Failure is possibly one of the most feared words in most people's vocabulary.
Whether it’s a failed business venture, a job interview that didn’t go as planned, or a personal goal that we fell badly on. Every time I faced a major setback, I often see myself as a failure.
As I get older and have overcome a number of personal setbacks. I started to see failure from a different perspective. Instead of viewing it as an endpoint, I started to view it as a stepping stone on the path to future success. This is where the art of resilience comes into play.
Resilience isn't about avoiding failure. It's about learning how to respond to failure in a way that allows me to grow and evolve. As Thomas Edison famously said after many failed attempts to invent the light bulb, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." It is this sense of personal belief and commitment that enabled him to invent the biggest technological breakthrough in recent history.
A few years ago, I found myself at the helm of a political struggle that, despite my best efforts, the results were just not materializing. It was a bitter pill to swallow at the time. But with time and perspective, I realized that failure was the best opportunity for me to learn and improve. It is this setback that allows me to step outside of my comfort zone in trying something completely new and challenging.
I have found three useful strategies that helped me to build resilience:
1. Embrace a Growth Mindset: People with a growth mindset believe that abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. When failure hits, don’t think, “I’m a failure.” Instead, think, “What can I learn from this experience?”
2. Practice Self-Compassion: Be gentle with yourself when you fail. Acknowledge the disappointment, but don’t dwell on it. Remember, everyone fails. It’s part of the human experience. More importantly, majority of the time, most people do not care that much. Mostly, it is your personal ego that is preventing you from taking a new step towards self-improvement for the future.
3. Develop a Support Network: You don’t have to face failure alone. Reach out to mentors, colleagues, or friends who can provide new perspectives, advice, and encouragement. Luckily I do have a good circle of genuine friends and family members who will help me to see realities in a positive manner.
“What is one failure you've experienced recently, and what did you learn from it?”