Why Failure Is a Crucial Part of Your Success Journey
What does failure mean to you?
I have a confession to make as a recovering perfectionist. Failure used to terrify me.
When I would think about failing, I would break out into a cold sweat, feel nauseous, and my hands would shake. Not pretty.
Sure, it had its benefits. It caused me to be obsessive in my pursuit of perfection. I studied relentlessly. I prepared beyond what was expected. And society rewarded me with many accolades for "excelling."
But the cost was great.
More than making me miserable, it reinforced in me a drive to avoid failure. "Take the safest route. Only bet on the sure thing."
What I know now that I didn't know then is this: failure is a very necessary part of life and learning.
I am reading a great book my Hubby gifted to me for Christmas. It is Tim Ferris' Tribe of Mentors. In it, he talks to leaders of all walks of life to distill the wisdom that they have accumulated over the journey. I am reading at the pace of one story per night to allow myself to absorb the wisdom in these pages. I am only on page 24.
But what I have discovered as a common thread throughout the first four stories is this: failure is an inevitable part of life's journey.
Samin Nosrat talks about the fact that endings don't have to be failures. An ending is the new beginning of something else. And that something else can lead you straight into your destiny. But you must be willing to fail over and over.
Steven Pressfield talks about how failure prepares you for future success.
Susan Cain who started the Quiet Revolution talks about how she had to rewrite her book over and over again before the publisher would accept it.
The list goes on and on. One successful person after another recounts how they failed, were turned down for opportunities, and were told "no. Yet, they went on to build companies and gain influence to become the top of their respective fields.
I am learning that successful people take risks and welcome failure. In other words, perfection is not an option or consideration.
Have you heard that saying, "Failure is not an option"? Well, I am here to tell you that failure is underrated.
Are you playing it safe? I recommend that you decide today to take more risks and fail your way forward.
I am cheering for you.