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 how your failures indicate growth.
It’s not About Failure or Success
The biggest takeaway from Part I is that failing produces information. Failure brings knowledge into your life you did not previously possess. And while we all want to see success in our lives, success doesn’t come without failures. If you want success, you must fail along the way.
Failures indicate growth! You see, to put yourself in a position where you might possibly fail means you risk something. For example, you risk tasting a horrible food every time you eat something new. But you try it anyway. Why?
Because despite the experience of a new food, you are going to learn something. If you can state from experience that a new food tastes bad, you have gained new information. If you can state from experience that a new food tastes good, you have gained new information.
Either way, you’ve gained knowledge that you otherwise would not have known. This is called growing and evolving yourself! Therefore, both successes and failures indicate growth.
Comfort or Risk?
The food example is a simple one. Let us think in terms of running for president of a student organization.
As you gather supporters and conduct your marketing, you are taking a risk. It takes time, energy, and sacrifice to put your name in the running. You know all along it could be a failure.
On the other hand, you have a friend who likes the idea of running for president, but she’s too afraid. Her biggest fear is wasting time and energy for a vote that she may not win. She decides to play is safe and avoid the hassle.
You run for office and you lose. She may then turn to you and say, “I’m glad I didn’t waste my time.” But you turn to her and say, “It wasn’t a waste: I learned how to craft my message, I learned how to network with strangers, I figured out how to win supporters, I learned who my true friends are, and I now realize a few mistakes I made along the way.”
Moral of the story? You risked failing in the name of growing and learning new things. That’s what life is about. You never know what kind of information you will gain despite success or failure. And your friend who played it safe … she preferred to remain comfortable on the sidelines.
Failure indicates growth, my friends – failure is not all bad!
Helpful Hint #2 Those who remain stagnant never fail!