Maxwell Stephens

Why is Failure Key To Success?

What Actually is Failure?

Failure is something that everybody has experienced within their lifetime, some more so than others. But failure is not necessarily a bad thing. The dictionary definition for failure is, ‘the fact of someone or something not succeeding’ or ‘the inability to meet an expectation’. In the context of the workplace, failure is quite a wide spectrum. It is not always a monumental event, it can be something as minor as a typo on an email or being 2 minutes late to a meeting. Developing effective techniques to deal with failure on a day-to-day basis is paramount to ongoing success. A lot of this comes down to mindset and how you perceive failure. The most successful professionals out there take failure as an opportunity to learn and adapt.

What Can Be Learned From Failure?

Failure provides a feeling of disappointment, regret – it makes us question why we didn’t try harder or go about a task in a different way. Despite being a negative thing in the short-term, there is a lot to be learned from it, which can ultimately lead to growth and success in the longer-term. 

After persistent failure, we begin to develop resilience, the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, toughness or setbacks. Building resilience helps us to adopt the right behaviours that are required to overcome change, such as motivation. Motivation is a foundational pillar which is key to success; after seeing multiple failures, feeling the sense of regret and disappointment is likely to result in you working harder and harder, just to prove to yourself that you are not a failure, to prove to others than that you can succeed. When times are tough and you don’t feel motivated, thinking back to the times of failure can be catalyst to kickstarting a winning mindset again. 

The Importance of Learning From Failure

Constantly succeeding with minimal effort, can make the tough situations significantly more difficult to deal with. The aforementioned behaviours which can be learned from failure mean that individuals who have failed and grown from it, are able to cope with the stress, anxiety and pressure which comes with tough situations – they understand the feeling of having their back against the wall and are familiar with the ways to overcome this. 

Those unfamiliar with the feeling may be shocked when being forced to deal with tough situations. They cannot self-motivate, they struggle to reflect on their errors and ultimately may crumble under the pressure. 

From our perspective as specialist Facilities Management recruiters, we have to become adept at dealing with failure due to the numerous way it can manifest itself in our particular context (e.g. candidates not turning up to interviews, significant changes in the job market, etc). If we were to crumble under the pressure and give up whenever we encountered failure, there’s no way we would’ve got to the successful position we are in today. You have to be able to roll with the punches, learn from the failures, and ultimately grow from the experience.

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