We’ve grown up learning that failure is an ugly word.
For a long time, I’ve always been afraid to do something I felt I would do badly in. I was afraid of failure and felt that it was a reflection of my character and abilities. I thought that if I failed or performed below expectations, it would mean I was not doing a good job and that others would start to think poorly of me.
And because of that, I was constantly doing things driven out of fear – fear that I would underperform and what others would think of me.
How wrong I was.
“When you’re 20, you care what everyone thinks. When you’re 40, you stop caring what everyone thinks. When you’re 60, you realise no one was ever thinking about you in the first place.” – Winston Churchill
As I read and learnt more about the stories of many successful women out there, it gradually dawned upon me that failure, despite being an “ugly” word, is part of the process, and even an absolutely necessary part of the process towards something greater.
Failure is a turning point to redirect.
In a 2015 interview, Lady Gaga revealed that despite having gone to acting school for more than a decade, she was really terrible at acting and auditioning and guess what – she didn’t let it bring her down but decided to move to becoming a singer instead.
Failure allows you to focus on the core.
Before J.K. Rowling wrote her now famous Harry Potter that had earned her international acclaim and elevated to status of a self-made billionaire, she was a single mother living on benefits. Yet, she saw being rock bottom as the foundation on which she built her life.
As she said in a 2008 commencement speech to the graduating Harvard class, ‘Have I succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena where I believed I truly belonged.”
Failure is inevitable.
Beyonce also described learning about failure at age nine was also the best message she ever had because she realised early on in life the inevitability of failing when you are working towards your goals.
While you could say that dismiss these ladies are one out of a million and blessed with gifts and natural talent that allowed them to succeed, we must realise that all of them had one thing in common.
Having succeeded and looking back now, they saw saw failure not as a stumbling block, but as a stepping stone towards their achievements today.
Embrace failure and trust in the process.
For myself, this has meant saying yes to opportunities and things that I didn’t feel ready for, but have always wanted to try even if it scares me.
And that’s the attitude I would like to encourage you all to take as well whether it means taking the first step towards taking charge of your finances or starting a project you’ve always dreamt about.
Shall we start embracing failure today?
Miss Kaya will be sharing a series of inspirational Wonder Women who embody the spirit of grittiness, resilience and passion. Know of a woman who can be featured? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more and get them featured.