Why Failure Breeds Success

Mediocrity is Failure

There are those who count waking up each morning as the day’s first success.  If that works for you, and sets you on the right course for the day, then by all means, carry on.  businessman-facing-stairs-with-earth-globe - path to successHowever, it seems nowadays, people are so focused on not failing, that they embrace staying “within the lines”, routine tasks, and even mediocrity as the solution to avoiding failure.  After all, if you don’t make a mistake, you’ve succeeded, correct?  Well, let’s reconsider.

If I Don’t “Try”, I Can’t Fail

This is simply not true.  You have failed to achieve your most basic potential, but don’t despair.  There is light at the end of the tunnel, because believe it not, failure is actually good for you.

Imagine, for example, the old dichotomy of good and evil; if we didn’t have one we would never know what the other was.  When it comes right down to it, failure is our greatest teacher in regards to success.

Beyond your Comfort Zone

Picture an Olympic skier – if he or she was unwilling to push themselves to the very limit of their abilities, and then just a little beyond, they would not have reached an Olympic skill level.  It’s irrational to think there weren’t countless failures along the way.

The point is that if you’re not willing to fail, then you’re not capable of succeeding.  It really is as simple as that.

woman with glasses - reflectingDo you despair when you fail? Failure is a side-effect or function of trying which is the most important thing you can do; therefore despair in failure is unnecessary.  Do you need to measure your progress?  Simply add up all your failures because they are the milestones on your route to success.

Failing Successfully

Thomas John Watson Sr., who turned several small businesses into the data corporation known as International Business Machines (IBM), died in 1956. In his time, he established a principle which we should all take to hear.  The principal was that that failure was acceptable and an integral part of progress.

He once observed that “Every time we’ve moved ahead in IBM, it was because someone was willing to take a chance… and try something new.”  Recognizing that, he created a “Safe Place to Fail” so that someone who didn’t succeed could still expect to have a job the next day, and more importantly, his full support to attempt the task again with all the insights gained from the previous attempt.

Failure is a Tool

Failure gives you experience, and once you take that to heart, nothing can stop you.  Henry Ford, who was intimately acquainted with failure, was a believer that failure was simply the opportunity to start over, but in a more intelligent way.

The Takeaway

Failure can help you develop the very traits necessary for success in your career.  Babies don’t cease trying when they are learning to walk.  They desperately want to be mobile.  They try, and try, and the concept of giving up never even occurs to them, leading us to only assume that the fear of failure is a learned belief.

If there is any lesson to retain, it is that it is essential to try, acceptable to fail, and the only true failure occurs when you give up.  If at first you don’t succeed — well, we all know the rest.

By Fred Coon, CEO

Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200