“Only those who dare to fail greatly can achieve greatly.” ~ Robert F. Kennedy
In 2015, I started a business – A magazine. I had vision, celebrity interviews lined up, put in time behind it, had investors and 2 years after I launched, it failed. At the time I was a full-time university student and a full-time hotel worker so of course I failed but a couple of months before my business second-year mark I got a notice from my school staying I had been placed on academic probation. I had received a 1.7 GPA. I then found out the money I was investing in my business yielded no immediate return- meaning it would take years before my site was profitable. I was devasted.
Most times we are afraid of failure because we are conditioned to believe failure is something you should be ashamed of. But what if instead of being afraid of it, you embraced it? What if we looked failure in the eye and said: “ You do not define me…”
Below you will find our top four reasons why you should be okay with failing.
I. Success is the sum of all your failures x your consistency ~ Elizabeth Obi
Great success comes with plenty missteps
When I wrote my first marketing campaign for my site, it didn’t go as planned. I had all these expectations that once I published it and because of the popularity of my site, I would get partnership offers from Nike and Facebook. I then remember sending it to a friend of mine who worked at a huge marketing firm and him sending it back with his edits of the errors and areas that I could improve in. In the end, he simply told me to work some more on it.
It is a fallacy to think that we will write our first script and make it to the Oscars or write our first song and make it to Grammy the following year. 99% of all great people have failed more times than they have counted. After the humbling marketing experience, I rewrote the campaign multiple times before it was acceptable by expert standards. Great success comes by persevering and overcoming multiple stages, multiple times. The quicker we know this, the closer we get to your success.
II. “ Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are…” ~ Unknown
All of the greatest minds have failed…
Most of your icons failed. They probably even failed miserably before you knew their names. Micheal Jordan, Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, John F. Kennedy, Robin Williams all failed countless times. Read their biographies. However, the only reason we know of them is that we know their public success. We don’t know their hard times.
Almost 3 years after the “business failure” incident I got approached by another investor to re-launch the business this time with more financial backing. Although it was the opportunity I had wished for, I turned it down because of my fear of failing. I had failed once after working so hard and I was determined not to fail again even though I was passionate and I believed in my work, the assumed humiliation that came from the first loss was too much for me to bear a second time. So I politely declined the investor’s offer and walked away from a second chance at something great.
A few weeks later, after rethinking the offer, I reached out to the investor and accepted the offer and relaunched the site a few months later.
My realization was taking L’s is a commonality amongst made women and men.
That if I was ever to succeed, I would always have to try again and that I was about to fail again to fear. Most times our egos stop us from making a move – the move because of past experiences. The best way to overcome fear is moving in it anyway. Understanding your feelings toward the obstacle and still taking action to move it.
III. “Failure provides the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently.” ~ Henry Ford
If not for failure, success would lack the necessary elements needed for longevity.
Nothing that ever comes easy is worth it. As discussed earlier, after months of pondering over my business’ second opportunity, I decided to relaunch the site. I figured I had learned enough from my mistakes not to make them again. I had learned that in order to have my business reach it’s full potential I had to give all my attention to it – not school, not my boyfriend, not my job. I had to be dedicated and in the end, I was. I decided to wait until I was finished with school and when I relaunched the site was more beautiful, efficient and had more of a longevity aspect to it.
IV. “Your failure is never as big as it may seem.” ~ Elizabeth Obi
It’s not as bad as you think it is…
Most times humans are their own biggest critic. We retain the bad things told to us and forget the good ones. We replay our losses over and over in our heads even when no one else thinks anything of it. That’s because most people are extremely too hard on themselves and have unrealistic expectations of what it takes to be successful. Once I realized that my failure was a good thing I went back to work with a greater appreciation for everything that I had been through. I hadn’t failed, I was just coming back bigger and better.
The point is, there is no failure in life that will kill you. Yes, some failures may involve huge losses whether it be monetary, or relationships or your home but all those lost will never be as big as long as your alive to make those things back.
“Everyone fails someday” – Elizabeth Obi
The truth is that failure is inevitable, and actually, failure leads to success. You’ll never be the only person in the world who’s currently failing. Understand someone has gone and is going through what you’re going through. The best people in their respective fields fail all the time. … The difference between them and regular people is they have all learned to take their failures and use them to achieve success.