Failure is a proof of courage
“Victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan.”President John F. Kennedy
Success is a good thing and there is a constant aspiration to it because it makes us feel good. This is not unconnected to the fact that winning is the ultimate goal and failure is well, for failures.
We must have experienced at some point in our lives, the penalties, loss and shame that come with failing and so we grow to dread failure.
Every endeavor is usually begun with a belief to win, to excel, to come out tops. We make and execute our plans, hope that the odds will be in our favor and then for a myriad of reasons, the worst of our nightmares happen — failure.
I do not think anyone embarks on any venture with an intention to fail; we want to win so we do everything within our powers to ensure that we succeed. This is because our brain associates failure with pain and since no one likes pain; no one naturally, likes failure too.
Still, somehow, we all experience it in one way or the other. Take this quote by Andy Rooney for example:
“The 50–50–90 rule: anytime you have a 50–50 chance of getting something right, there’s a 90% probability you’ll get it wrong.”Andy Rooney
That means that there are a whole lot of odds of failing than succeeding.
We hear many stories of success, we see successful people in every facet of life celebrated but rarely do we hear stories of failures being told with a positive spin. These stories are typically mired in disgrace, mockery and pity because failure is associated with loss — of self, reputation, assets, friendships etc.
Still I want us to think for a moment, What if there is a good side to failing? What if there are advantages of failure that will ultimately lead us to success?
The truth is, failure is normal and an integral part of life experiences which makes us who we are. You can call it an investment for success because it is through failing that we acquire the lessons that help us to succeed.
I have had my own share of failures and I can say with certainty that through them, I developed the grit to push through to the victories I celebrate today. It’s simple; you have to go through the tough parts to get to the good parts.
I understand that the stories of failures are not always told in a “good” way so we often miss the valuable teachings that failing avails us.
This is why it is vital that we know and apply these lessons as we navigate life.
1. FAILURE HUMANIZES YOU: Through failing, you learn to be more understanding, empathetic and compassionate. It makes you less judgmental of people who have failed and also helps you to be there for others when they experience failure, teach them to pick themselves up and support them to get back on track.
2. FAILURE IS A PROOF OF COURAGE: A quote by Brene Brown “you are going to know failure if you are brave with your life” is apt in this instance. Generally, before we start on a project, we experience some fear or doubt but despite that, we are usually brave enough to try.
If it still does not work out as we wanted, we become more aware of our strengths, gain knowledge of what we are capable of and also how far we can push ourselves. It also gives you a kind of confidence that you can actually “do” something regardless of fear. The saying that we will never know if we don’t try comes to mind readily here too.
3. FAILURE GIVES YOU CLARITY: Nothing ventured, nothing gained also comes to bear here. Most times, when we have made our well-laid plans and are busily working on them, we tend to become so focused on the outcome that we tend to lose sight of the reason we began in the first place. We even miss important parts of the process that could have been adjusted to better the chances of us succeeding.
When failure happens, it offers us the opportunity to sit back and evaluate step by step, every part of that journey, more often than not; we are able to understand why the results which we had desired did not happen.
Henry Ford says, “failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently”. The clarity gained from this will enable us to re-assess our goals and re-strategize in order to give it a go a again or take away the lessons for future endeavors.
4. FAILURE GIVES YOU LEVERAGE: Success comes from failing and this gives you an advantage because you gain experience, resilience, knowledge and skills that will aid you on your journey to success. Failure is a chance to learn because you have had a first-hand experience and have learned what works and what doesn’t. The secret is not to let failure be the end of it all, have a winner-mindset, grab the lessons and ensure that you have failed forward.
The truth is that no one likes the discomfort and unhappiness that comes with failing so many people would rather not engage most especially after they have experienced it. They would prefer to settle and not venture out for fear of failure.
However, we must know that life is meant to be lived fully and not in fear of what could or could not happen. So by all means, aspire to success, work smart and hard for it, pray if you will and even if and when you fail, you have a whole lifetime to keep trying till you win because you definitely will.