Every failure is a step towards success just as every mistake is a step towards the right way of doing things. It’s sad that society does not reward defeat, and you won’t find many failures documented in history books. Society cherishes success and uses success to define a person but success is an outcome of several failures.
The common view is that failure should be avoided and success achieved but unfortunately, failure and success come as a package, you cannot have the other without choosing the other. They coexist together and are on different sides of the same coin. If you live in fear of failure then it will be hard for you to achieve success. Our perception of failure is usually negative because we normally seek perfection and anything short of that will not suffice as it renters our efforts imperfect.
It is not enough to succeed, failure defines our journey to success. Discouraging failure and mistakes impair effective learning. Failure and mistakes are important and pervasive in any person’s development. That is why parents should not protect their children from failure or making mistakes but let them make as many mistakes as they can and experience failure so that they grow. Encourage them to keep a journal of what they learned from each mistake they made. Failure should not be viewed as a shortcoming.
I am privileged to be a crafter. As a crafter, every mistake I make produces something unexpectedly beautiful and I always say that in crafting there are no mistakes but just different ideas. The only real mistakes we make are the ones we never learn anything from.
Failure doesn’t mean the end of the road but that you are supposed to take another turn. It’s almost impossible to find a story of success that doesn’t have a trail of mistakes behind it. Nearly everyone experiences failure at some point in their life.
As the year begins my advice to you is that make as many mistakes as you can this year and fail as many times as you need to.
Because making mistakes and failing;
1. Means you are trying something that you have never done before
As Albert Einstein said, “if you have never made a mistake, you have never tried anything new.”
2. Means you will learn what not to do
Although it normally sends huge bills, failure is life’s greatest teacher.
While discussing inventions, Thomas Edison’s associate, Walter S. Mallory, once said to him “Isn’t it a shame that with the tremendous amount of work you have done you haven’t been able to get any results?”
Edison responded, with a smile, “Results! Why, man, I have gotten a lot of results! I know several thousand things that won’t work.”
People see success as a positive and failure as a negative. Edison’s quote shows that failure isn’t a bad thing. You can learn, grow and evolve from your past mistakes
3. Means you have a high chance of figuring out how to do it
Failure will help you reach your full potential. The virtue of failure lies in its ability to enlarge our range of experience, and thereby increase the chance of discovery. The bigger opportunities for learning lie on the far side of failure, where we may not want to tread.
4. You will learn valuable life lessons
Valuable life lessons are learned from failure and mistakes. The sweetest victory is the one that was the most difficult to achieve, One that was coupled with a lot of failures and you had to use those failures and mistakes as your stepping stones to reach your success.
5. Failures and mistakes help you build resilience and character
It gives you insights about your work, yourself, and others, enrich your experiences, tests your emotional intelligence, and adds to your knowledge and skills. It eases you into a fearless mindset and you go to the battlefield with everything you have got and be willing to leave everything out there without knowing whether you will make it or not.
How to embrace failure or Mistakes
1. Stop and reflect
If you don’t shed light on your mistakes you are bound to repeat them. In life things go wrong every day, mistakes are made every day, and we meet failure at every corner of our success. Once something goes wrong, the first step is to stop and reflect on what has gone wrong and how exactly you feel about it. You may feel anxiety, anger, frustration, guilt, and shame among other things, process all these emotions.
Failure often shrinks our egos and leads to self-doubt. Do not try to justify or avoid reflecting on the mistake or block your feelings. Stop and ponder on it, for every good idea, there are hundred bad ones. After stopping and taking time to reflect you will realize that most of your ideas are not as good as you initially thought. Your part is in the decision that you made but remember the outcome was influenced by a lot of other random factors you had no control over and this will always be the case in any decision you are going to make.
2. Think deeply about how to make a change
After reflecting on what went wrong, think deeply about what could have been done differently to get a different result. Try and also come up with other better ways of doing things. Just because you have failed does not mean it’s the end of the road. There is never one way to do anything, there are so many ways but obviously, not all of them will lead you to your desired destination, and some will be learning curves. Sometimes after failing, you have to make slight changes, sometimes you have to make drastic changes. Even as you decide on the change, you need to realize that not every idea that pops up in your mind is going to succeed. Acknowledge your limits and take note of areas that need improvement. Maybe you need more knowledge or to get training before you take action again.
3. Implement the change
It’s now time to implement the change. Do not be caught up in your way of doing things to the extent that you avoid change. Also, do not let the fear of failure hold you back from implementing change. Even if the change means starting all over, do it! Do not succumb to fear of failure.
Failure doesn’t stop people. It’s how people handle failure that stops them. Take failure head-on and learn from your mistakes. Failure and mistakes are great doors that lead to self-discovery. Failure is how you get better. If you want to make it in life, fail early, fail fast, and fail often. Allow yourself to venture into the unknown, for any great discovery, you need to stick your neck out a mile away every day.
If you want to succeed then you have to operate inside your strength zone but outside your comfort zone. Although you might fail incredibly, you might also succeed incredibly.
Consider failure and mistakes as the starting line, the process, a sign of innovation, and the path to success.
I would love to hear from you on how you handle mistakes so please, leave a comment for me below, and if you found this useful kindly subscribe to the site and share it with others.
If you need to speak to a professional counsellor, don’t forget to get in touch with Psyche and Beyond.
Whatsapp: +2761 853 0124
You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, and Tiktok for more mental health tips.