Thursday, October 25, 2012

Go Ahead and Fail! Why Failure is Actually Good for You.

I have an 8-year old daughter who is not the most confident little girl you have ever met. She changed schools this year, moving from a public school to a charter school environment that is much more challenging. So much so, that in August she had an F in math. I am proud to say that just two months later, she has raised her grade to an A-. Her reaction when I told her that she broke 90% was priceless. It inspired me to write to you about failure today.

So often, we don't take chances or make changes in our lives because of our fear of failure. I would like to encourage you to step away from that fear and give yourself permission to fail. In fact, I would like to show you that it can actually make a huge positive difference in your life. Here are some ideas of how failure can help you.

You Appreciate Your Success More When You Have Failed
I know for a fact that my daughter appreciates her hard work and her achievement of improving her grade so much more than she would have if she had been at that level all along. When you don't immediately get the outcome you are looking for, you often get discouraged or frustrated. However, when you finally achieve success, you know the hardships you went through to get there. It makes success that much sweeter.

You Grow and Learn When You Fail
Failure is not pleasant, it is not easy, and it is not fun. However, your attitude toward failure defines whether it can be a positive or negative experience. Remember Thomas Edison said that the hundreds of attempts to create the light bulb weren't failures, they were simply his way of discovering the ways it did not work. When you fail, take time to look at why and learn from it. Use the experience to motivate yourself to move outside of your comfort zone and grow in your abilities.

Failure Increases Your Chance of Success
It seems counter-intuitive. However, a Stanford University Psychologist's research shows that people who are open to growth and change, as opposed to having closed minds, are more likely to become focused on achieving success. The experience of trying something and failing gives you the advantage of experience over someone who has not had the learning experience of failure.

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