5 Great Things About Failure
by James L. Carey
1. You Tried
Let’s face it, no one likes to fail. We all want to wake up in the morning and be greeted by promotions and book deals and impossibly low numbers on the bathroom scale, all free of charge.
Guess what, we don’t live in that world. Thank goodness, it sounds boring.
Don’t be angry at the universe for not giving everything by merely existing. That’s most people’s lives. And a lot of those people give up. They cash in their chips and say, “it’ll never happen,” and big surprise, it NEVER DOES.
You, however, gave it a shot, that’s more than a lot of people do. Think about it. You gave it a try without the promise of success. Give yourself a pat on the back for that. No, seriously, you deserve it. Nicely done. It didn’t work out, but guess what, you’re still alive, the air is sweet and tomorrow is another day.
2. Taking Chances Increases Success
It’s an old, but true cliche, you miss 100% of the shots you didn’t take. You’re interested in snagging that promotion at work? You didn’t get it and feel like your interview was a waste. Then your boss tells you that you weren’t right for that position, but they have a new spot you’d be just perfect for…
I’ve seen it more times than I can count.
Taking a chance gets you noticed, getting noticed gets things going, gets people interested and gets you on the radar. These are all good things that come from what you thought was giant screw-up. All failure eventually leads to success in one form or another.
3. It Refines Your Approach
The analogy of the squeaky wheel? It applies. You don’t know what needs work until you get moving, get rolling. Then, when you see what isn’t meshing, what isn’t moving smoothly, you can adjust it, fix it, make it better. But you have to get going first. You have to get the train on the tracks, baby.
4. It Increases Your Ability to Handle Failing
Every time we think about something that has a chance of failure we can be blinded by the risk involved rather than the possibility of success. If, in fact, you do run into failure, did it make you weaker? 10 times out of 10, no. It made you stronger. You survived and now you know the next time you have that feeling of certain doom that you can push it away because it’s just a false voice in your head warning you of consequences that are more imaginary than reality. Give it a try.
5. You Learn Where You Should Be Focusing Your Energy
Too many times, I’ve worked myself up about something I wanted to do and never really started. Maybe it was a new hobby or a book I always wanted to read or some person I always wanted to talk to. Instead of actually taking a leap, I put all my energy into collecting supplies or reading other books or never having the courage to say “hello” to a particular woman.
Because in my mind, I knew that I might never be as good at oil painting as I was in my mind, I knew that I may not actually be interested in the philosophy of Aristotle. and I knew that behind the charming exterior of a certain attractive woman might be a boring or even mean personality.
It was always so much easier to look from a distance than risk the end result not living up to my expectations. Until I finally got sick of dragging along books that I never really wanted to read in the first place, hobbies I bought into for the wrong reasons and building up people I didn’t even know in my mind.
Even if I was disappointed in the end, being disappointed and moving on to new endeavors is infinitely more valuable then never knowing at all.
- a mild-mannered give-it-another-trier (yes, I made that word up)
What are some experiences of failure you’re glad you endured?