- Importance of failure in success
Importance of failure in success, REKHA MURALI
The Hindu, Opportunities dt 11th july 2012
Have all successful people reached their pinnacle only through success? Or was it the failures along the way that motivated them to excel in their chosen field? The answer is simple as it is a well known fact that failure is an inevitable part of success.
There are two sides to failure. One group would view failure as just a stumbling block, learn from the mistakes and move forward with vigour to achieve the goal. The other group would, however, look at it as a setback and out of fear never attempt to change considering themselves as failures in life! It is how you handle failure that determines the success rate of your endeavours.
The fastest way towards success would be to learn from failure and not analyse what went wrong or regret the initiative. As Bill Cosby says, “In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.”
Living in an era where there is immense pressure to succeed, what better way is there to succeed than to think out of the box, experiment, and take risks! A positive approach is the only way to rise above failures, accept that it is human to fail, learn from the experience, circumnavigate to the road to success.
Human beings are their own worst critics. Fear of failure, fear of the opinion of others, fear and lack of self confidence, fear of one’s shortcomings, fear of the consequences of an initiative or action, are some of the invisible blocks you set up as barriers in success. How do you get out of this rut?
It is alright to make mistakes: You learn by falling, so acknowledging mistakes is a sure fire way to success. Instead of being on the defensive when a mistake is pointed out by others, gracefully accepting the mistake and owning responsibility for it not only helps you but also helps you gain the respect of others.
Avoid the blame game: Avoid blaming the external circumstances or people for the mistakes and look for causes that can be rectified. Once you learn from the mistake, it is a guarantee that the mistake or failure can be avoided again in the future. But not learning from the failure and making the same mistakes again and again is like digging one’s own grave.
Think things through: Instead of rushing headlong into a fire fighting mode to rectify the issue, take time off to think. Just jumping in to sort things out would only pile on the mistakes leading to a defeat. The issue may be constantly on the mind but letting things settle and taking time off may help in arriving at a good alternative solution.
Try, try and try: You should not regret or repent for what could have been in your golden years. So, do not give up easily due to failures but try to achieve the success which you so much desire and deserve!
Plan well: Plan in such a way that there is room for failure, expecting it as a part of the journey to success. Having alternate plans or options is recommended for overcoming the shortcomings of an initial plan.
Seek help: Brainstorming with your team, or discussion with your peer group, friends and other acquaintances would bring clarity in thinking and overcome the inhibitions, barriers in your mind towards the problem.
Inner transformation: The inner critic or the inner voice may inhibit progress with niggling doubts and feelings of not deserving the success. Being too hard on yourself with criticism and being strongly aware of your weaknesses and the ‘if only’ attitude restricts you from experimenting or venturing out of the ordinary towards innovativeness. Overcome this by living in the present, the moment. Thich Nhat Hanh – a Buddhist monk, teacher and author recommends the Buddhist philosophy of practising mindfulness in all thoughts, words and actions where the focus is in the present action, or thought for a successful life and living.
There are two philosophical attitudes towards failure. One way is to treat it as a stepping stone to success and the other way is to realise the strengths and weaknesses and identify skill sets that would help you forge ahead. Bear in mind that it is human to fail. You are never too old or never too young to try anything new. Failure should not deter you in your path to gaining new skills or succeeding in life! Failure enhances the sense of achievement when you finally taste success. Life is not a bed of roses and it is in your hands how successful or purposeful you make it!
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