The Power of Failure
I’ve been doing a series of posts expanding on the previous post on 10 Causes of Low Self-Esteem. Earlier I talked about the difference between mistakes and failures. Today, I want to focus upon the word failure and what it means to people.
What do you think when you hear the word failure? Do you recall a particular incident in which you believe you failed completely? One or more incidents of failure can have people believing they’re not good enough… or they can never accomplish anything. Sometimes people just give up.
Let’s look at failure in a different way. Failure can also make us stronger or wiser.
The Edison Approach
If you look at the definition of failure you get An act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful; lack of success. (Personally, I think a definition fails when it uses a root of the word to define a word. As “they” say, just saying.)
You know the story of Thomas Edison, don’t you? He’s the inventor of the light bulb and holds 2332 patents all over the world. When he was working on developing the filament to make that light bulb shine, some people said he tried thousands, maybe even 10,000 different types of filaments.
One of Edison’s most famous quotes is, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. I am not discouraged because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward.”
People view failure as a step backwards. Not Edison. Not succeeding has nothing to do with failure. It’s a step forward.
Successful People Don’t Succeed without Experiencing Lack of Success.
Consider the wonderful things you’ve learned. What’s something you’re proud of? It could be anything from achieving the highest level in a video game to learning a skill to having a wonderful relationship. On your road to success, didn’t you sometimes wonder if you’d succeed? Each time you learned something to not do. As long as you don’t make the same mistakes, you’re on the road to fulfilling your dreams.
If you adopt this attitude, you’ll overcome your feelings of failure and be able to see unsuccessful attempts as learning what not to do before you find what to do.
Robert Schuller, a famous tele-evangelist for 50 years said, “Failure doesn’t mean you’re a failure; it just means you haven’t succeeded yet.”
Then their is Henry Ford who once told people they could have a car of any color as long as it was black said, “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”
You will not find a successful person who has not failed more than once. Read their autobiographies and discover how they turn missteps to success.
The truth is, you only fail when you give up! Keep trying until you’ve found the answer or the solution. Then celebrate your success.
The power of failure is in what you learn. Keep learning and you’ll find success.