How to Successfully Fail

I attended a networking event last week where I was able to meet with some amazing professionals from the tech world. During one of the presentations, the speaker asked the room, “What is your biggest fear?” The majority of the people there answered: failure. Shocked by the response, she then went on to tell us that fearing failure means you won’t take chances and will ultimately end up missing out on opportunities. I took this to heart and decided to look into the importance of failure.

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Elon Musk once said, “If things are not failing, you’re not innovating enough.” It’s true; failure is a critical part of innovation and success. He should know. He had five rockets explode at launch, some of which were carrying Satellites for NASA and Facebook worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Despite this loss, SpaceX is now the largest private producer of rocket engines in the entire world.

Research shows there’s a strong correlation between failing and succeeding. Did you know that people who are at the top of their industry are the ones who have failed more often than others? Everyone exhibits failure, but people react quite differently to it. It is important to focus not on the failure itself but on how to learn more from your mistakes.

You’ve probably heard the famous Thomas Edison quote in regards to his failures while inventing the long-lasting light bulb. He said, “I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work”. Failing forces you to dive deeper and fully immerse yourself until you succeed. Failure is inevitable but it’s how we persevere that matters. The process of moving on after failure is actually of more value than succeeding the first time.