Monday, February 2, 2015

Why Failure Is Important

If there was one thing that I wish college had prepared me for, that it didn't, it's to understand how important failure is to success. I know, that sounds like an oxymoron but it's absolutely true. You cannot be successful, truly successful for the long haul, without being able to embrace failure.

As a professional there are several reasons why you'll want to be able to embrace failure.

Without failure, there are no real risks

The airplane was a risk.
The automobile was a risk.
The internet was a risk.

Risks allow us to expand, to push the boundaries, to get better. Not all risks pan out the way we want but the important ones do.

Failure allows you to be a real person

I know it's hard to admit but you're human. Humans are fallible people. We make mistakes. Failure allows you to be a bit more humble and remember that you have flaws.

It's not until you are able to admit you have flaws that you can start to learn from them. Understanding our flaws makes us more resilient.

Failure builds trust

Plain and simple, there is not a person who has not walked this earth that has not made a mistake. There are only people that hide their mistakes. Attempting to hide our flaws is a barrier to earning trust.

People that are able to admit their mistakes are more trustworthy. It shows that you're concerned about more than just your outward appearance. It shows that you are able to look at yourself more objectively.

If you're able to look past your own mistakes, people trust that you're able to look past theirs.

Failure allows you to learn from your mistakes

Every failure is an opportunity to learn. The most successful people I know are people who are constantly learning. It's a curiosity about the world around them that drives them.

As a key part of the world you should be curious about yourself. Being curious about what makes you tick will help you to understand how to navigate around and beyond your failures.

Failure gives you the ability to change

By far the most important part of embracing failure that it gives us an opportunity to change, to get better. Are you impatient, do you not listen well, are you quick to anger, are you defensive? What are the failures that are getting in the way of you being successful today?

Taking the time to reflect on the situations where you've failed allows you to understand why you've failed and gives you an opportunity to succeed next time the situation arises.

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