When failure knocks us down the hardest part begins. We have to pick up and fight to move forward. Each circumstance allows for us to come out a different person than we walked in. This is so much easier said than done. I want to look at failure from two sides: how failure is bad and how failure is good.
Failure is Bad
• Emotional toll
• Other’s opinions
• Confidence killer
• We are pushing ourselves
• Growth opportunity
• Options to choose
When we look at the bad we can see that there is a lot to deal with internally when it comes to failure, but the same is also true with the good. We are given the opportunity to grow even in the good and bad of failure, because when you look at the bad those are hard things to deal with but they are opportunities for us to grow and prepare for what lies ahead.
Failure is not Fatal
“Success is not final; Failure is not fatal; it’s the courage to continue that counts.” -Winston Churchill
Many people see failure as devastating, and yes I believe it definitely feels that way sometimes. Failure is hard on us emotionally and socially, and it makes us feel vulnerable. The key in failure is to remember that we are given special opportunities to learn through failure. We have the choice to make sure that failure does not have to be fatal: we can choose to let it hinder us or we can choose to take it and learn from it.
Failure can be seen as a stepping stool. Without failure or disappointment, we would never be encouraged to move or grow. We would become stuck in a mundane cycle with little purpose, meaning, and zest in life. If we didn’t have failure in our lives we wouldn’t be challenging ourselves enough or taking necessary risks in life that give us meaning and purpose. Failure motivates us to change, grow, and pursue life in a different light. Encountering failure gives us the opportunity to see that we are pushing ourselves and we are striving for excellence in our lives.
Failure is Fantastic
“Fantastic” may be a little over zealous when talking about failure, but the truth is failure is determined by your mindset. If you go into failure with a defeated mindset, failure will take that form. If you walk in positive and with your mindset as an opportunity, then failure will take that form. If we are able to harness the positive power of failure, we can build resilience in a way that will leave us with a different kind of power to overcome what we are going through. If we never fail, we are probably never trying hard enough.
When we start looking at our obstacles as opportunities we set ourselves up for growth and a character of resilience. Instead of letting failure win, we can look back at the choices we made and track how to redirect new choices for a better outcome. With that ability we are able to move forward with new knowledge knowing that we have the power to change our future for the better. This gives us the opportunity to make new choices, and cultivate a greater understanding of how our choices affect our outcome. As we take this idea and move forward from failure we are given this opportunity to take control of the choices that we make therefore putting us in control of our own outcomes and becoming more resilient.
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” -Henry Ford
Learn From Failure to Build Resilience
The definition of resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. Failure helps us practice our resilience, but how do we build resilience from failure. Resilience is not a skill that is learned over night, resilience is something that must be practiced, nurtured and built upon. Some of the key factors according to Brene Brown are: resourcefulness and problem solving skills, seeking help when needed, a belief that there is something that can be done to manage feelings and to cope, a social support system, connection with family and friends, and spirituality. Each of these keys are vital in growing from failure. We all must learn to problem solve in order to grow from failure and when we learn the art of problem solving we are able to develop other areas of our life that are key in living a fulfilled life.
When we fail, if we are able to learn to problem solve, talk to trusted people about the failure (and what can be done), and lean into our loved ones for the support we need we can cultivate resilience from our failures. We have to let up on ourselves and remember that failure is not who we are, it is a behavior we did. Many of the most famous people failed numerous times: Thomas Edison, Michael Jordan, Walt Disney, J.K Rowling, and the list could go on. Some would argue that if you want to be great then you are going to fail on your way to becoming great. Each of these people learned to master the art of resilience in a way that led to greatness. They were able to fail, learn, and recover quickly. Accepting that failure is a healthy part of life because it allows us to grow and build upon what we are passionate about and create something greater than we could have imagined.