Everywhere you look these days, people’s achievements are being celebrated, whether it be in the papers, among our family and friends, or on social media.
And why not?
Success is a wonderful thing and worthy of celebration, but so to is failure.
OK, hear me out on this one.
Failure gets a bad rap and most of us go to great lengths to avoid messing up.
But here is the thing: we are all going to fail at some point — whether it be a succession of small errors or one monumental disaster.
The sooner we embrace failure as inevitable and arm ourselves with a few tricks to handle it, the better off we will be.
Here are four good reasons to celebrate failure:
1. It builds resilience
Talent is an important component of success but it is not the only one.
Not by a long shot.
Hard work is also extremely important — as is discipline and focus — but I would also put resilience up there among the most important predictors of success.
Many would-be business people, investors and entreprenuers dream of financial freedom and start the journey by reading all the right books, researching the market and lining up their financial ducks in a row.
Then they hit a hurdle.
Cash flow tightens, business turns down or they miss out on a property. It all gets too hard and they give up.
Resilient types know how to take these setbacks in their stride.
Most often, this resilience has been built from a young age, where their parents taught them how to fail and pick themselves up again.
If you were a child who dealt well with failure you will most likely be an adult with the internal reserves to handle setbacks.
2. It makes us more human and likeable
Interesting isn’t it?
According to Rachel Gillett it’s what psychologists call the pratfall effect: when someone we perceive as competent makes a mistake, we often like that person more because it shows they are human, too.
Being vulnerable at times — failing or asking for help — is a necessary part of life and it helps us to bond better with others.
When we fail and we need other people’s help, we are able to cement relationships with family, friends and the community that sometimes we didn’t realise were even there.
Failure can open the door to better relationships with those around us because nothing puts things in perspective, or keeps our egos in check, quite like a run of bad luck.
3. It makes us better at what we do
Over the years I’ve seen many people fail at investing, in business, in relationships, in multiple areas of their lives; only to return to the get up once more, return to the game become very successful.
When we fail it gives us a chance to reflect on what went wrong so we don’t make the same mistake again.
We learn and adapt, and hopefully we grow from the failure.
It is amazing so many of us are afraid of failing when it is really one of the best ways to learn.
4. We ask more questions
Whether you choose to own up to your failures or hide them from others, they are a part of life.
If you learn to accept the possibility of failure, and not be so terrified of saying the wrong thing or messing up at work, then you will be a lot bolder.
This will mean you will ask questions without being afraid of looking stupid.
You will take calculated risks without being overwhelmed by fear and you will not be concerned what other people think and will therefore listen more to your own gut instincts.
And that will make you truly successful.
Also published on Medium.