A Little Guide To Dealing With Failure

March 25, 2010

The most inspirational success of all time. He did it because he failed, many, many times. (Thanks Sheepback.Cabin)

Failure. Awful word isn’t it? What is it about that one word which people seem to be affraid of. I think I have an idea as to why. It stems from when we were growing up.

Have you ever noticed that when you were growing up, you discovered that often if you made mistakes at home, like break a glass, spill a glass of milk, or anything of seeming pettiness, your parents would reactive with a shout, and an angry flourish of cleaning it up. Or maybe it was more subtle. You perhaps only got a ‘B’ instead of an ‘A’ in that maths test, and your parents/or teacher, gave the impression that they were not impressed. All of these, supposed failures, we were punished for on some level, whether a physical punishment, or an emotional one. All of these, gradually added to us actually being afraid of failing.

I’m sure you can agree with me on this, what is often the most crippling factor when we start out something new, we most often are afraid of failing, even if we don’t notice it. Why didn’t you go up and talk to that girl you like? Because deep down you did not want to get rejected. Thats a failure.

But what if we changed the word failure, for the word, ‘learn’, failing, for learning. How different would that sound?

You went up to that girl, and you didn’t get her number and she said she wasn’t interested, you didn’t fail, you learned! You see failure is the absolute BEST WAY to learn! That is really the only way we do. We will make the same mistakes of our parents, the question is, how quickly are you able to learn from those seeming failures and turn them into actual strengths.

Thomas Edison could be described as the best example of learning through failure. He found over a thousand ways to not make a light bulb. You find a way, not to ask a girl out. You can experiment and find many ways of not making a million pounds, ways of not getting fit. The real question seems just how you can fail better, and learn.

There is a fantastic article which I suggest you read about failing better, and it pretty much sums up everything to do with failure quite nicely.

Failure is but a word weak people use when then give up. Changing failure to ‘learning’ and a whole other world opens up to us.

Think of something you’re afraid to do, because you don’t want to fail. Now do it. Failure is the best possible teacher.

Only by failure, can we become the successful person we were meant to be.

“Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. it’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.” Barack Obama


One comment

  1. Well said. I am glad I am not alone in perceiving failure in such a way. Why would people want to care so much about how other people judge and criticise us?

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