No matter how clever, intelligent or smart you are, at some point, you may have failed at something or have been unable to accomplish what you set out to do.
Failure can be a positive thing, depending on how you view it. Your perception of the meaning of success matters as this will affect how you manage success and failure.
For me, success is not mainly about the outcome. I measure success by projects, events, activities, and situations that have brought out the best in me. It’s what I become in the process that blows my mind, and to me, that is a success – i.e., growth.
I also believe that no matter how far you may have come in life, there’s always a place called ‘Forward.’ I have failed at things in the past – exams, business, tests, etc. Yes, it was disappointing, but what’s helped me was to look beyond the disappointment and be encouraged that it may be a delay but not a denial. I have learned some lessons along the way, and below are 6 things that you too can learn from failure to help you succeed.
Failure is giving up on trying again. It is not the absence of success. Embedded within failure is the potential for success if you don’t give up. Giving up, giving in, and giving out should not be an option to consider when you fail. As quoted by Napoleon Hill in one of his books – “A quitter never wins, and a winner never quits.” Failure should teach you to keep pushing through and persevere.
Failing teaches you that there is still more to be done to achieve your goals. I read some time ago that “Challenges come not to obstruct but to instruct.” There is always the potential for more if you are determined; failure helps bring out the untapped resources hidden within you. In recent years, a pitch I submitted for an article was turned down for publication. I took on board the feedback, and the same article with some adjustments became my first book. If I had taken it badly, I would have denied myself that opportunity of releasing a book, which has been of benefit to many.
We are surrounded by unlimited possibilities. The fact that you failed at something does not make you a failure. It means you need to see things with fresh eyes and bring out the new ways or things not previously seen. When you go over and work through what you have failed at, it stretches you beyond the current state you are in, and it creates further learning, growth, and creativity. We read that Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb, made 10000 unsuccessful attempts. He was quoted as saying, “I have not failed; I have just found 10,000 ways it won’t work.”
Also Read: Five Morning Habits of Successful People
Failure can teach you to keep moving forward. Your last accomplishment or success can prevent you from making progress if you think that’s all there is. If you settle for what you have, where you are, and for what you have already achieved, then you have made success your enemy. The enemy of the best is usually good. To make progress and win, you must remain in the race.
There is no gain without pain, and you grow through what you go through. If you want something really badly, it is more likely to cost you something – your sleep, time spent on something else, money, energy, and effort. Sometimes all it takes it’s just a little more effort or sacrifice. You will value it more and be grateful for it always.
You can only move to the next level or succeed when you are ready for it. There are pre-requisites for success, and if you don’t follow the appropriate process or procedure to achieve the right results, it will elude you.
No one really sets out to fail, and failure can actually be good for success because it comes to teaching not to torment. Sometimes we win, and sometimes we learn! There is a lot to learn from failure if you allow it to teach you.