“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
― Winston Churchill
We’ve all been through failure at certain points in our lives and I’m pretty sure I share the same opinion with almost everyone that failing at something can really be painful. This is the very reason why people develop fear of failure because we don’t want to experience going through the same amount of pain failure has brought upon us.
It is all but natural to feel upset or disappointed especially if you’ve invested time and effort toward something only to see it fail in the end but what most of us fail to do is to move on from the setback and start over.
The negative person, after going through failure, dwells on the negative feelings of regret and resentment and at some point, try to put the blame on someone for their shortcoming. The positive person, in the meantime, moves on from the difficulty, picks himself up, and starts all over again and he will do the same for each and every failure he encounters until he succeeds in what it is that he is looking to accomplish.
Failure is not a bad thing. I used to think it was but if you look at the big picture, sometimes we need to go through failure for us to truly appreciate the joy of success.
According to Truman Capote, failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor. Failure is a part of success whether we like it or not and the best way to deal with it is not to avoid it, but to accept it. We need to embrace failure to truly understand the benefits it brings and here are some of them:
Failure facilitates growth
Failing at something makes us realize that we do not know everything yet even if we thought we already did. Just when you thought you had it all figured out, failure comes to ruin the party. Seeing failure from this point of view helps us come to the realization that there’s still a lot to learn and that there’s still room for improvement.
Knowing that there’s room for growth encourages us to feed our hunger for knowledge by educating ourselves so we can correct whatever mistakes we’ve done in the past that hindered us from reaching success. Call it trial and error but the road to success requires us to become resourceful and to keep trying every time we experience failure.
J.K. Rowling, one of UK’s best-selling authors and creator of the Harry Potter novels had to experience not one, but multiple failures before she could finish the first Harry Potter novel which, as we all know by now, became a big hit and spawned a series of box office movies that made her one of UK’s most successful and influential people.
Rowling came up with the idea for Harry Potter while on a four-hour delayed trip from Manchester to London. In the process of writing the novel, she went through several heart-breaking setbacks which includes the death of her mother, divorce from her first husband and going through poverty as a single mom. She considered herself a failure and was diagnosed with clinical depression and even contemplated committing suicide at one point.
Not everyone can survive the ordeal she went through but she used these misfortunes as inspiration to write what could be considered one of our generation’s best novels ever written.
Failure sparks our creativity
Remember the last time you tried to elude traffic by going through the different alternative routes you could possibly know? It felt really good when one of those routes lead you to freedom didn’t it?
Failure helps spark our creativity which makes us come up with other possible means of getting around failure. It makes us experiment, through trial-and-error, how we can avoid committing the same mistakes from happening again.
Failure increases self-awareness
By failing at something, we are able to assess what we can and cannot do. We are able to determine what our strengths and weaknesses are and use these as tools for success.
If you’ve gone through a failed relationship, more or less, you will get an idea on what your shortcomings were that lead to this failure. Maybe you’re too clingy, or you may be short on patience or maybe your jealousy is too much. Knowing these things about yourself will help you avoid the previous mistakes you had in your next relationship.
Failure keeps us grounded
When we know something better than others do, arrogance can get the best of us so much so that we refuse to entertain other people’s ideas and think highly of ourselves. Failure can give us that rude awakening by making this arrogance blow right in our faces. Failing at something you thought you knew by heart and without question humbles us. It makes you realize that you too, are also human and vulnerable to mistakes.
Failure increases our tenacity
The biggest mistake one can make is to quit. In fact, quitting itself can be considered our biggest failure. Repeated failure should make us tough and strong enough to withstand the succeeding failures that are coming our way. Just because you failed doesn’t mean success is impossible even if you failed more than a hundred times.
One of my favorite writers of all time, the great Stephen King, in his memoir, On Writing, said he got rejected dozens of times for his novel Carrie that at one point, he threw the manuscript in the trash can. Thanks to his wife Tabby who found the crumpled papers in the trash and gave it back to him and told him: “you’ve got something here…”
Carrie went on to sell more than a million copies to this day and was made into a feature film in 1976. A remake of the said movie was also released in 2013.
Failure can be your worst enemy but at the same time, it can also be your friend. Your attitude towards it will determine which one it will be. Somewhere inside every failure hides an opportunity for growth and success that can only be unlocked by having the right attitude and positive thinking.
Over to You
What good have you gained from failure?
I would love to hear from you and I will very much appreciate you leaving a comment below.
SUBSCRIBE TO THE BLOG and be part of a growing community!