What is the thing that makes any adventure terrifying and exhilarating at the same time? What word is the most important key to success, yet the biggest obstacle as well? What one word, if conquered and mastered, will allow you to consistently break through boundaries and find success? I'm talking about failure.
How many times has fear of failure held you back from trying something new, or acting on an intuition? Probably more times than you’re comfortable admitting. But there’s hope. If you can change the way you view failure and start to appreciate it for the life changing experience it is, you can begin to take advantage of all of the benefits that come along with it (yes, there are actual benefits).
The verb "to fail" is defined as, “To be unsuccessful in achieving one’s goal.” Nowhere in that definition does it say that failure is a catastrophic, cataclysmic, life-ending event. It simply means you set a goal, and you didn’t reach it. That’s it. So let’s highlight some exact reasons as to why you should strive for more failure, and not less:
1. You overcome your fear.
The more you do something, the less fear you associate with that thing. So as you begin to fail more and more, you start fearing failure less and less. And when that fear drops low enough, you’ll reach a point where it’s no longer preventing you from taking action. You’ll also realize that more often than not, you’re not afraid of the failure itself, but are more afraid of how people will react to your failure.
Being able to detach yourself from this fear plays a major role in your ability to move past your failures, and find success.
2. You learn.
Each and every time I fail, I learn something invaluable that I never could have otherwise. Figuring out what doesn’t work is extremely important. You take your first step, and you fail, but you learn something new. You then take the new knowledge and apply it to your second step. Then you take your second step. You still fail, but you’re a little closer than you were before and you learn something else. Then you take your third step and you get even closer than the previous two steps. It’s an iterative process. Act. Fail. Learn. Act. Fail. Learn. Act. Success….
3. You build persistence.
Any destination worth getting to has a path filled with failure. And in order to get through that difficult path, you have to build your persistence. Each time you fail, and force yourself to continue moving forward and you build up that persistence. Without the persistence, you don’t make it to the destination.
4. It’s a sign of courage.
Failure is something to be proud of because it’s a sign that you took action, in spite of the chance that things could go wrong. You should be proud of that because most people are too afraid to take action when there’s a chance of failure. But it’s the people who act even with the possibility of failure that go on to find the greatest success.
5. It creates new opportunities.
Certain failures can reveal critical errors in your thinking, approach or game plan. And these critical errors may force you to course-correct and change your destination, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Failure may close one door, only to open another that’s better suited for your success. But the only way you’ll know which door to open is by taking action and sometimes failing.