As a life coach, a writer, and motivational speaker, I share a great deal about success, its benefits, and how to achieve it. Nevertheless, in this article, instead of discussing success or giving strategies to cope with failure, I want to emphasize the rewards that failure holds, despite the negative emotions it produces.
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To harness the benefits of failure, we must begin by appropriately defining it. Amongst all the definitions I found, the quote by Henry Ford: “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently,” seems to be failure’s most descriptive conceptualization. If we don’t whine and complain when we fail, but find ways around setbacks, we will always emerge better and stronger, hence more self-confident.
One of the worst enemies to learning is a complacent mentality. Failure is usually a sign that an old method no longer works. Therefore, failure compels us to let go of our logarithmic thinking, which is the reliance on well-worn, familiar techniques to use heuristics (exploring new ways), which will strengthen our creativity muscles.
Imagine a world where everyone succeeded, every time, in everything they undertook. Not only would life be boring, arrogance would prevail. As we climb the ladder of success, failure can teach us to stay grounded and be humble. Socrates once said: “True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.”
Ponder on this quote, study it, and commit it to memory until it becomes a part of yourself like your name. May your failures and Socrates’ words remind you that despite all your achievements, you are still a work in progress.
We are all equipped with the power to bounce back from adversity. That latent potential can only be activated through repeated failures. Next time you fail, remember that you are not the only one. Champions fail, too. Your idols have most certainly failed, despite what you see. These folks have just developed the uncanny ability to heal quickly after a defeat. Process your emotions rapidly and get back into the game. Just as with any skill, mastery comes with consistent practice.
When faced with difficulties, we can either withdraw and expect them to go away, or we can develop the acumen to overcome them. Here, you are learning the valuable lessons that failures either make or break you. The important part of this statement is that you get to choose.