Failing at one task does not make you a failure..
Failing is simply part of the journey towards success. No successful person accomplished all they achieved without some form of failure. You must learn to recognize failure for what it is, an opportunity for growth.
Think about a baby learning to walk; it will continue to fail over again and again, but never does giving up cross its mind. Nor would anyone in their right mind believe that the child is destined for failure because of their initial learning curve. Why, then, do we treat ourselves so poorly when we fail?
Why are we stuck on the belief that our failures, no matter how great or small, will inhibit our successes?
It is not easy to take personal failures lightly, and, we seem to forget that it is not only an integral part of life, but a vital part of learning.
Here is a scenario to consider:
For those of you that have learned a new skill, such as an instrument, were you able to execute that skill perfectly the first time through?
For the majority of us, the answer is no.
Using the example of a musical instrument; when you first picked up the instrument, you likely didn’t know how to find the correct notes and hand placements. You also probably struggled to retain the information being thrown at you by your instructor and that resulted in several initial failures. But, were those failures detrimental to your success in learning the instrument? Absolutely not. Those failures were expected and, without them, you would never have progressed to the point of proficiency.
Many, if not most, of the individuals with the greatest contributions to this world failed many times before finding success. As you research these individuals, you will find that to be true. Many of these individuals credit their success to their initial failures.
Take Thomas Edison, for example, who said “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. It was this attitude towards failure that allowed him to move past his failures and go on to invent the first lightbulb. Imagine how much more success you would find if you allowed yourself to fail 10,000 times in order to reach it.
Another brilliant person, Albert Einstein, said that “anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” He knew that failure was a sign of growth, rather than a sign of ineptitude, and, he knew that he was more than his failures.
You are more than your failures.
Learning how to play the guitar, a small child learning how to walk, and the stories of Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein, are all examples of the simple statement: failure is not fatal. Failing is simply part of the journey towards success.
What does failure mean to you and what will you do to challenge your own biases surrounding it?