HOW TO TURN YOUR FAILURES TO SUCCESS? Everyone who has ever had the courage to become a better version of themselves has days when their whole plan seems to fall apart. Maybe your scholarship didn’t come through, or your dream date turned out to be someone you have next-to-nothing in common with.
The word failure puts forward a very simplistic way of thinking that allows for only two possibilities: failure or success. Few things in the universe are black and white, yet much of our language reads as if they are. The word failure signifies a paradigm in which all subtlety is lost.
When we regard something we have done, or ourselves, as a failure, we lose our ability to see the truth, which is no doubt considerably more complex. In addition, we hurt ourselves. All you have to do is speak or read the word failure and see how it makes you feel.
People in our society tend to view failure in a negative light. The most obvious example is in schools where students are discouraged from getting failing grades. In the real world, on the other hand, failure can be a good thing.
Yet some of the world’s most successful people have experienced epic ‘fails’ on their way to reaching their goals, and they tell a different story about failure. Contrary to widespread belief, it was in these moments that they learned their greatest lessons on how to be their most authentic and passionate selves.
Think about Thomas Edison. In response to a question about his missteps, Edison once said, “I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” What would have happened if he had given up after the 9,999th attempt? Now a new study reveals that failing early in your career can make you more successful in the future. The next question is, how can failure lead to career success?
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” – Frederick Douglass
Failure is a sign that we stepped out of our comfort zones into the unknown, and so it often feels uncomfortable and strange. Yet, even though staying in our comfort zones is familiar and therefore somewhat assured, it’s impossible to create a new life with the same skills, habits, and beliefs that keep us stuck in the old one. Struggles and falls can feel discouraging, but they actually help us develop the perseverance needed to align our outer reality with our inner dreams.
Overcoming failure teaches resilience
It’s not merely the act of failing that leads to career success. It’s failing and then getting back up and trying again. Coming back from failure teaches resilience, and resilience is the one quality all successful people have in common.
Your failure can offer powerful insight to those around you.
We are often very reluctant to share our failures with others because we are allowing ourselves to be vulnerable to criticism. But the truth is, being open about failure allows others to collect on the lessons we learned ourselves, and in speaking about it, we are more likely to become aware of what all of the takeaways were.
We learn a great deal about life from the experiences of others, so the collective experience of failure among the entire human race allows us to steer our lives down a more positive, productive path. Therefore, there is no failure that doesn’t have the ability to help someone, somewhere.
Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill
Tenacity and perseverance are valuable assets that allow you to stay positive even in the face of discord and loss. These traits are gained through practice: the more you true to your dreams even through your failures, the more natural it becomes to tune out negativity and naysayers, and keep working on your goals.
Overcoming heartache and adversity by staying focused on each mini-step of our dream teaches us our own immense power to sculpt our world into exactly what we’d like it to be. It also helps us grow our compassion for others who are going through similar experiences to us, which helps lead to greater success and happiness for everyone.
Failure teaches you what you want (and don’t want)
There’s strong evidence that shows we actually learn more from our failures than our successes. While some people may know their passion from a young age, most people don’t. That’s why there is no substitute for test driving careers. If one job isn’t the right fit, you can move on to the next. By looking at each failure as a lesson, you’re ahead of the game.
Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.” I couldn’t agree more. In the end, it’s not the failure that defines us but the determination to keep moving forward despite it.