Don’t Be Afraid of Failing: Five Lessons to Learn from Failure

Failure is terrifying. It comes in different forms and under various circumstances. It causes feelings of disillusionment, disappointment, and despair. It feels like defeat. The fear of failure ranks among humanity’s greatest common concerns — in both public and private life.

However, we must all face failure sometime. It is a part of life. You could even say it is part of the American dream. Countless American authors, inventors, and artists have started from scratch, failed, and later forged their way to success. Thomas Edison, the Wright brothers, and Walt Disney are just a few of the well-known Americans who experienced repeated failure before ultimately reaching their goals.

As you grow in your career, you will most assuredly face failure — especially if you aspire to great things. Every true leader in the workplace arrived there by riding the coattails of his previous failures.

What if the lessons we learn from failure outweigh the risks?

What if failure was not something to fear?

The next time you run into failure, here are the top five lessons you can learn — if you let yourself.

You Learn There Is Merit in Trying

When you fail, remember you are there because you tried! There are those who never fail – because they never muster enough courage to take risks, move out of their comfort zones, or blaze new trails. Taking risks is much more challenging than playing it safe. Consequently, you deserve credit just for trying!

You Learn What Not to Do Next Time

On a practical level, failure shows you what to do the next time –differently. The process of trial and error gives insight into what will take you to the finish line. Admitting failure requires great humility as you acknowledge the mistakes you’ve made along the way.

You Learn What You’re Made Of

Picking yourself up after failure shows you (and those around you) that you are made of sterner stuff. Failure hurts. It is embarrassing and sometimes heartbreaking. Overcoming obstacles takes courage. Being willing to try again allows your character to flourish into full maturity.

You Learn It’s O.K. to Pivot

Failure hurts because it feels like a door slammed in your face. However, this might mean all you need to do is to pivot. Maybe, there is a different door or a different opportunity that would get you where you want to go. Or, perhaps, you should pursue a different path or destination altogether. Amazingly, this pivot often leads us to a place far greater than the one we originally had in mind.

You Develop a Deeper Commitment to Your Goal

When you believe in something enough to repeatedly pour out “blood, toil, tears, and sweat” to accomplish it, your commitment levels deepen. The longer we wait and work for something, the greater our capacity to receive it.

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