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Failure, learning, and Growth

A couple of days ago I was scrolling through social media when I saw a post that said, “If at first, you don’t fail, try, try again.”

This post struck me. Oftentimes in life, we perceive success as the ultimate victory and everything less than that as defeat. But the truly interesting thing is that failure is the best way to reach success, however, you might define it.

Failure is a part of life, it is the key to learning, and it is essential for growth, but unfortunately, most of us are taught to avoid failure at all costs.

Part of the reason why the quote above captivated me so much when I first saw it is because it cleverly highlights the vital importance of failure.

Playing off of the well know phrase “if at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again” this new and improved version shines a light on two very interesting facts:

  1. Failure is a key part of learning and growth, and if you truly want to learn and grow, you should expect failure

  2. If you are not failing then you are not pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and you are doing something wrong

Failure

In our world today, failure, mistakes, and missing the mark have been ingrained in our minds as forms of disgrace.

But the only true forms of failure are not learning from your mistakes and repeating them again or never messing up and never growing as a result.

Learning

Learning from your mistakes is a humbling process. I struggle with it daily.

But one technique that I have begun to use to try to embrace failure and learning is repeating to myself: “No one can convince you that you are wrong. Only you can convince yourself that you are wrong.”

Whenever I find out that I have failed, the absolute worst thing to do is blame it on somebody or something else. Blaming takes away any room for learning or growth.

But by repeating the sentences above, I begin to take ownership of my mistakes and by convincing myself that I am wrong, I open a window for learning and growth.

Growth

After you fail and then learn from your mistakes, and then fail again and learn again, you will begin to see growth.

And once that growth begins, don’t let it stop. Continue to push yourself out of your comfort zone, continue to fail, continue to learn, and continue to grow.

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