The Oxford dictionary defines failure as “the nonperformance of an assigned or expected action” or “a falling short of one’s goals.” The definition of failure, however, is a very personal thing, and each person defines their own idea of success and failure.
Whatever that definition is for you, when you lose, you’ll need time and space to put it into proper perspective.
While there may be only a limited number of ways in which to succeed, there are many ways to fail. Having a bad idea, not executing well, not having the courage to change or adapt, not building the right team, or making bad decisions are among so many possible ways in which we can fail. Another way of failing: not even trying. If you don’t constructively embrace failure in a healthy way, you’ll get stuck and won’t allow yourself to accomplish what you could. And that would be the worst outcome of all.
The bottom line: Failure builds. Failure can lead to more failure. That is, unless you learn to use each failure to your advantage, to let it fuel your future success.
Once you’ve accepted failure, you fear it less. And that’s the point of embracing failure in a positive way. It allows you to move past the negatives and the disappointments and change your mindset from ‘failure is bad’ to ‘failure can be good and here’s how to make it a tool for you.”
So while failure isn’t welcome, it’s the learning that is! It can be argued that failure without learning is just failure.
The traditional thinking is, the more time and money that was invested to start a company, the longer it can take an entrepreneur to assess what went wrong and process the failure. And while that’s been true in many cases and many entrepreneurs take a much-needed break to refuel before getting back in the game, others are able to rebound more quickly. At some point, however, you need to put your failure aside and get back in the game.
Here are five ways accepting failure can work for you:
1. We learn some of our best lessons through failure.When we fail, we learn. We grow and mature, achieving new understandings and perspectives on life, love, business, money, relationships, and people. We’re forced to make new connections, bridging gaps where we hadn’t connected the dots before.
2. Failure inspires us. If we look at it properly and don’t allow it to define us, failure can be a great source of motivation. When we don’t let discouragement hold us back, failure makes our desire burn hotter. Often this inspiration is a wish to avoid another failure.
3. Failure teaches us humility. We feel humble after losing and recognize that we are indeed human:
It’s quite likely that those of us who talk about failure in an excited way do so because of what it taught us. It doesn’t mean that the pain is any less; it doesn’t mean that the experience is any gentler. The understanding you come to is that screwing things up isn’t a diversion from your journey, it’s part of it.
This is why those who have failed do tend to be strong, compassionate, loving people.
4. Accepting failure allows us to take more risks. Once we come to terms with having failed and survived, we can take greater risks. We all know the saying ‘Nothing ventured Nothing Gained” – If you’re not willing to float a new idea for your business, experiment with your marketing or launch a new venture, the opportunity that sits in front of that idea will never manifest. It will never come true. You’ll never really grow.
5. Failure makes success taste even better. We have a better appreciation of success having failed a few times on the way up the ladder.
We appreciate victory more when we’ve tasted defeat. Life wouldn’t be fun if things always worked out. Know that your failure is just part of the game we’re all playing as independent business owners. We expend a lot of energy running from failure. Try accepting it, especially if it is unavoidable. Find the opportunity in the adversity. If there’s a recipe for success, failure might be its primary ingredient.