Henry Ford once said, “Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”
In a moment of failure, it can be difficult to think about getting up, dusting yourself off, and trying again. Failure can be discouraging, but there is a silver lining to it. Here are five reasons why failure can actually be beneficial.
- You come out a stronger person.
Author Roy T. Bennett said, “The one who falls and gets up is stronger than the one who never tried. Do not fear failure but rather fear not trying.”
It never feels good to fail, but you will never achieve success if you never risk failing. Failure will help you to develop a thicker skin and teach you to take each failure or criticism as a grain of salt. And although it hurts, the more you fail, the easier it gets. When you’re not afraid of the pain of failure, you can become more bold and daring as well. This will enable you to take more risks and help you to pursue your goals. And remember the old quote, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
- It gives you a better understanding
It may sound like an oxymoron that you can earn something from failure, but you can! Failure can give you a chance to learn from your mistakes and figure out what you did wrong the first time. You will realize that one method or idea does not work. This will give you a better understanding of what you need to do (or not do) to succeed the next time. So in some ways, failure brings you a little closer to achieving your goals.
Thomas Edison learned this quickly when he was trying to invent the light bulb. He tried 1,000 times before he got it right. Instead of feeling bad about it, Edison looked at his failures as lessons. He said, “I have not failed 1000 times, I have successfully found 1,000 ways that will not make a light bulb.”
- Failure drives creativity
What do you do if your previous method didn’t work? Brainstorm new ones! You can come up with different strategies that will help you achieve your goals. This may require coming up with a lot of different ideas. When you start the ideation process, you can throw anything on the table. Laying out all of your ideas will help you to weed through the bad ones until you come up with something great. The best idea or solution is not always the easiest one. Failure helps you search for those great ideas.
Shark Tank investor Barbara Corcoran first tried to optimize her real estate business by showing all of her listings on a videotape in the 1980’s. She didn’t want her customers to have to travel to see the homes. This idea didn’t work out too well, but it let Corcoran come up with even better ideas. She started to show her real estate listings online in 1989, becoming one of the first in the industry to do so. This idea was successful, and she never would have come to it had she not failed.
- It opens the door for new opportunities and experiences.
“I don’t believe in failure. Failure is just information and an opportunity to change your course.” – Oprah Winfrey
Believe it or not, Oprah Winfrey failed at first. As a young news anchor, she was fired from her job. New opportunities opened up for her and she has become one of the most successful entrepreneurs with a net worth of just over $3 billion.
Although one opportunity might not have worked out, another opportunity is just around the corner. If you have failed in one career or life venture, then you have the opportunity to try out other ones. You may discover that the right path for you was not the one you originally took. Failure forces you to try new things. Because of this, you can learn a lot from failure, and it may lead you to directions that you never saw coming. The saying, “when one door closes another one opens,” is definitely true.
- Success feels even better and you develop humility
Think about it. If you are having success every time you try something, the victory will not feel as special. If you have to fail a few times before you succeed, just think about how great you will feel once that success finally comes. This will also teach you to not take success for granted. You won’t develop an attitude of laziness, and you will continue to develop a character of hard work and won’t take the successes for granted. When you succeed all the time, it may also go to your head. Failure can help you stay grounded and humble.
I know that failure can hurt, but it teaches you so many valuable lessons along the way. Everybody has to experience failure at some point in their life and it is how you deal with that failure that will really make a difference. If you view failure as an opportunity, you will be able to recover quickly and progress towards your goals.