5 Reasons To Embrace Failure

5 Reasons To Embrace Failure


Anyone who’s ever watched a small child learning to walk knows that success doesn’t happen instantaneously. You get up, you fall down, you get up again. It’s a maxim that’s shared by entrepreneurs the world over, but why is it so important to embrace failure on the road to success?  There are a few excellent reasons.

It’s an invaluable learning opportunity

Thomas Edison once said ‘I am not discouraged because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward’. Like Edison, those who have experienced failure will be in better standing to make more effective decisions in the future. Take the time to understand what went wrong, how and why. If you can use this experience to help better yourself, the failure can actually be beneficial for your professional development or business growth in the long-term.

Embracing failure means embracing risk

If we are too wary of failure, we won’t take risks that, by their very nature, may not pay off.  A 2015 Harvard Business Review study found that of 116 CEOs, the biggest fear is that they’ll be seen as incompetent. This fear diminishes their confidence, which can hinder innovative thinking, and undermines relationships with other executives. Increasingly, companies are recognising that employees who have experienced both success and failure are more resilient and competitive, making them more valuable assets to the firm.

It makes you humble

Everyone fails sometimes. Whether it’s a professional mishap or a social faux pas, getting it wrong is something we can all relate to. In a harsh but effective way, failure brings our views back to reality and reminds us that no matter how much success we have had in the past, there is no guarantee of it in the future. Humility allows us to be more authentic, which is an important quality in both business and life.

Failure reminds you not to relax

When things are going well, it can be all too easy to assume that they always will. More than that, it’s easy to assume that your success is entirely down to your own brilliance. The occasional failure is a useful reminder that despite hard work and smarts, sometimes things go wrong, and that’s true for all of us. It’s a realisation that both lends humility to our endeavours and reminds us not to get too complacent.  While some failure is inevitable, realising that you’re capable of it goes a long way to voiding the really big mistakes.

Failure makes success all the sweeter

If we could run a marathon the first time we laced up our running shoes, it wouldn’t feel so euphoric to cross the finish line. When things come too easily, we run the risk of losing perspective on our achievements. You deserve to be proud of what you’ve done, whether it’s winning a promotion or making a big sale, and that pride comes in no small part from the knowledge that you’ve overcome challenges and failures to arrive there.

What do you think?

Do you have any other reasons why people should eliminate their fear of failure and embrace it instead? I would love to hear of your experiences in the comments section below.

This article was written by Tanya Ashworth-Keppel on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources were used to compile this article: HubSpot, Harvard Business Review and Success.

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