The concept of failure has turned out to be one of the biggest gimmicks ever encountered in life. Not only is failure primarily a mental thing, it rarely has the same face to everyone 🤢.
Consider given definitions 📚 of failure: "non-performance of something due, required, or expected" via Dictionary.com; "a fracturing or giving way under stress" (Merriam-Webster); "a lack of success at doing something" (Oxford)
Bad news everybody... we will fail every single day 😱. Whether that failure be leaving the house on time for work, remembering something we were supposed to do, or not being able to keep our intent toward someone.
It is inevitable that we will fail and disappoint ourselves or someone else, but let me explain why we need to get on with it as well as why it's better to get over the shame or dread of it happening.
FAILURE IS A PRESSURE GAUGE 💣
Many things around us in life work by having significant pressure available. Espresso machines, tires on our cars, canning foods, developing diamonds, and other things we have become accustomed to appreciating involves levels of pressure.
Add greatness to the list 📝. Even if we aren't going for greatness, at least shoot for significance. When we figure out that we need more power, more time, or more knowledge to achieve something, we will gain an accurate picture of where we are.
If we are constantly low on funds , we'll figure out that either we need to make more income or manage the income we already have differently. If we can never hold a relationship 💔, we'll reevaluate what we are going for or adjust our behaviors to test what works. If parenting or our job is knocking us out, we'll consider what factors are working and which ones aren't and then hopefully seek help to improve what we can.
Pressure is not a bad thing once we think about how it can be outsmarted or useful. Pressure helps us identify problems that set us back. If we are the type that runs from challenges instead of facing them, pressure will find its way to us more and more. Instead of our harnessing it into a desired result, it will crush us.
When parts of our lives start falling apart take our time to vent about it, but then start considering what we can make of it. Which is why...
FAILURE SHOWCASES MULTIPLE OPPORTUNITIES
Don't listen to people who tell us that something is a "once in a lifetime opportunity." If they are telling us that, they are often trying to push us in the direction that's best for them, not us.
Truth is maybe that ONE opportunity is once in a lifetime but there are usually others just like it. If we are good enough now, we should still be good enough later ⏳ (particularly after having more time to develop ourselves).
This is not to say not to do something we really want to do if we can, but if the resources aren't readily available, it's okay to catch the next train, so to speak.
Some things may depend on age or physical stamina, but if we "still got it", don't push ourselves into things we aren't sure will benefit us.
If we dont win the championship🏆this year, we can probably still go for it next year. Did Tom Brady or LeBron James just sit out and retire after not achieving what they wanted with the teams they had? Nope. They regrouped and looked for new opportunities, even if it pissed some people off.
If our job constantly overlooks our top-notch performance and isn't interested in our professional growth, no matter how long we've worked there, it's time to go! Stop believing that only that company is capable of meeting our salary or our benefits. To do so is only to deprive ourselves of soaring higher in our true purpose or calling. Start planning an exit.
If we didn't pass a class with the grade you were hoping for, create the opportunity to learn more by reading more books, finding videos, or practicing with someone who has a thorough grasp.
Failure is about acknowledging that this time it did not go as we hoped. If we wake up the next day, there's a possibility of a next time. We cannot take something not happening a few times as not meant to be simply because there needs to be some tweaking involved.
FAILURE TEACHES HOW TO SAVE TIME OR MONEY
If we want to make a difference in any area of life, we have to be willing to change our minds and know when to do it. Stubbornness can be a wonderful thing when it is properly applied, but in order for failure to help us, we need to be able to pivot direction from time to time.
If we are working on a project that keeps falling apart, there is something in the process that needs to be changed. We either need different material, a different method, or a different vision 👓 of what is to be.
For-profit businesses constantly change areas outside of their core service or product to better meet needs of their customers or take additional steps in order to increase their margins or reinvest into their business. Sometimes they accept that certain people no longer support the vision or that certain networks no longer can adapt to growth.
We are the same way. Sometimes people respond to parts of us that we did not anticipate, whether it is positive or negative. In order to better connect with others it is best to maximize those parts of us that people are drawn to, although in the beginning it may be uncomfortable.
If we can save time by someone wanting to help us or we can save money by trying different avenues, the sooner we fail, the better. Failing teaches us whether we even like the direction we're moving in. If our product sucks or an area of life sucks, start testing as much as possible the various ways that something could be improved.
