The Benefits of Failure: How to Embrace Risk and Learn from Setbacks
It's often said that failure is not fatal if you keep moving, it's merely a lesson. Let's dive into how we can embrace risk, learn from setbacks, and develop a resilient mindset.
Learning from Failure
One of the most significant benefits of failure is the opportunity to learn and grow. Each setback presents a chance to analyze what went wrong, identify areas for improvement, and adjust our approach.
During our team building activities, teams often don't succeed on their first try. They are attempting something completely new that they have zero experience in. No team member or leader should expect immediate success. So why do we constantly expect success on the first try building a new piece of software or creating a new product?
Failure can change your entire perspective. People who fail and bounce back have the opportunity to develop an understanding of why they failed. People who allow the failure to consume them blame themselves, their stupidity or the world at large for their failure rather than reflecting on the processes they can correct or the ingredients they can change.
Embrace a Balanced Mindset
For leaders, it's crucial to maintain a positive outlook. It's also essential to acknowledge that not everyone processes setbacks in the same way. Some individuals need more time to absorb the lessons and recover from temporary defeats.
I have had to overcome toxic positivity. Toxic positivity, where we only focus on the bright side of things, may not allow people to fully experience their own emotions. It's not realistic to expect everyone to bounce back from failure as quickly as I do. Instead, I strive to strike a balance between seeing the positive in my own journey and giving others the space they need to process their setback and discover the lessons in failure on their own.
It's okay if a person needs some time to suffer the temporary defeat after putting their heart and soul into a challenge and suffering a temporary defeat. It's similar to when a person just needs to vent over a problem and they do not want you to try and solve it. They just need someone to listen. Sometimes people just need to wallow in defeat for a short amount of time before they can adjust their mindset and have another go at a problem. And that is A-OK as long as the defeated attitude doesn't stick around!
Success in the Face of Failure
Winston Churchill said, "Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm."
Many well-known individuals achieved their greatest successes after multiple failures. Consider famous inventors like Thomas Edison, who failed thousands of times before inventing the lightbulb, or authors like J.K. Rowling, whose Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was rejected by 12 publishers before finally finding success. Success often lies in persistence and resilience.
Some people's biggest successes are on try number 5, 13, 105... You're only a failure if you give up after try number 1 or 2.
Resolving to Give What It Takes
Life is a give and take, so why not resolve to give what it takes.
We must be willing to invest the necessary effort and take calculated risks. Embracing failure means accepting that setbacks are an integral part of the journey. By adopting a growth mindset, we can view each experience as an opportunity to learn, grow, and prepare ourselves for future endeavors. Remember, some of the most significant accomplishments come after multiple failed attempts.
While facing failure head on and continuing to battle is crucial to success, it's also wise to recognize where the futility line is. This is where perseverance and insanity start to collide. Through internal reflection and counsel with mentors in your life, you can see when it's time to give up on a certain challenge so you can embrace the next one.
Seeking Guidance and Advice
Navigating failure and setbacks can be challenging on our own. Seeking guidance from mentors and trusted individuals in our lives can provide valuable insights and support. In his TED Talk, Patrick Bryant explores the importance of taking advice and emphasizes the significance of choosing the right people to seek guidance from. Click here to check out his talk to gain valuable insights into the power of advice and mentorship.
Sometimes, our greatest achievements come after a series of failures. Consider the example of Walt Disney, who faced numerous rejections and bankruptcies before creating the magical world of Disney. Additionally, Michael Jordan, widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, encountered setbacks in his early career but used them as fuel to become the greatest basketball player of all time. These examples remind us that failure is often a stepping stone toward success.
Remember, failure is not fatal if you keep moving. Embrace risk, learn from setbacks, and maintain a resilient mindset. Each failure is a valuable lesson that brings you one step closer to achieving your goals.
Wishing you continued success on your professional journey!