Nobody likes to fail, but a fear of failure can be detrimental to you both personally and professionally. Although it can seem difficult to embrace at first, there are four reasons why this harsh lesson is actually of benefit to you. Failure provides the opportunity to learn where we can improve, allows us to be more humble, motivates us to do better, and gives us a chance to forward plan. If you haven’t failed before, there is a good chance you may in the future, so use these tips as a basis for positive reflection.
1. Failure teaches us
Samuel Beckett once said ‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.’ In other words, learn from your failures so you can do it better next time. Failure has the ability to teach us about our mistakes and gives us the opportunity to change things for the future. Without this opportunity, you will not know which areas in your work are lacking and it will be very difficult to progress.
2. Failure makes us humble
If you have a fear of failure and are continually succeeding, there is a chance you can lose track of what is important. In a harsh but effective way, failure brings our views back to reality. Being humble reminds us that no matter how much success we have had in the past, success is not guaranteed in the future. Humility also allows us to be more authentic, which results in a more trustworthy person, leader and human being.
3. Failure inspires motivation
For those of us who are driven by delivering results, failure can spark a sense of motivation you didn’t think you had. If you are committed to achieving a goal, failure will motivate you to consider another way to get the job done. Self-motivated people will also find a stronger sense of enthusiasm if an obstacle is put in the way. Use failure to find a better way of doing things and continue towards achieving your goal.
4. Failure allows for forward planning
Thomas Edison once said ‘I am not discouraged because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward’. Using failure as an opportunity for forward planning is the best thing you can do; it allows for the opportunity to evaluate and plan for your next attempt at success. Think about what you would do next time and plan for how you can avoid that scenario in the future.
Do you have any other reasons why people should eliminate their fear of failure and embrace it instead? I would love to hear of your experiences in the comments section below.
This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources have been used to prepare this article: Brainy Quote and Quotations Book.