Is Failure Even a Thing? => To fail is one of the biggest fears of the XXI century. But what if we never failed? Could we be better professionals in that case?
To fail in something you are putting your best effort in to is one of the greatest fears of the XXI century. By failing, we start questioning our abilities, and our motivation starts making a rapid descent.
With our motivation decreasing, our creativity immediately follows it. It’s hard to be creative about something we don’t believe. When we lose creativity, we tend to fail again. It’s a circle of doom.
But what is failure?
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, failure is the “fact of someone or something not succeeding.” We can think of failure as the opposite of success. It happens when we are trying to achieve something that ends up not happening.
Why are people so afraid to fail?
We live in a world where people value their status much more than 20 years ago. Nowadays, we tend to show off everything we are doing, almost in a competitive way. Everyone “lives a perfect life” and wants to be above everyone else. Failing at something not only hurts our ego but also makes us feel inferior to others that managed to accomplish something that we wanted.
Despite being an essential skill in both personal and professional fields, it becomes even more important to learn how we can manage failure when we are talking about the future of our business. Enterpreneur.com has a list of the 11 Fears Every Entrepreneur Must Overcome, where the fear of failure ranks in second.
If businesses take success as a granted thing, they will probably make the wrong decisions. Companies, like everyone, have their ups and downs. The best thing we can do is to use our least good moments to leverage us into the best of ourselves.
Do you know the founder of Ali Baba, Jack Ma?
Jack Ma is the founder of Ali Baba, one of the biggest e-commerce websites in the world. After knowing this, you will unconsciously think that he is a very successful person, and he is. But the most surprising thing is his path until he reached success:
- Applied for Harvard University — 10 times rejected.
- He applied to jobs for 30 times — got rejected.
- Applied to the police force — five people applied, he wasn’t
- When KFC entered China, 24 people applied for the job. Twenty-three got accepted. He wasn’t
Looking at this history, you would probably think that you will never be successful in your life. To fail so many times can bring anyone’s ego to the ground, drowning one’s motivation even to try again.
He did. And ended up being worth $38 billion and become China’s richest man.
What if we never failed?
It’s a crazy idea, right? But since failing is the opposite of success, it only happens after you stop pursuing it. If you keep in your path to achieving what you want and using these obstacles as lessons about what doesn’t work, you will get there. And you will have even more experience than those who didn’t need to face some of the problems you did.
The problem with failure is not the act of failing. It’s the emotional impact it brings with it
This brings up the question of the title: does failure, as we know it, actually exist, or is merely in our minds? Most of it is about how we face an obstacle and not about the problem itself.
Each time you fail is an opportunity of learning
Being successful every time makes one’s ego over the roof. Furthermore, it leads to the individual not learning what can go wrong, the risks he/she needs to take, and the consequences of their actions. Having some setbacks will provide sensitivity to the risk and turn the individual into a better professional.
Embrace the obstacles you face. It will be those obstacles that will teach you the most significant lessons. Without them, you would get to the end of the road with the same knowledge you had at the start. And what’s the fun in driving on a straight road?
Make every setback as a way to gain momentum
There will come times when you’ll need to take a step back and reevaluate. Are you going in the right direction? Are there any adjustments that you need to do? In the same way that an athlete needs to take some steps back to gain impulse. You need time to stop, monitor your progress, and adjust. You’ll know when this time comes.
At this point, some people feel they are failing and, sometimes, give up. Most times, you only think to look at what you are doing and change strategy. Do that, and you are still in the race. And if you’re still in the race, you haven’t failed. You just haven’t achieved your goal yet.
How can you achieve this?
Facing an obstacle with a smile on your face is not easy. It requires patience, resilience, and a fair amount of emotional intelligence. It’s not something that you can do overnight. Since this is a change of mindset, you need to keep working on it. Over time, it will become natural in you, and you won’t need to force yourself to it.
Look at the bright side of things. If things don’t go your way, you’ll have a great lesson that will improve the way you work next time.