Falling in Love With Failure
Happy February! I realize the title choice this month may be a little much, but if you read my letter in its entirety, you might get it. The text book definition of failure is: 1(a) omission of occurrence or performance specifically, 1(b) a state of inability to perform a normal function. In short, failure is lack of success or someone or something that is proving to be unsuccessful. So, why would I want people to fall in love with something that is unsuccessful? In short, it is because through that, we grow.
ProRecruiters has been in business now for over 13 years. People throughout the years have congratulated us on our growth and success but what they do not see or have not seen is the enormous failures we made along the way. However, when I think back to the bad hires, the horrendous ways I used to manage, the exorbitant number of nights I stayed up worrying or stewing for no good reason, I asked myself if I would change anything. The answer is simply and squarely, NO.
It is because of these failures that I grew as a business owner, as a boss, as a mom and as a wife. If things were just easy and rosy would I be where I am today? Probably not which is why I want you to try to fall in love with your failures. Be appreciative of the broken road because it is leading us all to a place we might not have of imagined.
Failure is not really a failure; failure is about learning. If you learn from the past mistakes, you’re making progress and progress is moving forward. People tend to view failure in a negative light, but it doesn’t have to be. Just recently my youngest came home all distraught about her math score on a quiz. She had to review her work and make corrections. Through this learning exercise she realized that with each problem that ended with a 0, she somehow forgot to include that. Example 630/9= 70 but her answer was 7. In unpacking her failed quiz, she learned to slow down with those problems that ended with 0. The exercise also taught her to be resilient. She could have thrown up her arms all frustrated and distraught, but instead hunkered down and corrected her work. Resiliency is one quality successful people have in common. I didn’t tell her as much, but I was grateful for her failed quiz.
After that, I explained to her that failure could be a good thing as long as you learn from it. For this math work this was just a quiz and didn’t count heavily to her GPA, but a test would. I told her to be grateful she failed on this quiz as opposed to the real test.
Think about Thomas Edison. He was asked one time about all of his failures before his final success and his response was “I have not failed 10,000 times, I have successfully found 10,000 ways that would not work.” Studies have revealed that failures in our careers that we learn from can make us more successful in the future. It is all how we react to it, learn from it and progress forward.
So, when thinking about all the failures at work, at home, in life, don’t beat yourself up for failing, but be grateful for the chance to grow, to learn and to possibly be a better person. Failure keeps our egos in check, it makes us humble. Humility allows us to accept the fact that we don’t know everything. Happy February! Cheers to all who have failed but keep fighting the good fight.