Failure Fuels Success
Building when you’re down is what leads to happiness and success.
What is your first thought when you see this quote?
“There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.” — Dr. Brene Brown
For me, it’s a lifetime defining quote. It’s counter-intuitive to the “old” way of thinking that seemed to eschew failure or losing as a teaching tool, instead thinking of it as a sign of weakness. There’s one word that especially jumps out when I read this quote:
Here’s one more:
Owning and embracing your failures is the ultimate sign of maturity and emotional intelligence. Taking ownership is what successful people do. That means taking accountability and responsibility for your words and actions. It means eliminating excuses and focusing on positive, action-oriented steps that lead to the outcomes you want.
Embracing yourself means having a keen sense of self-awareness, and the wherewithal to then adapt and take action on goals that are in alignment with your passion, values and purpose. Embracing yourself means being perfectly comfortable in your own skin and living without regret or envy. The thing is, all of us can bemoan what we are not. When we do, it doesn’t end well.
We start fighting a losing battle in our minds that leads to laziness, jealousy, loss of hope and progress. Worrying about who we are not and worrying about the skills we don’t have is a major waste of time. Worrying about the future too much and not taking action in the present is a recipe for inertia. You absolutely cannot move forward when you defeat yourself in your mind.
Creativity and Innovation Begin with Mindset and Action
As Dr. Brown says above, genius for ideas we truly desire begins from disappointments, challenges and yes, failure. If you’ve ever truly been knocked down before, you know this. Let me first clarify one point:
This is not to say you cannot do anything dynamic and creative in life unless you’ve failed. It’s simply to say failure, adversity, fear, doubt and insecurity are all things we can harness and use to your advantage if we have a mindset that believes and has optimism for the future. Creativity and innovation are born from curiosity, imagination and hope.
Think about that accomplishment you’re most proud of — where did that begin? How were you able to get there?
I bet you can look back at an instance where you failed, stumbled or made a mistake. If you search deeper, you’ll realize you culled a valuable nugget of information from that mistake that led you to your achievement. That’s the essence of learning and personal growth. Profiting and growing from past stumbles.
Find Joy on Your Journey
I’m thankful each day when I realize our culture has come to accept failure more and more as the ultimate teacher for building toward new goals and dreams. The greatest strides I’ve made in my life have come from the ashes and aftermath of failure. It’s in the stories of successful author, J.K. Rowling, and also in the journey of Oprah Winfrey and Michael Jordan.
The secret to a lifetime of happiness is the adoption of a learner’s mindset. When you’re willing to learn, you’re curious, adaptable and hungry. Couple that with action and you’ve got the recipe for a successful life and career.
Innovation and creativity fuel our dreams and ignite the passion and motivation that sustains us on any journey. Always remember this when you’re thinking it’s “not your time” or when the deck appears stacked against you. Failure isn’t final. Giving in and refusing to try again is the only failure.
Get up and give it another shot. That’s what success is all about.
Learn more about my journey and get great tips on living your best life: http://chrisdconnors.com