you reach your goals. According to recent research by Wadhwa and Kim (2015), published in the journal Psychological Science, nearly winning can make you more motivated to seek another, unrelated reward. It can be a long winded road at times, but it can also be very rewarding. Learn more about being persistent and having persistence here:
7. You experiment more:
Without failing, you may believe that there’s only a single path to success. However, once you fail, you get to develop a new perspective on things. And since you take everything from scratch, you will find it kind of interesting to experiment and try out new stuff and explore alternatives. You get to experiment. Steve Jobs once said: “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” So explore and don’t let anything, especially failure, stop you.
Success is best and strongest when built by the person that repeatedly put themselves in the position where their efforts will have IMPACT and where they will have the chance to succeed and fail. Learning from the experiences and from those times that things did not go the way you planned is what prepares you to be a champion and a strong success at what you do. Go forth and fail!
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