FAILURE WILL REVEAL WHO IS TRULY SUPPORTIVE
There are times that this one may not seem positive, but in the long term it usually is. Our support systems 🤗 are a major factor in achieving success. We don't always need a huge team to get started either, and best believe the more we grow, the more weeding out we will have to do.
One of the biggest complaints from fellow entrepreneurs is that they get more support from strangers than their family and friends, as previously discussed in my previous post "Do You Believe in Your Friends?". A possible explanation for this is that those strangers may be in the same boat and recognize the signs of the journey 🛫 that friends and family do not understand.
Remember that everybody, us included, has a limited amount of attention they can give to other people and that no one in this world is void of day to day problems.
The key 🔑 is to focus on the small circle of people who currently supports us until others have time to catch on. It is the group of people who discourages us and plants negative seeds that we need to tune out.
The public loves a good train wreck. It loves drama. It loves that someone else is having a rough time other than it, for a change. Positive news 🗞 will never be as popular as negative news unless it's legitimately funny.
How people around us treat us when our dream is taking a bit longer, or the money is coming in slower, or when those divorce papers need to filed will be of utmost value.
We cannot entertain people who have opinions about what we are doing that aren't trying to help in the process. Some people just enjoy complaining. Some people enjoy bashing others. Some people are angry at us without even knowing why they are angry at us. We do not have time to give them our attention.
Failing will show us who will be willing to encourage us or offer help. Failing will show us who we have around us that we overlooked for their savvy or expertise in a certain area. It will guide us to those that we want to support because they supported us. We will get more and more comfortable with networking and having meaningful relationships.
Failing around others teaches us humility and how to ask for help. We learn who not to share our resources with and who is manipulative. We learn who we can trust with our privacy and who we can allow to see us in the moments we are broken.
Everyone needs to develop a support system and we all need to be part of one. Not only does the right support system in times of failure keep us sane in areas of mental help, it can also save us from making poor personal or business decisions that could be catastrophic.
No one is ever self-made, only self-directed. All successful ventures take failure and a village to turn that failure around.
FAILURE TEACHES HOW TO CHANNEL NEGATIVE EMOTIONS
When we really want something we either get extremely sad or terribly pissed off when we don't get it. Fortunately many of us learn early enough that we don't have to take every setback as hard as others, and we begin to shrug it off.
We begin to understand that it is not fatal but it is now a challenge. It is now a quest that we will not be denied to conquer🤺. If not that, we learn that we really didn't care about it as much as we thought we did.
How we respond to negative outcomes can only be taught by experiencing negative outcomes. Hopefully we learn to not always respond with self-pity or blame directed as others, not saying that at times those feelings will be valid.
When we are not directly to blame for failure, with some reflection, it is best that we focus on the "what now?". When we are directly to blame, it is best to publicly accept responsibility (or to the ones you've wronged) and then focus on the "what now?"
We may not always get a "do-over" but we always get a "do-better". Mistakes will be made, shortcomings will occur, but how can we do a little less damage the next time around. We have to have people around who will extend us grace to work at it and we need to be mindful of granting grace to others as well.
The faster we just get on with overcoming failure in our lives versus dwelling on it, the higher we can go with our visions.
Fewer people would want to end their lives or hurt the ones they love when we slow down enough to realize we are not that special as to be the only one struggling.
Grades in school, an unsatisfactory exam, getting fired, getting evicted, a repossessed car or home, a broken relationship, a drug addiction, a closed business and so many other problems are normal. Shame on most of us who think that because we are not currently going through it that we will never will and are so superior.
The important thing about failure is that we all get to do it! As long as we can pick ourselves back up and not allow ourselves to be bullied by it, we can get back on the past of our own defined success🎖. We can feel good about ourselves if we start adding up what we've failed at and then adding a "so what" at the end.
Life is about constant improvement, which does not happen when everything is running smoothly. Life will never love us enough for everything to run smooth. We can, however, react with dignity and passion about the present and future moments with gratitude that most things can be fixed.
Stop looking for humongous moments of success and focus on building up smaller ones. They are probably small for us and massive to someone else anyway.
So what have you failed at today? What about yesterday? What about last week and last month? What about all year 🗓?
Are you reading this? Well congratulations! I certify✔ you as a failure now get out there and be the best success story we get to look forward to 👊