How many of us have experienced failure? Do you believe that you have failed someone? Have you failed yourself? Failure is one of the most humiliating, disappointing, embarrassing, and awareness inducing experiences one can ever have in this lifetime… and that is describing it mildly.
What does it mean to fail? Does it mean not living up to society’s expectations? Does it mean not fulfilling your own expectations? What about failing those we love? Failure–in whatever form–is a very powerful instrument for change and improvement. In a sense, we should learn to embrace failure as we have been trained to embrace success. Not in the sense that you are looking forward to fail or want to fail, but that you accept it as a natural outcome in life. This is not to say that you should plan to fail, or carry a pessimistic outlook on life, but instead you should be prepared to fail and understand that failing can be good for you. If you never failed, you would never learn. It’s as simple as that. Does that mean you have to fail, in order to learn? No, of course not. But you must understand that failing is part of learning, and that much can be gained from an experience of failure.
Our biggest problem with failure is that instead of moving past our failures, we become attached to them. We neglect the lesson that experience of failure was presenting to us, and instead hold on to the embarrassment, disappointment, or feeling of destruction that came with that experience. We start to associate that failure with our personality… with who we are… and then depending on our ego we either seek to blame others for that failure or ourselves. Either way, blaming ourselves or others only enlarges the painful feeling of failure, until it leads to regret, remorse, misery, and anger.
Also, becoming attached to failure is incredibly dangerous and can lead to depression. If we assimilate ourselves too much with our failures, we will start to lose our sense of self-worth and before you know it our failures will overcome us and become a part of us… forcing us to fail even more. The key is to learn what we can from our failures and move on, without getting stuck with the feelings that accompany failure. That is why encouragement is so important. Encouragement helps us re-focus our attention on the positives of our past failures and the growth we’ve had because of them. Be encouraging both to yourself and others, so that the most can be gained from the experience of failure. Never dwell on the failures of the past, but look forward to what can be achieved today and carry the hope of accomplishing great things tomorrow.
No one wants to fail. No one wants to lose. So when it happens to us, we do everything in our power to reject such an experience instead of seeking the “how’s and why’s” of that experience. The “how’s and why’s” are crucial in discovering what it is that we did that made us fail and what steps we can do to improve upon our methods or ourselves to avoid such a failure from repeating itself. But most of us ignore all of these important analytics and instead dwell on the pain and negative emotions we felt as a result of that failure. This is our undoing.
We must do everything we can to learn from our past mistakes and failures, and find a means to move on and improve upon ourselves. Some of us can be perfectionists, demanding so much from ourselves that we refuse to accept the failures of others or our own. We beat ourselves up for failing, and we seek the comfort and convenience of denial so that we don’t have to face the reality of our failure or take any responsibility for our failures. But that is not how we grow or advance in life. Such actions will only prolong our failures and create huge imbalances in our life. We must have the courage to accept our failures… our mistakes… our defeats… and we must face them with the determination to try again with all our mind, body, and soul. Maybe that was what lead to our failure in the first place. Maybe we faced our challenges or problems with only our mind, ignoring our heart. Or maybe we faced an experience passionately, without properly planning or rationally preparing ourselves. It’s up to each individual to figure out what went wrong in our experiences and how to fix it. We must use the knowledge we gained from our failures to our advantage, so that we can grow as an individual and get closer to realizing our dreams and ambitions.
Failure has many purposes, and you must be strong in your resolve to find out what they are for you. What is your failure trying to teach you? What do your past failures reveal about who you are? What aspects of your life need to be improved upon? Failure is a beautiful thing, regardless of the many judgments society has placed against it. Failure helps us discover who we are, and what we really want in life. It may be disappointing, painful, embarrassing, and humiliating, but it is one of the greatest instruments to show us the way to our own perfection. So I say to you, be not afraid of failure, for your failures will show you more of who you are then your successes will. Give meaning to your failures, and turn seemingly painful experiences into life-long lessons that will forever transform how you see yourself and the world around you.