The long march to success is grueling. Taken on an arduous path littered with challenges, we often find ourselves standing before impassable failure.
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
“If at first, you don’t succeed, try and try again.”
The worn platitudes we communicate to others and ourselves in the face of failure prove its ubiquity for individuals in any worthwhile endeavor. On our march to success, we must overcome failure hundreds of times without giving up or giving in.
Failure is intrinsic to success. As evil is to good, and dark is to light, the significance of one is framed by the existence of the other. Failure defines the weight of our success, with more imposing challenges creating more meaningful actualization and greater esteem when we finally win.
In our experience with failure, we grow in deep, enduring ways. At the moment, failure pushes down and tests our grit, imploring us to overcome and press on. Some fear the burden, turning back to their comfort zones while the courageous leave them behind.
Business Marketing Engine did not emerge overnight, and I knew next to nothing about building a business of this magnitude when the idea first entered my mind. The experience of failure was unique, as processes progressed through trial-and-error until I landed on a workable system.
Without the courage to experience failure, I would not have seen the success I knew I wanted. My failures are important to me. They have been my guide, an unforeseen ally through life, and with that in mind, I wanted to share why failure is very much an integral part of success.
Failure Is life’s Greatest Teacher
Thomas Edison, on inventing the lightbulb, famously stated, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
If you are paying attention, failure is not an empty experience. Failure does not have to be a waste of time.
Failure will teach you what you need to know to improve. Expertise, the seamless ability to confront obstacles, is grounded in lessons from the past, with prior failures guiding future decisions.
“What doesn’t work” is equally valuable to the “what does work” when formulating a plan to achieve a goal. It builds insight, efficiency and competence. Moments of failure teach us by connecting actions and results, offering wisdom to better our approach and better ourselves.
Failure Will Make You Reach Your Potential
Failure exists just beyond the edge of our abilities and knowledge. If we are truly capable and sufficiently aware, success is easier to see, and failing will be, at worst, unlikely. But seeing the horizon of our full potential — the pinnacle of achievement — is only made possible by exposure to failure.
Failure helps you discover your full capacity and inner skills. In fact, the more we fail, the more we can sharpen, understand and potentially push that boundary line, gaining the insight to reach previously unimaginable levels of accomplishment.
Failure Brings Character and Humbles You
Failure makes you realize the importance of shortcomings in shaping who you are and understand other people’s pain points. Success without failure spoils us. We take our success for granted and fail to respect the process and hardships many suffer to achieve the same level.
We react positively to successful people who manage to stay grounded, not letting their position separate them from the plight of the common man. And we respect these people and admire their character.
And what binds these figures together? Humble beginnings. Initial failure. Your building has preserved your frame of reference, instilling respect for hard work that ultimately shapes you into a better person. Coming from humble beginnings myself, I especially relate to this concept.
Failure Determines the Kind of Person You Are
“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
– Michael Jordan
Success stories are really focused on failure. The truly great tales of spirit are never centered on the achievement but rather the journey of overcoming adversity.
Take Michael Jordan. If you wanted to use his example to inspire others facing adversity, do you tell the story of how Michael Jordan won his sixth championship? Probably not. This story of a man already in the midst of success and his own greatness falls flat.
But the story of him being cut from his high school team and then coming back to become great? Now that is a story for the ages. We can better value his greatness by appreciating the composure and determination he needed to get there.
And that is the power and essence of failure: its ability to define you. Does it shatter your confidence, or does it harden your resolve?
Failure needs to be embraced on the path to success. Appreciate the lessons of your shortcomings, be introspective and realize how the hardest challenges can create the greatest opportunities.
I hope these insights into failure will help you on your entrepreneurial journey in some way. Let me know what you think in the comments below and contact me with any questions. I look forward to hearing from you.