By Mel Sim

You’d be surprised what it is.

What do you think of when it comes to doing well at work? Success, right? Of course success is good but you know what else is up there along with it?


Don’t be so surprised – continue reading to find out why!

The problem with success after success is that it sometimes gets to your head and you are constantly on this high when things are perfectly fine... until one day, you realise that things don’t go as planned and boom, you end up failing at doing something (or a few things).

The natural response is to feel you’re not worthy and you’re not all that, especially when you’ve been hitting targets each month. You’re disappointed of course and start beating yourself up for that one failure. Heck, you might even think it’s easier to give up when things don’t work out the way they used to!

But if there is one thing you need to do when dealing with failure is this: To accept it. Why? Because the reality is you’re going to fail a couple more times at work (or even life) and you know what, it’s completely OK because you’re human.

What you need to understand is that failure doesn’t mean you suck at something. It also doesn’t mean you’re not capable at all. What failing simply means is there is something to be learned or you need a different approach to make it work.

Makes sense? If option A doesn’t work you don’t just give up, you try option B, C, D and even E until you achieve the results you want. See what failure makes you do? It makes you keep trying and coming up with different ideas and methods to get the success you want.

Which means failure is actually good for you! If you’ve been successful all this while doing one thing, you’re bound to stick to that one thing because it works, right? There will be times when that one thing will not work. And that’s when you fail and have to opt for a different method.

In this scenario, failure is an opportunity for you to re-evaluate the situation and come back stronger with better ideas to get even better results.

One more reason why failure is good for you? Experiencing it means you’re growing and learning. Again, back to using that same method to get the results you want. If you didn’t have an occasional failure, you’re going to stay in that comfort zone instead of trying something new. Which really equates to you not pushing yourself to do better and try harder.

To avoid settling for what’s easy and convenient, you need to push yourself out of your comfort zone and that means experiencing disappointment and defeat. But this also means you’re pushing yourself to learn new things and to innovate, which is necessary for you to progress.

Even science has proven that failure is necessary! In his study on creative geniuses, social psychologist Dean Simonton discovered that the smarter ones are continuously creating and producing, some of which leads to success and some end up failing. He cites Pablo Picasso as an example in an article he wrote for Scientific American Mind. The great artist created many sketches prior to his painting Guernica and some of these sketches landed in the trash before he eventually ended up in the popular painting. Each failure that Picasso experienced led him to this final painting – without these failures, he would probably have just produced with a mediocre piece.

So the next time you’re faced with failure, don’t despair. Think Picasso instead. Or here’s another one: Before this writer became famous, she was broke and living on welfare. Her manuscript was rejected by 12 publishers before one actually accepted it but gave her a really small advance. Today, her book has become one of the most famous out there (she went on to write a complete series out of it), has been made into movies and there’s even a theme park based on it! You know who we’re talking about – JK Rowling!

Photo by Keith Johnston on Unsplash

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