As a child, the biggest thing that hindered me from expressing my true self…was/is fear of failing. Fear of failing my parent’s and others’ expectations.
My teachers knew I had set the standard high; they expected that I would have all A’s on a test; I was afraid to get anything less, so every time a test grade would be set in front of me, I got a pit in my stomach, I literally I would make myself sick.
Some of the expectations my parents set were probably for my own good… but others also hindered me from true growth; for instance, I was afraid to spread my wings and do what I was meant to do in the world because I was afraid to fail. I was afraid to disappoint my parents. I envy many children nowadays as they are not afraid to express themselves; it was not that way in the 90s growing up.
When you hear over and over certain things are not possible, not realistic, or you are not cut out for that, you begin to believe that. And these things are told to us, not with the intention of harm; it is just taught to us from what they have learned.
Our brains have been programmed to believe what we have been taught from the environment in which we were raised. So if you have been raised by big dreamers and goal-getters, consider yourself blessed and ahead of the rest of us, who have some mindset work ahead of us 🙂
- Walt Disney was turned down 302 times before finally getting financing for his dream of creating Walt Disney World.
- J.K. Rowling’s pitch for ‘Harry Potter’ was rejected 12 times
- Oprah Winfrey was told she was “unfit for TV.”
- Thomas Edison was fired!
- Michael Jordan was cut from a high school basketball team
- Bill Gates started Traf-O-Data, which flopped
- Steve Jobs was fired from his own Company
Failure happens to everyone at some point or another.
Maybe you didn’t get the job you wanted or didn’t complete a course you signed up for. (I like to look at this as a blessing in disguise, but more on that later) Whatever the reason, failure can hurt and leave its mark on us. But every time you fail, you can learn what I call a “Life-Lesson.”
When you learn that failure is ok, you remove limits you set on your life..you and you will reach out for your dreams and goals, no matter how small or big they may seem.
Here are 10 things you can learn from Failing
Reason #1: Failure Is A Learning Experience
When you fail, it can become a powerful learning experience if you let it. Throughout history, there have been successful people who only achieved their success after learning from their failures.
It might be the same for you. There are valuable lessons or takeaways that you can apply to your life as long as you’re willing to peer beyond the surface of what happened or what went wrong.
Failure doesn’t feel good, and it can be upsetting. But let it become a tool you can use rather than a stumbling block.
Reason #2: You’re Ready for the Next Step
Failure can prepare you for the next step. When babies learn to walk, they take a single step and then often fall down, over and over until they learn to walk. They learn from that first step which leads to a next step and another until they’ve mastered walking.
Once you fail the first time, it gives you insight that you can use for the next step. When you learn what doesn’t work, it can open your mind and help you realize why that was the wrong direction.
Reason #3: Failure Means You Took Some Type of Action
Failure doesn’t happen by itself. It’s the direct result of you taking action. This is actually a good thing.
Here’s why: taking action always feels better than sitting on the sidelines and wishing you’d tried.
The easiest way to ensure you have a life filled with regrets is to sit out of the game and not even try. Rather than staying on the sidelines and wishing you’d tried, it’s better to try and fail. You will walk away from that failure, having learned something that you can put to use in your life. And at least you can say you tried 🙂
Reason #4: You Learn More About Yourself
Failure does more than just show you what will work or what won’t work. It teaches you about yourself and who you really are. It does this by revealing elements of your personality that maybe you overlooked or things about yourself that you’ve tried to downplay or shove aside.
For example, you might discover after failed attempts at cooking classes that you hate learning in a structured way and prefer to experiment with your own ingredients and make up your own recipes. This “failure” actually taught you more about your learning style.
Perhaps you discovered that the only reason you took a cooking class, to begin with, was that you were trying to please someone else. You don’t actually enjoy cooking in any form. This can reveal to you that you may be letting others have too much say in what you do with your life.
Reason #5: Failure Makes You Resilient
It might sound counterproductive, but Failing does increase your resilience. The majority of people who fail don’t remain where failure first left them. Instead, they experience failure but turn around and get back up again.
It might take a few days, a week, or even longer, but you don’t have to let failure have the last word. Instead, you can rise again because failure can be a source of motivation that pushes you to keep going.
When you use failure as motivation, it sends a message to yourself that failure isn’t the end of the world. It’s simply something that you encountered, and now you’re moving on.
Reason #6: You Develop Humility
Failure keeps you humble. And being humble is an attractive quality if you ask me 🙂 When you succeed too quickly at a task or goal, it’s easy to become prideful. You might assume that others who are failing didn’t try as hard as you did or that they’re not naturally gifted.
This line of thinking can lead to overconfidence and cause you to believe you have more skills or abilities than you actually do. It can also mean that you have difficulty being able to relate to or communicating with others.
Being humble is a trait that’s beneficial in all areas of life, especially in relationships. Humbleness is a gift from failure and not a detriment.
Reason #7: Failure Shows You New Options
New Options are forged from the experience of failure. When you fail at something, this can help you to re-examine the options that brought you to the place where you are. In the moment of failure, you don’t always have the insight to realize that it can be an opportunity.
But over time, you’ll be able to look at what happened and see a new ending. Maybe you dropped out of college only to discover a career that you love as an artist. Perhaps you failed at a business or relationship endeavor only to discover something that’s better for you. Whatever the failure, trust the universe is using it as a detour to guide you along the perfect path for your life.
Reason #8: You Become Courageous
Failure reveals your courage. Many people don’t think of themselves as being courageous. But taking action—even in the face of assured defeat—is an act of courage. When you’ve tried your best and failed anyway, the process is making you stronger and wiser.
You might be in the middle of pursuing a dream or goal. You can see the ending ahead, and it doesn’t look good. You know things aren’t going to turn out the way you’d hoped.
But you keep going anyway because you don’t want to quit just yet. Learning to finish the hard tasks even in the face of assured failure is the perfect way to develop your courage and learn to carry on.
Reason #9: Failure Stretches You
You’re never the same once you’ve experienced failure. The bigger the failure, the more you’ll stretch. That’s because failure pushes you beyond your comfort zone. It wakes you up to new possibilities that you may not have seen otherwise.
For example, the failure you’ve experienced can open doors for new conversations. Sometimes failing means, it’s time to talk to someone who knows more than you do and can guide you along your path to great success. But you wouldn’t have made that move or found that success without having failed. You end up making new friends, a new mentor, or creating a network of support.
Reason #10: You Learn to Appreciate Success
When you do achieve success, you’ll appreciate it more and be more gracious because you’ll have experienced the pain of failing. You will also develop more empathy for other people who haven’t succeeded quickly.
People who have failed at something are usually the first ones who reach out to help someone who’s struggling in the same area of life. They use the lessons they learned from failure to help someone else overcome it because they’ve learned to appreciate the journey that led them to where they are.
Failure happens to everyone. It’s not about what you fail at or how hard you try. Whether you succeed or fail, remember that the important thing is that you have the courage to take action. That deserves all the applause!
Now I want to hear your stories; what things have you failed at along your way to success?