Lately, I have been hearing a lot of successful people talking about the importance of failure. While it was previously assumed that failure was fatal, more and more people now seem to accept that the lessons they learnt from failure were more important on the path to success. In fact, and I’m not sure if this is true, there are some business funders who are unlikely to invest in businesses unless the individuals have failed at least once before.
But how do you deal with and learn from failure? The human ego is such that failure makes an impact on your self esteem, this is unavoidable. The key is in being able to look past the failure and most of all, learning from it. What are the things to keep in mind when evaluating a failure in order to create growth, whether in your business or career?
Never give up
This might sound like a cliché, but it bears repeating anyway. If success was easy, everyone would be thriving. Resilience and perseverance are mandatory when forging ahead with a project, idea or business. But it is also as important to ensure that you are not just forging forward blindly. Always have a few people whose counsel you trust so that when in doubt, you can consult them on their perspective. Sometimes when we’re caught up in a challenge it’s hard to see past the roadblocks. An outside perspective gives us a different way of tackling difficult situations.
Don’t be afraid
Fear is a natural part of the process. The key is not to be let this fear paralyse you into doing nothing. Some people say that if you have not failed, you have not done anything yet. The fact is you will never have all the answers, or the perfect information to see the solution before you experiment. Learn the art of taking measured risks if your personality is risk averse. And recall that doing nothing is also a risk, one that is worse because you are leaving yourself open to the elements.
Success is not a straight line
There is a picture that shows a straight line depicting success, and sometimes we assume this is the reality. But most people will tell you success is composed of squiggles and twists and turns before you get to the place you intended to reach. It also takes much longer than we anticipate. Keep your eyes and the finish line and persevere and you will always get there. But also make sure you learn from your failures and avoid repeating the mistakes you make along the way.