How often do you broach the subject of your own failure? Not often, if you’re like me. I believe it is a universal trait that we try to hide our failures. It is uncool to admit that you have failed. We like to discuss success. That goes for most books, papers, presentations, and other materials. Everything is always fantastic. It isn’t always perfect, though. But what’s the harm in failing? What exactly is failure? It’s quite subjective. I believe we are frequently too eager to pass judgement on ourselves. Failure is an unpleasant experience that you want to be over with as soon as possible. It’s the same when I reflect on my own failings. Things like failed employment, business initiatives, and relationships come to mind.
Consider the following examples:
I started a sales training company when I was 18 years old. I never sold anything. I had no idea what I was doing either. I attempted to be a DJ. I purchased the necessary equipment. I studied it for hours. I did a couple of shows. Until I realise how much I despise nighttime. I was about to launch a coffee shop (not a Dutch coffee shop). When I say almost, I mean almost. All of the plans were in place. I was unable to secure sufficient funding. I started a line of men’s accessories. I still have a few ties and pocket squares stashed somewhere. My ambition was to create a novel. I was unable to complete even a single page. I was asked to manage the marketing for a Dutch company’s US division. It was a complete disaster, and I was fired after only six months.
And most individuals are like this. I was talking to a friend last week. He felt like a failure because he was 31, his relationship didn’t work out, he doesn’t have much money, and he despises his job.
It’s not horrible in my opinion—you can modify all of those things (except for your age). You can meet new love, earn money, and work at a job you want. It took me years to change my perspective from “judging” to seeing ahead. It is impossible to enjoy the experience of failure. I honestly don’t want to know how much time and money I’ve squandered on all of my previous failures. And I felt terrible every time. It sounds wonderful when people say “fail fast,” but the reality is that failure hurts. Failure is a bad sensation, especially when it happens in front of your family, friends, or other people. Of course, none of this should bother you. But aren’t we still just humans? So, when I talk about failure, I don’t imply that it’s simple or enjoyable. You’re probably an idiot if you enjoy failing. No, it’s difficult. But that is precisely the goal.
It goes like this for me:
• You fail
• You’re in a bad mood.
• Damage is absorbed by you.
• You deal with it.
• You then move on.
Doesn’t it appear to be simple? However, dealing with it is quite difficult. And I’ve had severe doubts about my behaviour at times. “Where are we going with this?” I’d think to myself. The answer is straightforward: your fate.
Yes, I realise it’s corny. That doesn’t make it any less true, though. What is fate, after all? I like Heraclitus’ definition: “Character determines fate. “What better way to display your character than to deal with failure?
Is failure the end or the beginning of your journey? When you reach the end, you begin to judge yourself. And before you realise it, your self-confidence has taken a hit. You keep going if you consider failure as a starting point. You’re not scared to explore or attempt new things. What’s the big deal if things don’t go your way?
And every time you fail, you get fresh knowledge. And with each class, you grow closer to finding something that will actually work for you. Things occur. You fail. You waste time, money, and relationships. But, whatever happens, you must love it. Because one day, when you look back on your life, everything will make sense. That’s how it went for me as well. Now that I think about it, I understand. I’m even relieved that I tried and failed badly. It helped me get to where I am now.
Friedrich Nietzsche expressed it best: “Amor Fati — translates to “Love Your Fate,” which is your life”.
“What’s next?” Look away from me! Simply take action. Maybe you’ll succeed, maybe you’ll fail. You’ll thank yourself for trying one day. Because you would never be you if you didn’t fail.