No one likes to fail. But embracing your failures can help you succeed in the future.
The very word may send shivers up and down your spine.
What could be more frightening? Especially for a small business owner, the concept of failure can stop you in your tracks.
None of us wants to fail, and yet we know that failure is an inevitable part of life and business. Each person defines her own ideas of success and failure within the scope of her own life, which is exactly why failing at something can feel awful.
It’s such a deeply personal experience.
The good news? When we understand our failures and learn from them, we set the stage for unprecedented growth.
As entrepreneurs, the ability to emerge from failure stronger and wiser than before is critical to our personal and professional development.
However you define success, here are three ways that embracing failure helps you flourish on the other side.
First, let’s look at why failures happen.
In most cases, we fail for two reasons: Either we’re not doing something well or we don’t want to do something (and sometimes, it’s due to a combination of both).
But every failure presents an opportunity to dig in, assess, and refine the reason for it. This can be challenging, especially for solo entrepreneurs who often wear many different hats (whether the hats “fit” or not). However, there’s so much value in stepping back and considering the fuel behind a failure.
Once we understand the reason, it makes it much easier to choose whether we will improve on it or outsource it. And this choice can only make us better businesswomen.
Failing at something can be devastating, but not necessarily the end of the world — although it can definitely seem like it at the time.
When we overcome failure, however, we gain an assurance of ourselves and our abilities like never before. We clarify the niche we’re aiming to fill. We become bolder, more courageous, and less likely to shrink under pressure or in conflict. We emerge more confident in tackling challenges head-on.
It may seem like the least welcome of all gifts, but failure has great value in its potential to build us into resilient people when we allow it to do its work within us.
Finally, failure offers us a unique opportunity for discovery.
You and I both know that the best way to learn something is by doing it ourselves. And, painful as it is, the reality is that sometimes the only way to learn something is by doing it — and failing.
But it’s not enough to just experience failure. To come out of it stronger, we’ve got to embrace our failures fully.
When we’re forced to work through the hardship of failure, we emerge with new insight: We learn to help ourselves grow. And this discovery offers great value for our personal and professional development.
Sometimes we need to get down in the dirt of our failures to uncover our greatest worth.
By learning to embrace failures as learning opportunities, we gain both insight and confidence for the risks or next big steps required for us to take the leap or push our businesses to the next level.
Sure, it may be tempting to take the easy route and bask in the glow of comfort. But to do so is to do ourselves and our companies a disservice by staying stagnant.
The secret in flourishing through failure is embracing its potential for building us up into stronger, wiser, braver people. And that’s an asset in both life and business.
About Emily D. Tisdale, Founder & CEO
Meet the brains — and heart — behind LEAP for Women. Emily is LEAP’s guiding force, committed to supporting women entrepreneurs at every stage in their journey.
She loves LEAP because:
A resident of Indiana, Emily prides herself on being a transplanted Hoosier and enjoys watching Colts football and spending time with her husband and their two children.