Research Paper By Nadine Abdel Khalek
(Life Coach, LEBANON)
What is failure? How it is created? What are the implications of its presence? Can we get rid of it? Are there benefits to its existence? All these questions came to my mind while digging more in what failure means. The following answers these questions and ponder more about our topic. We will bring light to this concept that is engraved in every one of us.
Success is such a great word. It can mean so much and it’s a word that I find insanely inspiring and motivating. The cool thing is, it means something different to every single person on this planet.
On the other hand, the word failure is something that we all fear. No one likes to fail. Yet, failure can often lead to even greater success in your life. It all comes down to perspective and what you learn from your failure.
All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become. Buddha
MMmmm, reading this quote, reminds me of the power of our mind and how it can creates pictures to make our feeling look more realistic.
- What is failure, how it is created, what are the implications of its presence?
I came across multiple definitions where I will state most of the interesting ones:
- The opportunity to try again through revised eyes. (Rebecca Spath)
- Never trying because you’re too afraid to do so. (Keitra Grant)
- A huge learning opportunity, and the time to reassess and try again. (Michael Wong)
- Reflect, learn, go again. (Ben Reyna)
- Failure is losing sight of who you are, your hopes and dreams but then learning from them. Taking your mistakes in stride and growing from the experience. (Donnie McNeil)
- Failure is not being aware of the present moment. (Rich Heltzel)
- Failure is just success rounded down. (Matthew Chan)
- Failure is giving up before your chance to succeed finally comes. (Kathryn Reynolds)
- Failure could be the personal belief that you are just not good enough, then assuming that to be truth. (Ingrid M Lindauer)
- Failure is a signpost alerting you to the fact that you need to change course. (Barbara Hocker)
- Failure is not letting go. (Csaba Okrona)
- Failure just means you’re not ready yet. (Sarah Jane Loewen)
- Failure is thinking you’ve failed. (Meredith Myers LeBlanc)
- With failure always come a dozen opportunities. (Kim van Olderen)
- Failure means at least you’ve tried and now you know what to avoid…so try again. (Tonyandjen Lee)
- Failure is a bittersweet experience that enables us to understand that our focus was not in the right place. (Yun Molina)
- Progress …(Gene Cary)
- Failure is always a teacher. Regardless of the circumstance, there is always a lesson. It may not come to us right away, but it is surely there. (Michael Schunk)
- Failure is one interpretation of an event. With our thoughts, we make the world. (Jeremy Mawson)
What these responses tell me is that we’re really not all that different. We all want to make people we love and ourselves proud. We all want to feel free to try, stumble, fall, get back up, try again, and learn as we go. What we need is also the same—to realize success isn’t about getting where you want to be; it’s about accepting and appreciating where you are at each point. Like many people, I was raised with the idea that to fail was a terrible thing. And the worst insult that could be leveled at a person was to call them a failure.
I went to a school where you could pass or fail and exam. You could pass or fail a driving test. Everything from businesses to marriages, careers to high profile projects –seemed to be split into successes or failures.
The message was clear – whatever you wanted to out of life, the main thing was to never, ever fail.
Except that this is totally impossible. No one gets through life without failing at some things. It stands to reason that not everything we do will be a ‘success’. So why do we have such a downer on it?
I think part of the problem is that the success/failure is so binary; it’s absolute black and white with no grey areas. It is two side of a coin. Psychologically, this becomes a bit like the concept of heaven and hell/angel and devil – everyone wants to have one but not the other (even though one of them definitely has the best tunes!)
For the longest time I was brilliant at beating myself up whenever I felt I’d ‘failed’ at something. All of my failures felt devastating at the time, but also left me with a feeling of there being something wrong with me as a person. I lost confidence and felt stuck in my place.
Thankfully I eventually learned that life experiences can’t be neatly divided up into ‘successes’ and ‘failures’ and that there are many, many shades of grey. A great thing I’ve realized is that sometimes the things I’m not so good at and therefore don’t tend to go so well are not things that are part of my path – and the act of failing at them gave me really good information as to where my real happiness lies.