Many people are ashamed of failure. If they so much as smell a whiff of failure, they quit instantly because the public notices it quickly. But you shouldn’t be ashamed of failure. A lot of people have failed. I’ve failed over and over again in my career, business, relationships and more. Yet, I keep trying because failure isn’t the final verdict.
On the flip side of the coin, lots of people glorify failure when they fail. When I see this happen, it leaves me with a sense of introspection. I understand that glorifying it makes them feel better. It helps them not feel judged for failing. At the same time, glorifying failure in areas of your life has some severe consequences.
Here are some reasons why I believe failure shouldn’t be glorified:
1. Glorifying failure stops you from learning from your mistakes
The main reason why many people fail is because they make certain mistakes. Assuming they had more information, the mistakes might have been prevented. Supposing they evaluated their options well, failure might not have happened. But none of these things happened. The mistake happened and it is undeniable.
The best way to move forward is to learn from the mistake or mistakes, so that you can prevent them from happening later on in life. Glorifying failure makes you look for justifiable reasons for what happened.
2. Glorifying failure makes you defensive
Human beings hate being criticized. It brings out the worst in us because it makes us feel judged and inadequate. When you glorify failure, it amounts to defending your actions. In your mind, you will give reasons for what happened. For instance, if a relationship doesn’t work out, you’ll probably blame it on the other party. You’ll blame it on their inadequacies.
You’ll probably never blame it on yourself. While each situation is unique and different, you can’t take away the fact that it takes two to tango. You can’t deny that it is the work of two people to make a relationship work. Glorifying failure gives you the backbone to put the blame on someone else while extricating yourself and your actions.
“No one is coming to save you. Your life is 100% your responsibility. Plan accordingly.”
3. Glorifying failure leaves you a mediocre
Nobody wants to live a mediocre life. Or do you? We all dream of greatness. We all dream of being successful. Few people go after their dreams. Others stay in the dream lane because they’re so afraid of failure. Do you know that refusing to try for what you want amounts to failure as well?
Failure does not necessarily happen when you take action in certain things and you watch it fall apart. Failure also happens when you’re passive in going after your dreams. You might not know it but you have failed. Automatically, you have glorified failure and given it strength to rule your life which leaves you in a mediocre state for years to come.
4. Glorifying failure stops you from taking risks
Life is full of risks. As an entrepreneur, I understand this a lot. When I first wanted to start my business, I pitched my ideas to a lot of potential investors. The very first person I pitched to looked at me critically, and said a lot of things that would take up all the space here if I typed it out.
In summary, they told me that my idea wasn’t as good as I thought, and tweaking it a bit would help me sell my pitch better. I instantly felt I had failed because they didn’t buy my idea. But instead of learning from it, I justified their words. I replied that they didn’t know that gold was staring at them. I said that they were too sentimental.
All in all, I justified my failure and I refused to pitch to anybody again for months. My thought process had stopped me from taking risks which I knew would help grow my business. From this single interaction, I learned when you glorify failure, you stop taking risks which can help you grow.
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” – Mark Zuckerberg
5. Glorifying failure blinds creativity
If you followed my story above well, then you would see that exalting failure blinds creativity. Because of my actions, I couldn’t critically analyze and evaluate my potential investor’s comment. They were obviously objective enough to see that my ideas were good, but not excellent.
They knew that with just a little creativity, my ideas could be better and worth more than I thought. It took me some time, but I eventually modified my ideas and their predictions were right. If I hadn’t justified their words when they first gave them, I would have learnt and challenged my creative side. But those months when I glorified my failure really blinded my creativity.
6. Glorifying failure teaches laziness
Refusing to glorify failure when I fail is one secret I know has helped me be better in all areas of my life. I know I want to be successful. I know I want to achieve a lot. How can I do that if I rest on my oars and praise failure when it happens?
It doesn’t work that way. Successful people have to be resilient in all they do. It doesn’t matter if there’s discomfort and uncertainty. Those factors are what propel people into greatness. And there’s no better teacher for those excruciating factors than failure. Not just failure but learning from failure when it happens.
Failure is something we’re all afraid of. Yes, even I am afraid of failure sometimes. But in the end, all I think about is that I have nothing to lose. When I feel discouraged, I simply remember Lance Armstrong’s words: “Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever”.
How do you handle failure? Let us know by commenting below!
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com
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