It’s All About Perspective: How to Reframe Failure

In our formative years, human beings tend to be naturally inquisitive, eager, willing to try new things and curious. When something doesn’t quite go to plan or ends in a manner different to the one we initially anticipated- we quickly move on and try something else. As children, we lack the capacity to waste either our time or our thoughts on something in which we have failed.

As we grow however, we grow a sense of shame around the notion of failure- ousting it as something that is simply unacceptable. This is wrong. Failure is a necessary step in learning new things both about the world around us and ourselves. Without it we grow and develop at a stunted rate.

You don’t have to look very hard to come across extremely successful individuals who were known first for their monumental failures than for their eventual successes. Thomas Edison, Teddy Roosevelt, JK Rowling and even Winston Churchill are just a handful among the masses that were dealt their fair share of bad hands before realising their dreams or targets. All in all, it’s probably trickier to name more people who achieved outright success than it is to name those who had to fail to succeed.

No-one likes failing, that’s just a fact- and an obvious one at that. What separate’s those who fail however- is an ability to deal with their circumstances. After all, it’s all about perspective…

Failure Builds Resiliency

Given that the ability to bounce back is an absolutely vital skill for anyone hoping to attain any level of success, the only way to exercise this ability is by experiencing failure. Failures force us to rethink our circumstances and situation, reconsider our approach and find new ways of achieving our goals.

Failure Feeds the Ego (The Correct Way!)

When we fail, our ego takes a beating. This is not altogether a bad thing. When our egos are in charge, we are unable to learn from our mistakes. When it is out of the picture however- we see situations more clearly and take in the opinions and viewpoints of others. This insight is necessary for us to make the changes we need to, in order to be successful. The ego always wants to be in the right. Though to be successful, we have to accept that we were wrong, learn from it and carry on.

With Every Failure, We Move Closer to an Impending Success

Those who achieve success have always viewed failure differently to most others. Thomas Edison saw the 1,000 times he tried to build a light bulb not as failures, but as discovering ways that wouldn’t work. Having ruled out the ways that wouldn’t work, he believed, brought him that much closer to the way that would. It was the same with Sir Edmund Hillary. He viewed the 1951 and 1952 failed attempts to climb Mt. Everest as discovering routes that wouldn’t work, leading him to the route that took him to the top in 1953.

Failure Makes Eventual Success So Much Sweeter

Successful people are always quick to point out their failures en-route to the attainment of their goals. They love to hold them out as badges of honour, signifying that they are among those that have endured, failed and eventually triumphed. Casting back upon ones failures acts to add a certain sweetness to it all, that those who never take risks will never know.

Remember You’re in Good Company

Failure brings on an emotional low. This is not only natural, but inevitable. For the people who will eventually succeed, this is temporary. They do not take their failures personally, seeing them as short-term setbacks. The people that give up, on the other hand, take it personally and see their failures as permanent. A great way to motivate yourself and get back on track after a setback is to remember all of the people who struggled through adversity to eventually achieve their dream.

Failure is a healthy thing to encounter on a frequent basis when starting out in your area as success- if not more so. Getting to where you want to be takes hard work, grit and determination for a reason- because it’s often far from easy! Dig in and persevere!




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