“I feel so lost Aastha. I did work hard, so many late nights, many iterations of refinement, many tries, I see no success. This is my dream to be able to make this venture work, trust me, I gave all that I could. I don’t know what I can do differently to make this work. The final option for me is to quit my job and fully concentrate on my venture, but that would push me into complete crisis in terms of finances. What do I do?“, this is what he said holding my hand, with tears in his eyes.
My friend is quite matured, is very well aware of the risks he was taking. He was prepared for the struggle that’s gonna last long and yet, he wanted to do. I consoled him for then since it was already late in the evening, but promised to meet him the next day. I opened up my laptop, reviewed all his work for the past one year, took my notes, came up with some ideas, but most importantly, I see that he is upset, very much with himself, that required to be treated before anything else.
What is a failure ???
I am not asking about failures that lead to tremendous successes .. Plain, simple failure , what is it ?
Being unable to achieve ‘something’ that we wanted is failure, it can be big or small. There is a lot of stigma that we have put around failure, which is causing us not to see the good it has brought. Failure is a milestone, it tells us what we did right, what we could have done differently and most importantly what can go wrong. Our assumptions are often invalidated during turbulent times, we are not prepared and hence we do fail. If you think about it, failure is just feedback; it’s simply showing you what’s not working so you can find out what will work.
Failure isn’t bad, then why do we feel so devastated, lost and depressed when we fail ? Sometimes because it has implications on the stability of our life, career or finances, hence it inadvertently makes us feel bad. But many times, the effect is not so huge. Even In such situations where the impact is less, we tend to feel sad, where in being more happy would make us feel better.
When I was going through a training, I got to know that there are companies that celebrate failures, they throw parties and give away awards for those who failed. I was not very surprised by the concept itself because, even at our homes, irrespective of how good or not so good the kids perform in education or sport they are given some goodies. So we are actually not taught failure is bad or we shall never fail, however we inferred this understanding from the how the world perceives failure. I asked myself, “what do I do when I fail ?” Surprisingly, nothing.
Oh, that’s not a good sign. I thought of celebrating failures. I will treat myself with the most exotic flavor of ice-cream. As I started doing this often I realized, I started liking the phase of failure, it relieves me off being upset faster and let’s me think more clearly.
We made the conscious decision of what we chose and due to uncontrollable factors which caused the failure. There is always a second chance, a better thought, a different way of looking at things. Even when we think differently, we may not succeed, we may end up failing many times, but every time we fail we are only getting better at what we are doing , more wiser and are a step closer to success. So, let’s celebrate our small success, that’s the better way of calling it, isn’t it ?