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The Success of Failure

We value success. Nobody, who sets out to reach a goal, wants to fail, but failure is inevitable. Part of being human is being fallible. If you can’t take anything else away from growing older, take away wisdom. Wisdom can only come from learning, and most of our learning comes from trial-and-error.

Many times when we fail at something, we end up reliving that event over and over again in our minds. We obsess about the failure itself, but don’t analyze the event to change the outcome should a similar event take place in the future. Rather than viewing our mistakes as something that should make us miserable, it makes more sense to view them as something to learn from. Professional athletes can prove this point. If you look at the best athletes of any sport, they not only dominate, but they fail as well. After periods of excellence, there are periods of adversity. The most successful athletes learn from failures and mistakes and make changes so that they can improve. If you look at the most under-achieving athletes, they likely got too caught up in worrying about failure, rather than looking at mistakes as an opportunity to grow.

The best way to begin this transformation is to ask yourself tough questions. What could you have done differently? What parts of the event would you have changed? What was not in your control? Asking yourself such questions can give you insight into the event itself, which can help you put plans in place so that it doesn’t happen again.

All too often, people walk away from an event feeling as though they have huge battle scars. However they do not change how they react in similar situations that take place. If you accept that you are fallible, the scars will heal. Therefore, use a failure as a way to create a plan to change. Don’t waste time perseverating on what you didn’t do. Spend time thinking about what you can do now. This will not only make failure less intimidating, but will also likely help you succeed more often in the future.

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