People love success stories, but freak out at the prospect of failure. If you want success in any aspect of your life, then you have to embrace failure and build on the benefits it generates.
There are four keys to unlocking the benefits of failure. Mastering these four will yield five major benefits.
1: Face your fear
“The enemy is fear. We think it is hate; but, it is fear” Gandhi
Fear squeezes the willpower out of us to pursue our better future. It locks us up in the jailhouse of status quo and false security. If you want to break free, then you have to face your fears one by one. Yes, everything can go wrong and you can hit rock bottom. You will survive. OK, now that that is over, you can move on and take action.
2: Face the facts
“Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough” Elon Musk
Ouch! You failed. Everything did go wrong. You have officially failed. Face the facts. This particular experiment did not work out the way you envisioned. They key is to leverage it and advance.
3: Feast on your failure
“All sorrows are less with bread.” Miguel de Cervantes
Once you have failed, I suggest hosting an actual feast. Make the best meal ever, invite your best and brightest friends to join you and then feast on your failure. While you savor great food, drink and friendship; feast on every possible lesson learned from the failure. Invite candid feedback and reflections. Insights are the perfect dessert.
A good outcome is that you have a set of useful lessons learned. The best result will be fresh opportunities and potential resources to advance. At a minimum, you will have commiserated, cleared the air of any fear and put yourself in a place to start anew.
4: Forge ahead
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” Winston Churchill
Failure is final if you refuse to get up, dust yourself off and get back in the game. The key is to build on the lessons learned and forge ahead.
Additionally, there are 5 major benefits of failure.
Clarity: Crisis creates clarity. Failures force us to clear out the noise and zero in on what is most important.
Champions: True champions stick by your side during the tough times. Thankfully fair weather friends disappear when the waters get rough.
Creativity: Failure creates constraints. You must level up your creativity to generate fresh possibilities and attract new resources to implement the new vision.
Grit: If you get slammed by a failure and bounce back that is called resilience. If you learn, adjust and actually return better than before, then you have grit. Nassim Taleb captures this idea well in his book Anti-Fragile.
Freedom: Failure strips you of your notion of invincibility. Accepting your failure takes an act of humility. If you own your failure, you are liberated. You can now go about your business without the constant pressure to appear to be perfect.
SOME NOTABLE CHAMPIONS ON THE BENEFITS OF FAILURE
JK Rowling’s Harvard Commencement Speech:
Elon Musk and Richard Branson Google Hangout