The taste of failure is often bitter and unlikeable. We fear failure and do all we can to avoid it. But in truth, behind every successful person is a long and worn road paved with innumerable moments of failure in between.
It can be difficult when stories of success and celebration populate our social media feeds, but we have to learn to see beyond them and be aware of the less attractive—yet vital—parts of their journey that aren't being shared.
We need to rewrite our idea of what success looks like. It may not be easy to embrace the fact but there are six very good reasons why failure sets us up for success.
1. Failure is your mirror.
They say in order to get to know someone, observe them during their worst days. How you react and handle failure tells a lot about your innate nature. You may be surprised to find out just how high your threshold for failure is. It's empowering to understand that this could be one of your greatest strengths, separating you from those who give up early on. And even if your failure threshold is lower than you initially thought, then this experience can offer you the chance to improve your resilience.
2. Failure unleashes your potential.
Failure can place you in the lowest of spirits. But if you can harness the frustration it made you feel, failure can drive you to try things that you've never thought of doing before. This could bring out hidden potential you may never have known had you not encountered failure. Experiencing failure can push you to utilize your other strengths and creative thinking which are qualities that can put you on the road to success.
3. Failure builds character.
Your first bout with failure may have made you want to give up altogether. But after you experience failure several times, the sting will gradually hurt less and less. Soon, you'll be able to withstand any pressure or stress that comes your way, cultivating a resolutely positive mindset. When you learn how to control your emotions during stressful situations, you are able to think more calmly and make wiser decisions.
4. Failure keeps you humble.
Sometimes when you come from a privileged place or maybe when you've experienced several successes, you can become quite proud of yourself. Believing in your capabilities is similarly important but being too proud can cause your downfall if not kept in check. A dose of failure can help remind you that no matter how far you've come, there is always room for learning and improvement. It's not about keeping your head bowed in shame; you simply don't forget to look below your feet and behind you every now and then.
5. Failure is the best teacher.
If you never failed, you would have a difficult time knowing what works and what doesn't. Like an experiment, failure allows us to understand what it takes to succeed. It means we were able to put our ideas to the test and prove whether it works or not. Having this firsthand experience means you won't easily forget what you've learned because the feelings born from failure can deeply embed the lesson in your memories.
6. Failure opens you to possibilities.
Some say you only truly fail when you've stopped trying. But in other contexts, there is a right time when you must give up and move on. And one of the best indicators for this is when you experience failure. Failing can be the sign you need to free yourself and dream a different dream. And that new dream could be where you will find your long-awaited victory.
So, the next time you listen to someone's success story, don't focus on the one time they succeeded. Know that their success begins long before, starting from the 99 other times where they failed but kept going. Success is not merely a series of wins but rather it is composed of both ups and downs, and that is how it should be. That's when we undergo real growth.
Half the Sky's mission is to supply the tools that can give every woman the ability to build a successful career and be fully prepared for the future of work. So, that they can lead a healthy, prosperous and more balanced/blended lifestyle of their choosing. By building your confidence, you’re setting foundations to empower yourself and your career. The world is your oyster, and it starts with you.
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