In life or any endeavour, failure is inevitable and infact almost every successful enterpreneur, athlete, artist or anyone currently at the top of their game will encourage you to embrace failure and see it as a learning or growing moment. This is often typically referred to as 'failing forward' which simply means using failure as fuel for success or in other words, becoming better because of your mistakes.
In my 30 something years on earth, naturally I have failed at a ton of things both personally and professionally and I have tried to remember to view each one of those failures as an opportunity for growth through learning. It hasn't always been an easy process because failure does not feel good and can leave one feeling demoralized, lacking the confidence needed to try again. Whenever I would fail at Math (and if I'm being honest, I still absolutely suck at it) in high school, I felt really stupid and frustrated because it was a subject I needed to pass in order to graduate. Somehow I ended up with a decent enough grade to leave high school but it wasn't because I magically learned to figure out pie charts or how to solve for the ever elusive x in a nonsense equation. How did I do it though? story for another day but what I did learn was that mathematics was not a subject I liked, was good at or cared to learn even and that led me to discovering where I excelled and that was English!
Later in life, I would fail at many more things like relationships, jobs, managing my emotions, friendships and everything in between. I still fail at things today but the difference between failing then and now is that I learned from the saying "failure isn't final". Instead of sinking into depression and beating myself up about how bad I suck, I make a conscious effort to learn at least one lesson from my failure and find that when I do that, I grow. Almost every (if not all) success story we have ever heard started with multiple failures, rejections and setbacks but all those stories have one fundamental thing in common - the singular decision to consciously fail forward. Nobody likes to fail and for those that only seek success to prove they are better than everyone else, is not success as far as I'm concerned. I believe it was the great Nelson Mandela that said "Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell and got back up again". Papa Mandela knew the secret to success and that is viewing failure as an opportunity for personal growth and development. John C. Maxwell also wrote the book 'Failing Forward....Turning Mistakes Into Stepping Stones For Success' and I have seen a few quotes from it that I think are worthy of repitition: 'Fail early, fail often but always fail forward', 'If you're not failing, you're probably not moving forward' and 'People change when they...Hurt enough that they have to, learn enough that they want to and receive enough that they are able to'.
Failure may not always be your fault but you should always take responsibility for your success. In other words, if for example you lose your business in a hurricane or flood, those natural disasters are certainly not your doing but does that mean you sit back and wallow in self pity? Your family doesn't get fed that way nor can your mounting bills get paid like that but taking responsibility for getting your success back does.
I am learning that it doesn't matter how old I am or how late in life I may have learned this truth, it is never too late to start and I am happy I eventually figured it out how to grow from failure. I'm learning so much about myself every day because I have learned how to do the following:
1. turn my failure to knowledge and my knowledge to success
2. keep a positive mindset amidst my failures no matter how hard it is to do
3. accept that failure is part of life but not allow it leave a negative impact on my spirit
Like John Maxwell said, if you're not failing, you're probably not moving forward. You are not learning and not growing and so what is the point of life if we aren't constantly learning? Putting things plainly, failure can be positive if only it is FAILING FORWARD!.
I love you for stopping by and see you Saturday with the first of my new forthnightly series, My Target Finds. Hope you make it a date to join me.