15th January 2020
Why We Should Fail
10 reasons why we should WANT to fail
Failure is a very strong word, and one most of us don’t like to hear. Over time we have been taught to avoid failure, we have been taught that failure is bad, that failure is something to be feared.
So what if I told you that you should want to fail, you would probably think I’m crazy! I’m going to tell you 10 reasons why failure is good and why it is something you should learn to embrace.
Nobody is perfect
When it comes to failing, we all do it. Some fails are bigger than others and some have more of an impact, negative or positive, on your life. It isn’t always about how we fail but what it means when we fail and what we do with the failure.
Failure can have a huge impact on your work or personal life and so many positives can come out of failing. Without failure none of us would be the people we are today. We wouldn’t learn new things, we wouldn’t work as hard and we wouldn’t build the relationships that we do without failing at certain aspects in our lives.
1. You get another chance
By failing you get the chance to do something again. You might fail an exam and do a re-sit, you might fail your driving test 3 times and pass on the 4th. Or you might fail at something, decide it wasn’t the right thing to do and go about it in a different way and the outcome is even better.
For example, you may run a cake business and get the amazing opportunity to pitch to a supermarket. Now you might have had your heart set on the top end supermarket or to get your cakes into Harrods. But being in a supermarket, despite it not being your first choice supermarket, is still pretty cool!
However the pitch might not go so well and they say no. What you do with this fail is key.
If you go away and do an exercise called What Went Well and What Would I Do Differently when it comes round to your high end supermarket pitch you are ready to go in there, blow them away and come out with an even better contract then you wanted in the first place.
2. You learn a lot about yourself...
...how capable you are, who you are, how others see you.
When you fail you have to learn to move on. You can’t be stuck moping around and miserable because you failed at something. Once you reach that turning point and celebrate your failures you will really start to celebrate yourself too. Knowing how to reward yourself for failing is not easy, but it is something that we all must do. Reward others when they need it. Everyone needs it at some point in their life.
3. You learn a lot about others
Failure can really highlight the amazing people in your life. The people who step up and are there for you. Failure really shows a person’s true colours.
Failure really gives people a chance to step up to the mark, but also prove what sort of a friend they are. Perhaps your marriage has failed, or you feel like you have failed at starting a family, or you got fired from your new job. Going through failure with others around you is essential. Don’t try to go it alone.
You need the support systems there to be able to embrace failure. Think of a time in the past when you have helped a friend in need after a failure, and how you have seen an improvement in their mood and general wellbeing with you support.
4. You will move in the right direction
Often we fail at things because they aren’t right. Failed businesses, no matter how much you love them are often an indicator that something isn’t right. Because you have decided to close your business because it isn’t as successful as you hoped isn’t a failure.
It is opening you up to new opportunities and new business ventures. I bet you know someone who is stuck in a business or a job, that isn’t doing that well and they are wasting their life, skill set and the opportunity to succeed elsewhere. By changing your path you can open up so many doors creating successes over failure.
5. It keeps you humble
We all no that person who thinks they never fail. They are a bit up themselves, brag a lot, not particularly nice to be around... You get the idea. When this type of person fails, they fail hard. They don’t know how to deal with it, they will be angry and they will never turn their failures into successes.
By seeing failure as a positive, it can make you more humble, you will handle situations of failure much better, and those people who don't like to fail will look at you in envy.
6. You keep checking in on yourself
Failure gives you the opportunity to check up on yourself for time to time. It can keep you thinking realistically, help to keep you focused and help to motivate you.
Small day to day failures can give you the head space to step back and look at what you are doing and how you can achieve it in a better way.
Big failures can really make you take a look at yourself; do you need to change something drastic about your life? Do you need to cut certain people out of your life? Do you need to make extra time for others, have a rethink about work or look at making some you time?
Failure can highlight many areas in your live, and it is an excellent opportunity to check in on yourself.
7. It creates opportunities
Failure opens doors. By failing, asking for help and trying again, you can create opportunities that wouldn't be there otherwise. Other people, be it investors, your boss, family or your colleagues will hold a great respect for failure.
Did you know that the majority of Silicon Valley Angel Investors will not invest in entrepreneurs who have not failed at least twice before?
What does that tell you?!
8. You learn to try again
Can you imagine learning to try to walk, not being able to do it the first time and just giving up? It sounds crazy right!
Why should it be any different for other aspects of your life?
Can you imagine if David Beckham didn't practice his penalties, we wouldn't even know who he was! Or if Elton John didn't practice the piano as a child...
Failing and then picking yourself up to try again is who we are and what we do. It comes naturally to us as children, there is a desire to achieve, so why should it be different to us in our adult life?
9. We wouldn't be as nice
With failure comes empathy. If we didn't fail we wouldn't be as kind, we wouldn't want to help people, and we would lack compassion.
Failures brings a want to help ourselves and help those around us when they fail. It brings us closer together with the people we love as well as creating a support system for our friends and family, and with that support system we build trust and relationships.
10. EVERYONE fails
And by everyone I mean everyone...
You will NOT be able to find someone who hasn't failed at least once in their lives. Yes some people have smaller fails, but regardless of the fail it is who you handle the fail that makes you who you are today.
Don’t try to hide failure. The person we try to hide it from the most is ourselves. Through failure you learn things that just can’t be learnt from success.
I’m not saying you will be jumping for joy about every failure straight away. Failure can be very hard to process but as soon as you learn to love it and embrace it, it can do wonderful things.
Let's look at some famous failures:
- Did you know it took Thomas Eddison 10,000 attempts to make a commercially viable lightbulb!
- Walt Disney got told her lacked creativity!
- Albert Einstein didn't speak a word until her was 4 years old!
- Beyonce was in a girl group on a talent show and lost!
- It took JK Rowling 7 years to write Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, and 12 publishing houses turned her away!
We have some other fantastic resources on failure. Including The Suzi Witt Episode on Are You Failing Because You Are Scared of Success?
Don't forget to check out the Academy for so many more resources, business and cake related.