23 Jan 2024

Why failure is necessary for growth

We always celebrate our wins. But tend to hide away failures- whatever the reason. And when we do, we don't engage in reflective practices, which can harm our personal growth. In this short blog, I look at why it is important to review failures and how we can learn from them.


Failure is a word that often carries negative connotations in our society. We tend to associate it with disappointment, setbacks, and the inability to succeed.

However, the truth is that failure is an integral part of the learning process and a necessary stepping stone toward success. In fact, failure teaches us valuable life lessons and provides us with opportunities for growth and resilience. This article will explore the importance of failure, the lessons it teaches, and how to recover from it.


Lesson #1: Experience

When we fail at something, we gain invaluable firsthand experience. Failure alters our perspective, making us reflect on the nature of things and their importance in our lives.

It transforms and improves our future selves. Consider the scenario where you contemplated quitting and tried various side hustles, none of which inspired you.

However, by trying and failing, you stumbled upon something completely random that you found enjoyable. Without experiencing failure, you would never have known about this newfound passion.


Lesson #2: Knowledge

Failure brings with it essential knowledge. Each failure provides an opportunity to learn from our mistakes and gain insights that can be harnessed in the future.

Consider Thomas Edison, who famously failed nearly 10,000 times before creating a commercially viable electric lightbulb. With each failure, he learned one more way that didn’t work, ultimately leading to his success. The knowledge gained from failure helps us understand our strengths and weaknesses and how to navigate challenges more effectively.


Lesson #3: Resilience

Failure builds resilience. By experiencing setbacks and learning to cope with them, we develop the ability to bounce back from adversity.

Resilience is crucial for achieving long-term success because it helps us maintain perspective, persevere in facing challenges, and avoid being discouraged by initial failures.

Moreover, it fosters empathy and humility, allowing us to understand and support others facing their difficulties, which is particularly important in managerial roles.


Lesson #4: Growth

We grow and mature as individuals when we fail. Failure leads us to a deeper understanding of ourselves and our motivations. It forces us to reflect on our lives, helping us develop meaning and perspective from painful situations.

Life is designed for growth and improvement, and failure plays a fundamental role in expanding our problem-solving skills and personal development.


Lesson #5: Value

One of the most critical lessons failure teaches us is the importance of creating and spreading value.

The value lies at the heart of success, and a lack of value often results in failure. Reflecting on past failures, it is essential to consider the value we brought to the table and whether we could have offered more.

Creating immense value consistently is a crucial ingredient for eventual success. In addition, failure shows that we have the courage and tenacity to continue despite setbacks, making success all the more rewarding.

Now that we understand the importance of failure and the lessons it teaches let’s explore how to recover from it:

Ignore the naysayers

When you fail, people will always criticize and discourage you. Ignore their negative comments and stay focused on your goals. Remember, a life lived without taking risks isn’t truly lived.


Understand and realise that It’s okay to fail

Embrace failure as a natural part of the learning process. Countless successful individuals have experienced failure before reaching their goals. Failure is not an endpoint; it’s an opportunity to learn, grow, and persist.

Recognize that failure can mould and shape you into a better person. By understanding the importance of failure in the lives of successful people, recovering from it becomes easier. Failure is not the end of the road; it’s a stepping stone to future success.


Use failure as leverage

Illuminate your failures to gain insights and learn from them. Analyse why you failed, evaluate the meaning behind your goals, and consider alternative approaches. Leverage your failures to push past limitations and propel yourself toward success.


Revisit your goals

Take the time to review and redefine your goals. Ensure they are clear, concrete, and aligned with your aspirations. Set goals using the SMARTER framework (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound, Evaluated, and Revised) and track your progress regularly.


Create a massive action plan

Develop a comprehensive plan to achieve your goals. This plan will guide you through future failures and help you persevere. Embrace the understanding that achieving significant success requires time, effort, and a long-term perspective.

Failure is not the end; it’s an opportunity for growth. By embracing failure, learning its valuable lessons, and recovering with resilience and determination, you can set yourself on the path to success. Remember, success is much sweeter when you’ve endured setbacks and conquered failures along the way.