No one enjoys failure. In general, it is something we aim to avoid in both our professional and personal lives, however, perhaps it is a concept we should be welcoming into our lives.
With failure we are able to greater understand our work, revaluate things we took for granted and explore new avenues we otherwise would not have explored. But why are we so fearful of a concept that seemingly brings so many positives?
Failure brings so many connotations which are negative and often instead of being seen as something to grow from we merely see something as shameful or embarrassing. Did we fail because we were under prepared, because we lacked proper knowledge or simply due to uncontrollable forces? Evaluating these questions when we fail can bring us greater clarity surrounding our performance and ensure that in the future we excel, instead of experiencing this failure a second time around.
Perhaps when we fail, we are reminded that we were truly striving for something challenging. After all, we all know quotes which spout the benefits of striving far beyond our expectations and capabilities to reach further than we initially thought we could achieve. Very rarely do we fail when we are working within our usual boundaries of expectation. The downside of staying within these boundaries of safety is that we rarely can surpass mediocre levels of success.
Many successful individuals account their success to moments of failure which drove them to gather themselves, re-evaluate situations and try again with greater knowledge and passion to succeed.
So often so much of our time is put towards avoiding experiencing failure that we forget many of the benefits that come from this experience or alternatively so much time is spent attempting to appear as though we never fail. Keeping up appearances takes up so much valuable time and we forget that so often these mistakes are an opportunity for further growth and knowledge.
Failure needs to be something we accept at all levels within our professional lives. No one is exempt from making mistakes, mis-stepping and not knowing how to do something,however, when we spend large amounts of our time obfuscating our failure we present to younger less experienced members of our workforce that failure doesn’t occur for everyone at some point. So often this desire to hide our failure can lead to feelings of ostracism, however, if failure is something that everyone is experiencing then surely, we need to be using this unavoidable experience to create commonality and acceptance within our work communities.
It is easy to say that failure is something we should embrace but a harder idea to live by. Perhaps it is important that we remember true success rarely comes until we step outside of ourselves, experience some forms of failure and then try once again to succeed.
Written by Lexie Cook, EP Business in Hospitality