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Most people shun failure because they think it’s not a good thing. Our culture and society have programmed us to believe that failure is bad. When you make mistakes in school, you get scolded and punished. When you make mistakes at work, your boss will reprimand you or worse – maybe even sack you.
But we should all try to change our beliefs about failure and look at it as something good. It is something essential that will ensure our success in both our professional and personal lives.
Here are reasons why failing is important, how to get over the emotional roller coaster of failing, and why you should double your failure rate to achieve true success.
Why Failing Is Essential
1.) Failure Gives You Experience and Knowledge
Do you know that failure gives us the most experience and knowledge? We learn more from our mistakes than from our successes. Bill Gates once said:
“Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.”
People these days cannot take on failures. They take things too seriously, so when they fail to produce the results they desire, they end up feeling miserable. When you win, you celebrate; but when you fail, you tend to ponder. It is the pondering that makes you better, more knowledgeable, and gain extraordinary experience.
2.) Failure Builds Character
Try to read the autobiographies of successful people and you will notice that every one of them failed many times over. They have a high failure rate; but in doing so, they build their characters, learn from their mistakes, and come back stronger.
When you fail, you will reach deeper and understand yourself better. Failure helps you reflect and keep things in perspective. It makes you mature and develops a stronger meaning from the pain. Here’s a great quote from Bruce Lee:
“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”
When the tough times come, take it as a character-building day. Don’t look at failure as it is. Treat it as feedback to help you grow.
3.) Failure Shows You The Right Path
Success often comes from the result of making good decisions. To make good and right decisions, you need to have experience. But where does your experience comes from? The answer: bad judgments and failures. When you face difficulties in life, you can choose to ignore it, give up, – or you can learn from the situation to get to the right path.
When a baby tries to walk, she will fall down many times before she finally gets it right. Will you stop the baby from walking? Not at all. In fact, you will encourage and teach her the right way. It is the same with treating all the failures in your life. You should look at failures as feedback that will get you to the right direction.
Although failure is important, most people still cannot get through the depression and the frustration that comes with it. So what should you do?
How To Get Over The Negative Emotions of Failing
1.) Understand That It Is Normal To Fail
Please understand that failure is normal in life. Nobody was born a winner. Everyone learns from their mistakes, adjust their strategies, and improve to achieve the success they desire.
So if you try something and fail, tell yourself that it is normal. It simply means that something is not working right and you will have to figure out a better way. You can’t have sunshine all the time. Trees cannot grow without the rain. However, if it rains all the time, the trees will die too.
Therefore, you need failure to move forward, just as the trees need water from the rain to survive and thrive.
2.) Learn From Your Failures
Treat your failure as feedback. Don’t look at it as something serious and that you have ultimately failed. Not at all! Your life does not end here and there is always something better for you to learn.
Jack Ma, one of the billionaires in China, was rejected by KFC when he was trying to apply for a job. He applied for Harvard for 10 times, but none of his applications got accepted.
He faced a lot of rejections and failures, but that did not define who he was. The same goes for Michael Jordan. He was rejected by his school basketball team, but that did not shatter his dream. Michael chose and committed to training harder. As a result, he became one of the best basketball stars in history.
3.) Come Back Stronger
What you need to do next is to come back stronger by taking improved actions. Success only happens to people who refuse to quit and who are willing to learn.
Always remember this: your past does NOT equal your future. If you fail now, it does not mean that you are going to fail again in the future. In reality, you have become stronger as a result of your past experience. You learned to become a better person and equip yourself with better skills and knowledge.
Hence, turn your failure into feedback: learn from it, become better and stronger, then take improved actions to accomplish more.
Double Your Failure Rate for Success
Failure is important – that’s why you should double your failure rate. Why? The reason is simple: we all have a limited time on this planet. The earlier your fail, the faster you will learn and improve.
Don’t wait until you are 50 or 60 years old to make mistakes. By that time, you will have no energy for recovery. So take as many actions as possible. Venture into the unknown and don’t be afraid of the unknown.
A reporter once interviewed Thomas Edison about his failures, and he said:
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
If you want to accomplish something, you should take more attempts, try out new things and double your failure rate. The faster you fail, the faster you will learn. The faster you learn, the faster you will reach the success you want.