Oct. 2020: Failure
Starting September 2020, I will be writing a series about a different monthly theme. The goal is to walk you through a weekly process to help alleviate concerns surrounding the topic of the month. October’s theme is failure, and this blog post explains why failure isn’t always a bad thing (also see Post #17 about failing exams).
You’ve Been Conditioned
How many times have you been told by authorities that you should not fail? For most of us, it starts when we are children. We are taught by adults that you must get good grades, you must make the team, strive for first place, etc. In other words, you must not fail.
Adults usually want what’s best for us when we are naïve, young lads. However, the message we often receive is that we must perform to the standards set by others. And those others, in the eyes of children, are older, smarter adults who know what they are talking about. Throughout your lifetime, you have most likely been conditioned to believe success is good; failure is bad.
I’m asking you to challenge this message and ask yourself what you believe. Did you know failure isn’t always a bad thing?
Failure vs Success: The Common Denominator
It may take some time to wrap your head around the idea that failure isn’t always a bad thing. In the moment, when failure happens, it can seem devastating or life-altering. It may seem like you’ve wasted precious time, money or energy only to produce a faulty outcome.
However, faulty outcomes, whether that means you repeat a grade or flunk a driver’s test, can teach you valuable information. When you fail (and when you succeed), you gain information. Whether you fail or succeed at something, you have made yourself aware of beneficial knowledge to be used in future endeavors.
That is why, my friends, failure isn’t always a bad thing. Failing means new information. Failing is the opportunity to learn new knowledge and turn that knowledge into self-serving actions. Do not get down on yourself if you have failed. Failure is information, and information is powerful!
Helpful Hint #1 Failure is information.