(Photo courtesy of Institute of Entrepreneurship)
By Nicole Waweru
You might be wondering, ‘Does this topic make sense?’ But in so many ways, it does. Failure can indeed bring success and shape our lives into something greater. I have had my fair share of failures in life, and as much, as I would like to give up every single time they come by, I am glad that I did not.
Failing can damage our self-esteem and in extreme cases, our will to live, but it all boils down to how you choose to come out of it, stronger or weaker. Failure is guaranteed and is inevitable, as long as you are striving for something, or if you have put yourself out there in one way or another.
Failure is often compared to defeat, I had a period in life where I said, ‘That’s all there is to it. Close the doors! I am not going to do this again. This is not meant for me.’ Failure does not spell doom, you just need to take a different path. We always put ourselves in a bad state of mind about failing when we should be asking ourselves, is this the end, or should we just try again? Consider your past mistakes, would you change any of them? What did you take away and discover from your mistakes?
More often than we would like to acknowledge, we have all failed at something in life, whether big or small. Most people only talk about failure when it is something really big that can drastically alter our relationships, financial situation, and mental health. However, failure can be seen in the little things, for example, if you had set out a to-do list for yourself, and you only managed to tick one box, you might end up feeling like you failed.
If you are anything like me, you have probably failed numerous times as well. Although we cannot claim that we especially enjoy failing, the challenges and lessons it presents shape us into better people.
We grow, mature, and improve as a result of our failures. We develop fresh viewpoints on the environment we live in. People are challenged to make big leaps when they fail because it knocks them out of their comfort zone. For the times I have experienced failure, I have found myself bouncing back stronger and attacking the situation with a better mentality because I have taken time to assess the situation and have a critical idea of how I want to take on the challenge differently. This is frequently the value of failing! Failure is a necessary step on the road to success.
All of our lives have been altered by failure. Failure has been the constant teacher of everything from puberty through adulthood. If we are constantly afraid of failing, we will constantly be on guard and lead unexceptional, unfulfilling lives. I know I have been a victim of this kind of thinking, I always thought that failing meant that you have reached the bottom of the barrel and that there is no hope for you. But, I was wrong, failure does give you a chance to recover and work on a better plan.
I always thought that all the great people I look up to, like Michelle Obama had not experienced any form of failure in their life, because as I said, I always imagined that once you fail, you stay down forever. I have however realised that even Michelle Obama, has had her fair share of failures, but the true strength comes from how she bounced back from it all, truly admirable if you ask me.
Sarah Dessen once said, ‘Life is full of screwups. You’re supposed to fail sometimes. It’s a required part of human existence.’
The range of your failure’s causes may be extensive, but it is learning from them that improves your outlook on life. Failure often leads to excellent learning; therefore, it is not always a bad thing. Having said that, nobody can escape failing, but nobody expects to succeed either.
Remember to not dwell so much on the idea of failing in whatever you are doing, instead, be kind in whatever comes your way. You never know when new opportunities to change your life will present themselves.