Most of us are programmed to believe that failure – of any kind – is bad and wrong. We’re programmed by our parents, by the school systems, by society in general. The trouble is, failure is essential to the process of growth and change. Here are 5 reasons why I think it’s imperative to allow yourself permission to fail!
1) You Learn Who You Aren’t
By taking a risk and trying something new, you can learn a lot about what IS possible or what you CAN do; but you can also learn exactly the opposite. It can be just as important to learn what you can’t do, and by extension, who you are not. You never know until you try, right? Sometimes what you learn is that you should NEVER try it again, and that is extremely valuable information!
2) You Earn Freedom
Once you get comfortable with failure through your own experiences if it, you become less adverse to taking risks, which can pay off in big ways. You will be more willing to jump when an unexpected opportunity shows up in your life – because the threat of failure no longer looms so heavy and keeps you in the mindset of “staying safe.”
3) Failure Is Funny
Failure isn’t something to avoid, but something to embrace and get your sense of humor about! Think of all the sitcoms you’ve watched. Consider about all the stories your friends tell after that 3rd glass of wine at parties. Life is made up of rich, complex – and yes, hilarious – disasters. Pad your own storybook with a couple more “that time I…” stories and you’ll never be at a loss for an amusing story or anecdote to share with friends, family, and colleagues.
4) What Are You So Afraid Of?
Fear is the most paralyzing energy of all in our lives. Are you secretly so afraid to fail that you’ve never lived your own life, never made your own choices, never really reached for what you thought was possible for yourself? Most people rarely try anything outside the box simply because they are too afraid to be seen as failures. Chances are your friends, family, and colleagues will see you as a person willing to take risks – regardless of the outcome, and even if you fail. And while you might fail, you might just create the change you were looking to create in an unexpected way. Life, like failure itself, if funny like that.
5) Great Leaders Are Often Failures
Watch the embedded video to see just a couple of examples. Great leaders are often fearless risk takers who gamble it all and win big. They also tend to have a great grasp of who they are, and what kind of change is possible for them. There’s really only one way to have that knowledge of yourself!