I get told often that I’m good at motivating people. As I’ve been kindly asked by Nadine to write a post here, so here I am. What can be a good subject for motivation, that everyone can relate to, whatever their age or situation?
Here’s the answer:
Yes, I said it. The key to self-development is through failure.
It is a harsh word that can be used as an insult, or to describe something going horribly wrong. In all cases, there’s a very negative vibe coming out of this word.
Why do we hate failure so much?
Because it is the total opposite of the word “success”. Because we – as a society – want to show the best of what we are. It’s all about success: success in life, love, career, relationship. Physical success too: how good looking you and your family are. We idolise success and do our best to reach it at some point.
Which is absolutely fine, if you ask me. I am a career-driven woman, so it would make no sense for me to tell you how success is cliché and not needed as I sit here on my desk, sipping my coffee as I boss around people on a million-pound project. You don’t want to hear that type of condescending bullsh*t. Nor that I expect you all to be my mini-me either! The key of me writing this article is to motivate you. And God knows how motivational quotes/posts can sound condescending sometimes, because they don’t relate to your personal struggles.
Truth is, you can’t live without failure. You are bound to fail, somehow, somewhere, sometimes. Failure is part of life: not convincing your mom to buy you that ice cream you desire so much at that very moment as a kid ; the person you loved so much at high school rejecting you ; not getting that job ; not winning the lottery ; not becoming the heir of a multi-billion empire. Any way you see it, there is a certain percentage of failure in your life you just cannot erase.
By promoting the perfect body, the perfect mind, the perfect image of happiness, over and over again, everywhere… makes you forget that no glory is made without effort. Hence probably why people are so discontent about their lives and think they’ll never achieve what they are set for. It is something I see all the time when I speak to people, either at work or on the Internet. People are worried not to achieve. People feel unhappy and they don’t even know why. People think they could do or be more than what they are at the moment. Is this happening to you, too?
How do I bloody know about that? Well, that’s because for a very long time, I was a failure myself. Failure to my family for not being what they wanted me to be. Failure at life, because I left school to work instead of going to Uni. Failure in love, as I was single for years. Failure in society, for spending years in debts, and on benefits and ending up homeless for a certain time. I experienced all types of failures and spent years trying to get back on my feet, moving to the UK at the tender age of 18 and changing careers at the age of 30. I went through horrible pain, and very dark hours, without anyone to turn to. I know I goof a lot on Twitter chats and I look like a stupid anime girl with my pink hair and acting half my age, but as a matter of fact, I always try to motivate people when they’re feeling down because I know all too well how it feels.
I don’t expect any of you to go through what I’ve gone through, so don’t feel bad about this. ‘Cause I don’t feel bad about this. Sure, my life could have been better. I wish I never suffered that much and wouldn’t wish that on my worse enemy. But it all lead me to where I am today: in a more comfortable position in life – certainly not perfect at the moment, but better than it has ever been. Better than some people can ever imagine.
I don’t want to give orders and shovel up my way of thinking into your brain, because here’s where motivational speakers can go wrong sometimes. But consider yourself rewiring your brain to the following: failure can actually be a very positive thing to happen.
What are the benefits you can get from failure?
- Life experience: something you just can’t learn at school until you have lived it yourself. By going through difficult situations, you develop without probably realising it a certain knowledge. It’s called survival.
- Get to see how strong you can become: you don’t realise how strong you actually are until you’ve gone through some hardship.
- Learn it wasn’t meant to be, and the best is still to come:when I was 19, I got an interview at a bank. I didn’t get the job, and was very disappointed at the time. Now, reflecting on that, I don’t think I would have been the right person to work in a bank, nor would that sector would have been right for me. I ended up working in sectors I highly enjoyed instead, so I came to realise that job wasn’t a big loss.
- Learn from your mistakes:sometimes, you need to see what goes wrong to make it right.
- Troubleshooting:when experimenting with failure, you get into a situation where you HAVE to find a solution. And troubleshooting is one skill employers want to see in candidates applying for jobs. It shows you can handle pressure better, and that you will be the person that can bring a solution when things go wrong, which happens more often than not in a real work environment.
- Develop creativity:it is known that creativity works best with struggles. A lot of people’s winning ideas were developed when going through dark times. Famous songs. Products developments. Movie scripts. Paintings. You could count thousands pieces of art and technology that got created through the artist’s suffering and darkness. Think Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse. They were troubled people that channeled through their feelings into songs, say what you like about them, but this is what made them so distinctive compared to the bland manufactured pop bands: it’s that raw talent they developed that just cannot be manufactured.
- Resilience:another precious skill to have, that can only be built through hardship. It cannot be explained, it is how it is. Life, as it is often said, is not about never having a tumble; it’s about how you pick yourself up. As mentioned on the previous point above, good ideas can come out even on the darkest time. And quite often, in business, good ideas can be rejected multiple times until someone decides to invest, making the rest history. It doesn’t make sense to give up after one failed interview; you keep applying until you get a job, right? Same thing in life: you get to try until you eventually get it.
Don’t let failure stop you, allow failure to keep you going instead.
Hope this post would allow you to see things from another point of you and give you the courage to embrace failure as part of life and use it as a tool for achievement.
Can you find more benefits to failure? Have a think!
Find me at Helena’s Teabreak: http://teabreak.supernoona.com/