4 Reasons Why Failure Is Essential To Success

Failure Is Success In Progress

“Failure is an inescapable part of life and a critically important part of any successful life."

- Tal Ben-Shahar

Why is failure essential to success?

Fear has many names. One of which is atychiphobia or the “fear of failure.” This fear is no stranger to humans. A lot of us - young and old - have it. We go from being scared of failing at school, to being scared of failing job interviews, and on to being scared of pursuing new business ventures and on and on and on.

However, there is no way of knowing if we will succeed at the things we want to do without trying. In addition, when we protect ourselves from failure, we are just merely protecting our self-image. In order to succeed, shifting our perspective to see failure as a positive thing is essential.

Rather than thinking that failure will make us look bad, we should see each time we fail instead as just another stepping stone on the way to success. Just like a toddler learning to walk, we praise each time they stand up and fall down because that is the only way they can learn. If you’re not yet convinced, just check out these facts below…

1. Failure helps us realize our dreams.

a child thinking of ways to achieve success

Many of us have no idea what our calling is in life. Studies show that around 44% of people don’t know which direction to take when they step out in the working world, so many just fall into a safe role. While, others suddenly realize they want to do something else after years and years of focusing on one field.

When you experience a setback in your career, take it as a sign to either try again or learn new things and explore a different passion. In entrepreneurship, life can be a series of trials and errors. Try different things - whether it’s a new marketing campaign, business venture, or industry - until you figure out what makes you happiest.

Look back at your failures, not to mull over them, but to identify the points that didn’t work and that you didn’t like, so that you can avoid them the next time you venture out to try something new.

2. Failure teaches us persistence.

Another reason why failure is essential to success is because it teaches us to never give up. America’s greatest inventor Thomas Edison once shared this famous quote: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

eyeglasses placed on top of a notepad

When we want to achieve something, nothing is more infuriating than not being able to accomplish it. But instead of turning this emotion into a reason to give up, we should use it as a drive to try again. Every goal has the potential to fail, but this should not stop us from taking that risk. We learn best from our mistakes, after all.

Be persistent, keep trying, explore other options, and come up with better ideas. You never know what you might have discovered if you had stopped trying. If you want to establish a company that can change the industry you’re a part of, don’t give up on your first failed shot. Go back to the drawing board and change things up.

3. Failure develops our humility.

The biggest reason why failure is essential to success is because it helps develop our character.

If you are leading a group of people in your organization, humility is a crucial quality to have. Successful leadership commentator Warren Bennis and Emotional Intelligence author Daniel Goleman stated that a person’s leadership tends to collapse when there’s a lack of humility as this can cause someone to resist changes and shut others out.

two employees who just achieved success

Failure develops our character by humbling us. Though confidence is important in the business world, too much of it can be damaging. So, failure is here to keep us in check and remind us of our limitations and weaknesses, allowing us to find ways around our setbacks either by studying more about our goals or asking help from others.

4. Failure gives us a better understanding of success.

Most of us have this notion that successful people are just made to be successful. Maybe this can be true to some, but the majority had to claw their way up to get to where they are. Author J.K. Rowling had to receive 12 rejection letters from various publishing houses before her fantasy novel Harry Potter became one of the best-selling books worldwide.

Success is made up of a series of failures. Once we see it this way, we can erase the feelings of inferiority and self-doubt that we get when we compare ourselves to anyone who seems successful. We can shift our attention from their achievements to the mishaps and blunders they encountered and learn from their experiences. This way, we can consciously choose to be a little less fearful of the unknowns and start taking risks by putting ourselves out there and following our dreams.

man spreading his arms while on top of a mountain

We tend to connect failure to negative things - embarrassment, shame, loss, and defeat. As a result, we decide it’s just easier to stay in our comfort zones. Here, we are safe and away from any negativity that we may experience from failure. However, doing this is more detrimental because we are hindering ourselves from reaching our full potential. So, what are you waiting for? Take that discovery call, meet new investors, and promote your innovative services in the market!

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”

- Winston Churchill

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