“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.” — J.K. Rowling
Why Failure is so Important
Failure, as much as it hurts, is an important part of life. In fact, failure is necessary. Failure is life’s great teacher; it’s nature’s chisel that chips away at all the excess, stripping down egos as it molds and shapes us through divine intentions. Without failure, we’d be less capable of compassion, empathy, kindness, and great achievement; we would be less likely to reach for the moon and the stars.
What is Failure?
What is failure, really? Why is it so important to fail at something before we can succeed? When we think about failure, we think of things in a negative light. We say that failure is painful and that it causes emotional turmoil and upset. But, for those that have known true failure, and have bounced back from it, understand that failure in life is necessary for success. Sure, failing hurts. In fact, it cuts deep like a razor, slicing its way to our inner core. Yet, it’s necessary. If you try to go through life without failing at anything, then you’re not really living a life at all. Taking risks and falling down flat on our faces is part of life; it makes us into who we are.
When a baby is first learning to walk, she’s going to fall down many times. This, in fact, is failure. But, ask any mother about their baby’s ability to walk and she will wholeheartedly declare that her baby will one day walk. She might fall down many times, but she will surely walk.
Why It’s Necessary to Fail
In life, it’s necessary to fail. Failure is a steppingstone. In fact, there are 5 very powerful life lessons that failure helps to teach and instill in us. If you’ve recently failed at something in a major way, and you’re going through a difficult time right now, keep these important lessons in mind.
Failure Lesson #1: Experience
The first important lesson gained from failure is experience. What happens when we fail? When we go through something and can walk away with firsthand experience, it helps us to develop a deeper understanding for life. The experience of failing at something is truly invaluable. It completely alters our frame-of-mind through the induction of pain. It makes us reflect on the real nature of things and their importance in our lives, transforming and improving our future-selves.
Lesson #2: Knowledge
Failure brings with it important firsthand knowledge. That knowledge can be harnessed in the future to overcome that very failure that inflicted so much pain in the first place. Nothing can replace the knowledge gained from failure.
Lesson #3: Resilience
Failing in life helps to build resilience. The more we fail, the more resilient we become. In order to achieve great success, we must know resilience. Because, if we think that we’re going to succeed on the first try, or even the first few tries, then we’re sure to set ourselves up for a far more painful failure. The characteristic of resilience can help us in so many ways in life. Resilience helps to breed success by setting the game up to win. Gone are the lofty expectations that thing will happen overnight, and in comes the expectations that true success will take an enormous amount of work and effort.
Lesson #4: Growth
When we fail, we grow and mature as human beings. We reach deeper meanings and understandings about our lives and why we’re doing the things that we’re doing. This helps us to reflect and take things into perspective, developing meaning from painful situations. Life is designed for us to grow and improve. From the very genetic fibers that make us into who we are as individual persons, into the fabric of society on a global scale, growth is a fundamental part of us. Without growth, we couldn’t improve life on every front.
Lesson #5: Value
One of the biggest lessons that we can learn from life’s failures is the necessity to create and spread an exceedingly high amount of value. In fact, value lies at the heart of success and a lack of value is a fundamental pillar to failure. In thinking about your past failures, think about how much value you brought to the table. Could you have offered more value? Would that have prevented failure? When you learn to create immense value, and do so consistently, you will eventually succeed.
How to Recover from Failure
#1 – Ignore the Naysayers
When you fail, surely there will be the people telling you, “I told you so,” and, “You should have listened to me.” Ignore those people. Ignore the naysayers. Living a life that’s completely safe all the time, isn’t really living.
#2 – Understand that it’s Okay to Fail
One of the best ways to recover from failure is to understand that it’s quite alright to fail. It’s okay to fail. But it’s not okay to give up. Pushing forward and not giving up is quite possibly one of the best ways to recover from failure. Remember, it’s not true failure unless you throw in that proverbial towel and wholeheartedly give up forever.
#3 – Realize that it’s Okay to Fail
Failure will take you on a journey that you might not want to go on. But, the reality of the situation is that those journeys will help to mold and shape you into a better person. Recovering from failure becomes far more effortless with the knowledge and experience of that failure under our belts. And there’s simply no way forward in life without failure.
#4 – Using Failure as Leverage
If you’ve failed in life, you can use that as leverage to not only recover from it, but to help propel you forward in the future. Failure can be a great a platform for growth that is simply unmatched. Failure isn’t the end of the road as long as you don’t give up. If you still believe in your goals, you can use the failure as leverage to push past the old limitations of your past.
#5 – Revisit Your Goals
Did you have clear and concrete goals in the past? Do you really know your WHY? Revisit your goals from the past and look at just how clear you were with your goals. Were they precise and exact? Did you visualize them in your mind? Sometimes, failure results from not setting goals the right way. Not only must we set goals the right way, but we must track and analyze them on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis.
#6 – Create a Massive Action Plan
Want to recover from failure? Create a Massive Action Plan. Take your goals and lay out a plan as to how you’re going to achieve them. What will you do in the face of failure next time it rears its ugly head? When we have a massive action plan, we have a systematic way of achieving the goals that we set for ourselves. Once we come to the realization that those goals won’t be simple to achieve, we can approach things with a more long-term frame-of-mind.