Learning what to do when you feel like a failure is one of the most important lessons to learn as an adult. We’re here to help.
There’s one thing that most successful people share and that’s the ability to not let their failures completely destroy them or derail them from completing their goals. Failing hurts and sometimes getting back on track after a colossal failure is one of the hardest things to do. If you look at failure as a learning experience, a chance to grow, and a way to evolve, then you’re able to take something negative and turn it into a positive. We asked some experts about their take on failure. Their words can give you a new perspective on the benefits of failing and make it less defeating and scary.
It may not be obvious, but failure is a gift.
When you think things aren’t going well for you, you get the chance to look at things from a different perspective, grow as a human, expand your life-experience, and refine your insight of how you want your life to be or how you don’t want it to be, says mindfulness and happiness coach, Jacqueline Pirtle.
“Acknowledging your failure—or rather gift in disguise—then accepting, respecting, appreciating, thanking, and loving it, and even becoming friends with it, opens you up to living your life in new ways, ways that you did not even know are there before you failed.”
It may not be obvious, but if you look carefully, you can find the lesson in your failure.
Joy Passey, The Rebel Business Coach thinks that every person should look at their life like it’s a scavenger hunt or a game of Hot and Cold. “You know the game when you get close to what you are looking for, someone will say, getting hotter. And if you go away from the item, they will say, you are getting colder. Like the scavenger hunt, believe that the answer (the treasure you want) is already available to you, waiting for you to find it. It’s up to people to figure out the clues [the failures and mistakes you make] and make the moves to find the treasure.”
Every successful person has failed many times.
Failure can be a powerful force and it’s good for us to fail if we don’t let it destroy what we’re striving to create.
“I fail more than most. Why? Because I DO more than most. I take more chances. I’m out there giving it my all and putting it all on the line. In taking more risks, I do fail more than most. But I also succeed more than most too,” says Sarah Titus, President/CEO of Sarah Titus, LLC. “Failing helps us succeed and those that are truly, very successful know this. We know that failing is part of the journey, something we must do in order to succeed!”
For some people, failure happening on a regular basis is part of their success.
Failure doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and you need to be aware of the reasons that you failed and creative enough to learn from them.
“Failure is only valuable if you pay attention to the reasons you failed and learn from them. It’s discouraging but necessary to take a look at what isn’t working and think of the alternatives” says Adam Cole, author of Motherless Child. “The failure itself provides a powerful opportunity to get a broader view of your efforts than you’d ever get from succeeding at them.”
Failure is as positive or negative as you believe it to be.
Many people look at failure as a bad thing, but if you never fail at something, then it means that you didn’t push yourself far enough. It is through failure that we learn to soar, says V. Lynn Whitfield of VLW Enterprise, Inc.
“I’d like to propose the thought that there really is no such thing as failure. Failure implies a lack of success or defeat,” says Whitfield. “[When you failed,] you in turn received one of four blessings. You either learned, were redirected, had the opportunity to reflect, were set up for something bigger and better, or a combination of the four.”
Embracing your failures is healthier than pretending they never happened.
It’s not easy admitting to ourselves and others that we messed up or that we made a huge error in judgment but being truthful about it helps us to learn from our mistakes.
“I embrace my failures, in fact, I welcome it, “says Jacob Kountz, a Marriage and Family Therapist Trainee. “No, I am not saying that I wish to fail at my first try, but more often than not this experience does happen, so why not take advantage of the given data.”
If we succeed without failure, we miss something bigger and better happening.
It’s difficult to succeed if you don’t fail from time to time, so rather than fighting it—acknowledge it—and see what you can learn from the experience. Look at the endgame and understand how a failure isn’t a step backward, but a step in the right direction—even if it’s not immediately clear.
You going to fail from time to time, that’s a given, but failing is only a part of your journey. The more you practice, the more you’ll be able to turn failure into a skill that helps instead of hurts you, and you’ll see that you’re worthy of success.