Using Failure to Your Advantage

Death to Stock

Being in a situation that is out of your comfort zone is rarely ever pleasing. Our brains are hardwired to always avoid danger, which in modern times includes our idea of failure.

Although this trait has continued to serve 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. Any attempt to leave this comfort zone results in us eventually returning back to it.

Contrary to the paradigm that most of us are brought up on, failure isn’t all that bad.

Willingly putting ourselves 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. But even if you do fail, your efforts will not be wasted.

Experiencing and overcoming failure builds strength in you, like the muscle fibers that 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 should push you towards your desire to succeed.

Failing indicates that you must be doing something wrong, that your method doesn’t work. 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 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

Also published on Medium