3 Ways to Help You Understand Failure Better!
Nobody truly goes out and sets themselves up to fail, furthermore nobody really truly enjoys failing, right??
I remember I heard a phrase years ago that went along the lines of “if you’re not failing, you’re not learning”.
Now for those that follow me closely know that I view failing or failure as an opportunity to learn.
But what I don’t agree with in regards to that phrase or concept is this idea that you should focus on failing from the outset.
That is why when I first heard that phrase I thought it was very misleading and therefore I wanted to put my perspective on it.
So below are three ways to help you better understand failure.
"Failure is not a reason you learn!"
Learning from failures is imperative, however simply failing in order to learn can not be sustained.
You see if you have the mindset of just failing for the sake of learning you will without a doubt fail and the reason is, because that is what you are focusing on.
It is kind of like going to work with the mindset to do the worst possible job just so you can learn from it. Again I don't know any manager or company that would accept that as a good approach to your role.
Or how about a sports person saying I’m going to run onto that sports field or court and let the opposition score so many times just so I can learn how to defend properly.
Can you see how backwards this idea is?
"Failure should be used to enable positive change"
Now one of the right ways to view failure is to help enable you towards positive change.
When we are not learning from our failures, we are instead replacing the learning with self-doubt, and of course self-doubt leads to less confidence, less action, less risk taking and ultimately slowing down your personal growth towards success.
Instead what failure should be doing is enabling you towards positive change.
Think of failing like a speed bump on a road. If you are driving down the road and you don't see a speed bump you are likely to have a massive jolt and jump. Instead of stopping and never driving a car again, you instead slow down, look around, check that your okay and then slowly keep moving. If you then see another speed bump 200M down the road you are then likely to slow down and approach the speed bump in the right manner.
Failure is like a speed bump, you can let it completely stop you from moving forward or let it teach you to slow down when the next one comes, in other words use failures to push through the next speed bump with a positive approach.
"Failure is just another tool for preparation"
The other way to look at failure is to see it as an opportunity to be better prepared.
In other words go out and smash your goals, win new business, complete that tough gym session, or ace that exam! BUT In all those examples you must also be prepared that it will go pear shaped, or won't go according to plan or something will likely get in the way of you achieving your goals or whatever you have set out to achieve.
What failing can do is help you better prepare for those likely scenarios, they may never happen but if you prepare for them, you want be shocked when they do happen, instead you will be better prepared to handle it.
For example the best sports teams always have a game plan, but they will also have a Plan B, C, D and E, up their sleeves.
So to summarise, failing is a part of life, you can't escape when it happens and how often it happens, BUT you don't necessarily lead with wanting to fail. Instead lead with better preparation, learning from previous mistakes and being brave enough to move forward quickly.
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Main Blog Photo by Francisco Gonzalez on Unsplash
Till next time,