Have you reached a stage in life yet, whereby you truly believe a perceived or actual failure is an opportunity to learn? Sure, that statement is a cliché. Yet, we still concern ourselves incessantly with succeeding every time in everything we do.
Okay, to be fair this is no bad thing. After all, we would be foolish to be a success at making the same mistakes time and again but we put ourselves under such huge pressure to impress, to look good or even perfect!
It has long been recognised in the US, that as a business owner/leader, you lack credibility until you have ‘failed’. Americans recognised the benefits of failure in others of having walked that fire and to have learned; done the apprenticeship if you will.
Life is a journey of daily learning from the moment you’re born, to the last cognitive thought you have. Look at the resilience and tenacity you unwittingly demonstrated when learning to ‘toddle’! You fell – you got up. Consider the way your behaviour has altered in so many aspects of life to accommodate what was once a ‘failing’. The kind of arguments you got into; what was once so important and is now less so.
Developing and growing awareness of risk and mitigation in our work, play, and relationships helps us to recognise opportunities also. When did you last ‘see’ the opportunity to share something you had learned because of a ‘failed’ action?
Do you get over a mistake in reasonable time – and then recognise it for what it is, the opportunity to have done with that mistake and bank it in your knowledge portfolio?
I’m realistic enough to know that being involved in an error, failing or mistake – call it what you will, is less than pleasant in the emotions it elicits. But seriously considering, no matter how impactful the cost at the time, the knowledge growth achieved is truly the most empowering and uplifting positive of experiences.
So here’s the other cliché so richly associated with ‘failures’. It’s not that you fall, but how often you pick yourself up.