I’ve probably run in to failure more frequently than the average person, primarily because failure and success are such subjective lines and the standards I’ve assigned to myself has always been decidedly high. I’ll save you the headache of preachy idioms and cliche lessons on how to deal with failure because we’ve heard them all and I’m personally not that optimistic. But, I have garnered some pragmatic perspectives and experiences I’d like to share from the failures I’ve strung up in the last few years of my life.
1) Enduring failure is a strength. The way I see it, the quality that unifies the most successful people isn’t talent, intelligence or even uniqueness, but their willingness to fail. We’re accustomed to only take chances that are guaranteed. And that fear of failure hinders our own abilities more than anything else. When I look at someone I consider to be the best in their craft or most successful, I don’t judge them by their merits; rather, the weight of their burdens and failures they must have endured. Being able to withstand failure is a decisive quality of an individual when it comes to success.
2) Fail the right way. I sort all failures into two categories, the ones where you’ve given your 100%, and anything less than that. I’ve had plenty of failed attempts but the only ones that have been truly paralyzing were the ones where my failure was a result of me not doing enough. The trauma of those losses has kept me failing the right way moving forward.
3) Failure has its silver-linings. My attitude towards failure has also brought upon tangible opportunities in my life. Up until now, I hadn’t realized that my willingness to fail could translate to traits like gumption, vigor, ambitiousness and charisma in the eyes of others. And I find that those are the characteristics that people find me most appealing for. In personal life, it’s earned me respect and strength in relationships. And professionally, people are often willing to take a chance on me despite my lack of experience or qualifications for the position.
4) Willingness to fail unlocks your full potential. Not being afraid to fall has lifted many weights off my back and walls that previously hindered both my abilities and growth. Now I spend my time not calculating which action possesses the highest probability of evading failure, but what’s most creative, true to myself and beneficial for advancement. After all, I sleep better failing as myself than succeeding as a character.
Hopefully this gives you some fresh ideas on a generally very unfavorable outcome.