It’s normal to view failures as negative impacts that have detrimental consequences. In actuality, failing is as natural of a process as succeeding is. In any profession, failure means giving yourself more opportunities to grow, to develop and truly learn something new. One of my favorite quotes that changed my mindset is:
Growth and comfort do not coexist.
To grow means you’re willing to take risks and evolve. The only way to evolve and change is to fail. You’re probably asking yourself, wait, I thought success allows you to evolve? The answer is still yes, success promotes evolution and change. However; to reach that point, you must experience numerous failures with the goal of revealing a bigger picture to you.
When I reflected on my past failures, I realized something: They didn’t destroy or abolish me. In fact, they were like primers preparing me for a second chance.
If you think hard about it, failures promote mental and emotional growth as well as physical. We forget that in any given situation, a second chance or opportunity is available in the future. Only if we apply ourselves will we be able to access this new way of thinking.
As a creative individual, I used to view failure as an end-all-be-all. I’d often kick myself with my own foot if I screwed something up or acted on impulse. We want our success to happen now–fall on our laps from the sky this minute. The reality is, anybody who has become successful also experienced numerous failures. And that’s why they’re successful: trial, error, retrial and then, success.
At the retrial stage, you should’ve learned something from your error or failure. Like anything in life, if we give power to our failures, we’ll never do it again and it’s a fatal response I’ve witnessed many people do. Never trying again is giving in to the negativity of failing at something. You may feel the loss is too significant.
Really, failures can be blinding and discouraging. They can cause us to lose sight of our goals and aspirations. Accepting that failure is a part of every success story is a stepping stone toward achieving the goals you so desperately want to achieve.
Author Elizabeth Gilbert said transformations can only happen in ruins. So let your work and life fall apart, so you can reshape and repurpose everything. While in ruins, that’s when incredible things begin to reform. And if you view failure as falling into ruins, I hope this article restructures your mindset about it.
I’m going to break down why failure is a good, positive and enriching thing and help you transform your mindset about it. Here are the 13 reasons why you should fail fast:
1. A New Route Is Created from Failure.
Failing should be viewed as an opportunity to create a new route. If you’ve felt that you failed at something, journal about it or do some self-reflecting and see what emerges. Instead of giving up after a failure, create another route or path and try again. You’ll gain new insights and a different direction that could get you out of a creative block or a jam.
Sometimes life diverts our path and we must adapt. Failures may divert our paths, too, so it’s crucial to adapt and embrace it. Thinking and approaching it that way will lead you somewhere different, a different direction and outcome.
2. You Become Skilled in Identifying What Works and What Doesn’t.
Just about every field or industry, you go into or are in, failing should help you identify what worked and what didn’t.
Once you’ve figured out why something didn’t manifest, you’ll have another chance to do something in a different way. There is beauty in trying something again and realizing what you did wrong previously. This is when evolution starts to take shape.
3. You Gain New Knowledge in Your Craft or Work.
Failures don’t have to equal loss. Rather, they can be gains.
To reach a certain point in your career, you must fail in order to gain new knowledge or perspectives. Creative or not, failures expand our minds and encourage growth. The next time you find yourself in a situation when you’ve said, “Gosh, I dropped the ball on that one,” follow that with an affirmation.
Give yourself permission to gain something beneficial. Thus, failure can’t be perceived as a setback, and instead, it’ll be a leap toward success.
4. You Set Yourself up for a Second Chance.
Failures can only set you up for second chances. Quitting is the most fatal thing you can do. It won’t promote growth. It will result in depletion of motivation, drive, and discipline. Granted, at the moment, a failure can be difficult to digest.
Remind yourself there are other chances and opportunities. Failures can only set us up for success in the future but it may take a lot of reminding that a second chance is available to you.
5. You Get Thicker Skin.
Another benefit of failure is: you’ll develop thicker skin. This thick skin will keep you emotionally neutral and balanced. You’ll be prepared to tackle any challenges that come your way.
Mindset is everything in any given situation where failure occurs. See it as a skin thickening agent and you’ll be more equipped and resilient later down the road.
