paul le

The Benefits of Failure

Being in a situation that is out of your comfort zone is rarely ever pleasing. Our brains are hardwired to always avoid danger. When we fail at something, it can feel like we are in danger.

Although this trait has served us well for millions of years, in some cases, it can hinder our personal development. We avoid things that we perceive as dangerous, even though in the grand scheme of things they are really harmless, and we stick to our comfort zones. If we inadvertently wander out of our confort zone, we quickly try to return.

Contrary to the paradigm that most of us are brought up on that failure is bad, there are actually many benefits of failure.

Being in situations where failure is almost inevitable forces us to become resourceful, since we have no other choice but failure. This will lead to personal growth as you overcome your challenges. Even if you do fail, your efforts will not be wasted as you will have learned many lessons along the way.

Experiencing and overcoming failure builds your emotional strength, analogous to how muscle fibers grow back stronger after a workout. It can lead to new insights and wisdom about your situation that you might not have otherwise made, had you succeeded without a problem. Each failure that you experience may motivate you to try and succeed at the next opportunity.

Failing also indicates that you must be doing something wrong, and that your method is not working. When you fail, it is time to re-evaluate, and recalibrate. Treat any failure you have as a lesson to learn from, rather than a setback.

It is true that you can easily learn from other people’s mistakes, but the lived experience of failure itself is what builds your true strength, and your ability to easily adapt to novel situations that you will no doubt encounter, that others have not.

What failure should not do is discourage you, or cause you to give up. Every successful person has failed many times. What sets many of these people apart from other people who don’t achieve what they dream of is that they never gave up.

The only true failure is when you stop trying, and give up.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” — Thomas Edison

September 25th, 2018