Failure can let you get ahead! – In a society where success (personal, emotional, professional or family) is valued and celebrated with love and praise, failure is the ultimate taboo, synonymous with weakness and being a shameful loser. We hide it. Yet this is the best driver there is! So, how can failure can let you get ahead?
“Failure is still very poorly perceived socially, especially among young people, who are conditioned to excellence by their families and a school and university system that values competitive ultra-performance,” explains Arnaud Granata, publisher of Infopresse and author of The Power of Failure. Challenged by the opposing approaches to failure, he wanted to understand what would be a concept of failure without the drama.
Some people say they find in failure the content of their future success. Thus, far from its usually negative and guilty connotation, it seems to be at the heart of an alternative vision of management of self and others. This is reflected in the growing number of FailCons, “failure conferences” where entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, politicians and athletes publicly share their failures… without which they would never have succeeded. “Fail again. Fail better.” These words by the writer Samuel Beckett today form the motto of young Silicon Valley companies.
But isn’t it easier to talk about it once we experience success? “We can only talk about failure constructively by getting out of it,” responds Arnaud Granata. “What interests me is to see how those who have failed use their failure to bounce back.” The idea is to understand how our failures are constructive.
“Failure is everywhere, but we don’t yet stop long enough to really analyze what’s going on. It’s the same thing with success,” the author explains. Thinking honestly about a failure would be more profitable and rewarding than neglecting to examine all aspects of a success.
A required trajectory
Failing is part of the road to success, following the trial and error principle of any learning and creation process. Between total failure (rare) and absolute success (exceptional) are all possible ranges of failure. These are all opportunities to challenge, to readjust and to see other ways of thinking and doing. In short, to reinvent oneself.
How could this uninhibited vision of failure be spread to society as a whole? “We should be able to start talking about it in the family, at school and in companies and to teach perseverance rather than success alone,” suggests Arnaud Granata.
Failure is one thing, and how everyone experiences that feeling is another. It is undoubtedly necessary to reiterate the crucial importance of distinguishing between “failing” (for example, a presentation before your suppliers, an exam, a job interview) and “being a loser” … In short, we must learn to succeed in our failures!