Failure Is A Great Teacher
February 6, 2020
We approach any activity with one of two mindsets.
One- Where we are driven by the “Spirit of success”.
The other- Where we are driven by the “Fear of failure”.
For the longest time my mindset was stuck in the second category. I had a great experience working in the same Multinational Bank for over 23 years. There were many positive reasons for me to spend such a long time in one organisation- great place to work, regular and consistent growth , range of experiences. Over the years , I was courted by other organisations. I never considered them. There was also one other big reason apart from all the positive reasons- I was afraid of letting go and taking on a new challenge in a different organisation, particularly when I had all the positive stuff going for me.
My decision to stay in the same organisation was also driven to some extent by a fear of failure. What if things don’t pan out well at the other place!
I eventually moved out of this organisation to recently join an exciting Technology company because the opportunity was exciting.
Also something else changed.
I was no longer shackled by the fear of failure. I knew I was very capable and good to create value in the new place and succeed. I made the move driven by a spirit of success.
So what changed? Earlier, I was working with a wrong definition of failure and that was holding me back from exploring my true potential.
Let me set the context by defining failure- It is just the pain I experience emotionally , if something I planned for does not materialize.
Unfortunately, for me , failing meant something bigger. It meant that I was incapable of succeeding, It meant that I was not good enough, It meant that “I was a Failure”. The source of this thinking was my ego that was trying to keep me feeling safe.
The good news with life is that even if you try playing it safe and always try to win, it does not work. I may have played it safe, but I still experienced many failures that were extremely painful.
- I failed at delivering even the safe results I planned to deliver.
- I failed at not getting the breaks I was working for.
- I failed at work relationships when I tried to please everyone.
- I failed a keeping my mind positive. I had stress attacks.
- I failed at growing my wealth. I made wrong investment decisions, I lost big money.
As I started mindfully experiencing failure, I also started noticing something very interesting.
Failure was painful but it certainly was not killing me.
It was in fact teaching me some hard lessons that forced me to learn. Failure became an experience that I could use to protect myself. I was growing as an individual with every failure. I started experiencing even greater success on the back of every failure.
The realization dawned on me- Failure is just the other side of success. It is just like the night before the dawn.
The more I fail, the more I learn from that experience of failing. The more I learn, the smarter I become at doing the right thing. The more I do the right things, the more successful I am.
Success is never a great teacher. It just fuels my ego and makes me feel bigger than I really am.
I have learnt more from failing. It has been and continues to be my biggest teacher.