OP-ED

MARK JUDE MUGERWA: Lessons from failure

Can one learn from failure? Can one pick any lessons from failure? One can pick very many lessons from failure. One should not whine because of failure but should rather learn from them and use them as stepping stones.

We learn resiliency from failure. It is hard to not learn how to build resilience after a failure, especially if you are determined to overcome failure. Resilience is an important life skill to build. And when you build and learn resilience, it helps you in many ways. Resilience can help you build a growth mindset. It can help you adopt the right behaviours to overcome change.

And it can help you build grit, tenacity and motivation. Failing can teach you mental resiliency and how to bounce back when things don’t go as planned. You will learn what it takes to get back on your feet after failing. You will learn how to get back up again and again.

Our egos are sensitive. They can grow and evolve into beasts of their own. And most of the time, a healthy dose of failure is good for our ego. It keeps us humble. Failure can teach us how to embody important characteristics, like humility in leadership.

Even the best plans are disrupted. And that goes for failure too. You might have set a goal that you have realized you have overestimated the scope. You have learned from your first failure that you need to adjust your goal. Or, you can still achieve your goal. You just need to adjust your approach. That is where flexibility comes in. I often times contemplate upon the phrase: you cannot do the same thing over and over and expect different results. Failures teach us flexibility, adaptability, and how to overcome obstacles. It teaches us to use change to our advantage. It keeps us nimble and helps us to adopt that growth mindset.

Innovation and creativity can present themselves as lessons of failure. Edison didn’t land the lightbulb on the first, second or even thousandth try. It took 10,000 tries to perfect the lightbulb. Innovation and creativity take time, iterations, and failures along the way. Practice some patience and inner work to keep the creative juices flowing, even amid failure.

I am one of those people who when someone tells me I cannot do something; it makes me that much more determined to prove them wrong. Motivation is a valuable and important lesson from failure. Often times, our failures are motivators. For example, let us say you are practicing your presentations and public speaking opportunities. And you make mistakes along the way. But by your tenth presentation, you finally nail it flawlessly. Seeing progress along the way is a big motivator. Failure can help fuel our motivation and help us reach our goals.

In a nutshell, it is important to face and learn from failure because it brings us one step closer to reaching success.

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