6. You Will Build Emotional Resilience.
Emotional resilience means you don’t go bat crazy after you’ve dropped the ball or something didn’t work out. How you respond to situations, events and failures determine where you’ll wind up in the future.
People remember reactions the most and reacting irrationally will only work against you. Bouncing back emotionally can be rough dependent upon the circumstance. But the less time you spend consumed in negativity and ‘why me?’ self-loathing, the quicker you’ll move forward to those great things you wish to achieve.
7. You’ll Inspire Others.
Someone near and dear to me said the perfect thing at the perfect time when I felt that I’d failed at something. They told me that I should fail a lot and fast because then, my story will be even more inspiring.
Before any entrepreneur or corporate worker reached their destination, they failed dozens and dozens of times. There are authors, such as J.K. Rowling, who have been rejected again and again before they became authors. Nobody became somebody without failing first. Don’t forget that.
8. A New Way of Organizing Develops After Failure.
Preparation and organization are key ingredients one needs to be successful. The good news is: a failure forces us to reorganize and restructure our work lives.
Through a new organization and structure, a new sense of self will form. You’ll be compelled to reboot your workspace and any area in your professional life that feels cluttered or in disarray. This new change will enhance curiosity and be another key element in moving your forward.
9. Failure Resets Your Focus.
After I’ve experienced major letdowns, I noticed a shift in my focus. Not to say my focus wasn’t there before, but my second time around, my attention to detail is sharpened and more precise. Only with fresh lenses are we able to visualize a clearer path toward where we need to go.
Failures can be powerful forces capable of rewiring our minds, thoughts, and actions. Resetting your focus means a new way of approaching a situation in your work life you might have initially overlooked.
10. Failure Strengthens Your Mindset.
A stronger mindset provides emotional stability and balance, especially when everything hits the fan. In life, setbacks and failures are a part of human nature and growth. Leonardo Da Vinci, a man who was 500 years ahead of his time, is known more for his failures than successes–what he dared to imagine and bring to fruition is what he’s famous for whether his inventions worked out or not.
You’re not known for what you do; rather, you’re known for the kind of person you were: curious, a risk-taker, someone who persevered and remained strong regardless of how disappointing things became. A curious mind is one that is willing to keep exploring, keep building and doing so without fear of failure attached.
11. You’ll Experience a Transcendence.
The word, transcendence means “existence or experience beyond the normal or physical level.” Philosophers describe transcendence as a climb beyond. The difference between failure and success is what we choose to take from both.
Only failure allows such a divine transcendence to manifest, and this manifestation happens in our minds. Only failure can lead us toward a change that will result in something monumental and life-altering.
12. Failure Leads to Mastering Whatever You’re Doing.
No matter what field you’re in, trial and error is basically a science experiment. It’s a process of trying and failing. The willingness to keep trying and doing results in mastering your craft. Individuals in creative and technical jobs must undergo this process daily.
As a creative person, I’m constantly testing something out and redoing it later. It wasn’t until recently when I realized I was mastering my craft and learning from deconstruction as opposed to constructing. Every time I’ve had to start over or redo something, by the second trial, I’d nail it.
13. Failure Encourages Mental and Emotional Growth.
Failures also result in mental and emotional growth. Curiosity drives us to explore, do more, solve problems and find solutions in our work lives. Our failures grant us an empowering dose of mental extension. Our thoughts and perceptions of failures and successes strengthen in this growing period.
If we perceive failure as an end-all-be-all, we’re robbing ourselves of an enriching transformation.
The Botton Line
Instead of striving to be the next big thing or success, fail forward fast. A whole array of benefits comes from failure.
Interestingly, I’ve noticed a conflict amongst humanity that is overlooked: People fear success as much as they fear failure. In reality, failure is not something you should be afraid of–it’s a learning curve. If you take the time to reflect on everything you’ve viewed as a disastrous failure, you might be pleasantly surprised when you realize it wasn’t so disastrous after all. It got you somewhere.
Failure is the key ingredient that will unlock all kinds of life-altering experiences. Don’t resist or live in fear of something that can only bring you to the place you desire to go.
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Featured photo credit: Alejandro Escamilla via unsplash.com