A few weeks ago I wrote a draft blog for work about the importance of sharing failures in my industry. Since then the thought has stuck with me and grown. Failure isn’t just a thing that happens to companies, it happens to all of us in our daily lives. It’s something every single person has one example of, big or small.
But most importantly it’s okay! We should be proud not ashamed!
If we failed at something it means we tried. Trying is much more important that avoiding failure. If we never tried new things we wouldn’t have art or science! If we never tried in our lives, we wouldn’t have learnt to walk or talk, to live our lives! We wouldn’t know any of the skills that make us who we are as individuals.
Personally, I have a habit of using humour to defuse situations that make me stressed. This means I’m often very open about my personal failings, because I make them into a joke, this makes them smaller, not so serious and scary. I know that doesn’t suit everyone, but I do think it’s important we all find ways to shrug off the times when things go wrong. Our failures do not define us, it’s how we react to them – do we blame other people? Or do we learn the lesson and move forward?
Failure is a great opportunity to learn from our mistakes, to find better ways to do things, or even ways to be a better person generally. If you say something in a conversation and it doesn’t go down well, now you know more about the other person and how to interact with them. If you run out of time on a project, next time you know to start earlier, or use your time better. Whatever the situation you will take something away, a piece of knowledge you didn’t have before. Even if that’s something huge like “this isn’t for me” or “I’m not good at that”. Those can seem scary, but armed with that knowledge you can lead your life differently.
Even when things go well, you usually have the feeling that, in hindsight, it could have gone even better. That’s because through that experience we have learnt and grown. We are not the same person who went in, we are more. Failure is no different. We just need to look at it with a more positive lens.
Every experience you have in life is building you up, you need to stop knocking yourself down and appreciate how far you have come.