Why Your Greatest Success Will Only Come After Your Worst Failure
Your way to success will pass through massive failure.
May 24, 2021 8:00 AM EST | 8 min read
Coming up unsuccessful in anything—especially on a project that you love or care deeply about—is one of the worst types of pain that there is.
Even though that burn of defeat can be traumatizing, failure is one of the most valuable stepping-stones that there is for developing greatness in yourself.
It’s a powerful secret sauce for developing the unrelenting determination you need to win; sparking unstoppable levels of creativity in yourself; and revealing character traits you could have never discovered any other way.
Failure breeds success.
You have to lose to win.
Your greatest victory will only materialize after your worst loss.
If you need more convincing, check out these mistake quotes about overcoming failure.
Your way to success will pass through massive failure
Here’s three reasons why:
#1- Failure Is The Father Of Determination
Success requires determination.
Launching a successful business, becoming a published #1 best-selling author, winning an election, hosting your own television show, changing millions of lives, earning a million dollars, and overcoming bad circumstances to build an empire from nothing are all feats that require massive, persistent, and unrelenting determination to win at all costs.
As we look up at our role models—the Mark Zuckerbergs, J.K. Rowlings, the Steve Jobs’, the Oprah Winfreys, and the Shawn Carters—of the world, it’s very easy to fall into that trap of thinking that these super-determined individuals were just born with their motivation and drive.
But contrary to what we may think, determination is not an inborn quality that you either have or you don’t.
Determination, drive, motivation, persistence, and hunger to succeed are not inborn traits.
That unrelenting hunger to succeed always comes to life in moments of pain, failure, defeat, and loss.
Failure Is The Father Of Determination.
That undying hunger, motivation, and determination to succeed always originates from struggling through the pain of unemployment, losing out on a job or business opportunity, getting cut from the team, failing to pass through to the next round of an audition, bankruptcy, or failing to launch a business successfully.
That relentless determination to win comes from suffering through the misery of failure and deciding to yourself that: From now on, failure is not an option for me.
From now on, I will do whatever it takes to succeed and make my goals a reality at all costs.
Failure Is The Father Of Determination.
So in order to reach your greatest level of success, you first have to hit rock bottom.
You have to persist through failure to be super-successful.
There’s no way around it.
#2- Failure Breeds Creativity. Your Defeats Will Inspire The Creativity You Need To Win
There are lots of ways to stimulate your creativity.
Meditation, reading thought-provoking books, engaging in stimulating conversation with like-minded people, listening to music, working out, and pouring yourself a nice cup of coffee or green tea are all great ways to get your creative juices flowing.
But out of all the many ways to do it, suffering through failure has to be the most powerful way to spark your creativity.
Going through a failure—if you respond to it with a positive mindset—can really do wonders for you.
Because it backs you into a corner.
Putting all of your efforts, energy, dedication, hard work, and enthusiasm into a goal and coming up unsuccessful forces you to use your creativity to come up with better, stronger, and more innovative approaches to success.
Failure forces you to get creative.
Failure forces you to invent ideas, solutions, and strategies that could never exist without that tragedy of suffering through loss.
Suffering through a devastating failure—as painful as it is—can be a God-send for your career.
Because it forces you to create your way out of rock-bottom and into success.
A brilliant example of creativity-provoking powers of suffering through failure is the life story of Steve Jobs—a technology entrepreneur and icon who epically used his failure as motivation to create greater levels of success.
In Steve Jobs’ Commencement Speech to Stanford’s Graduating Class of 2005, Jobs retold his story of connecting with a strong passion for creating technology at Apple only to get fired from the company he created at the age of 30.
It was the most devastating setback of his life.
Though it could have destroyed him, Jobs explained to the graduates that getting publicly fired turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to him.
Because losing his position and success as the leader of Apple opened him up to express his creativity more freely.
He started a company called NeXT, helped launch Pixar, reclaimed his role as CEO of Apple, and the rest is history.
Failure opened Steve Jobs up to express himself more freely and forced him to create his way out of his rock-bottom into the mega-stardom and super-success he enjoyed at Apple.
As he explained to the graduates: “It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it.”
Failure was the medicine Steve Jobs needed to spark his creativity.
Because his greatest success could only come after he overcame his worst failure.
If you’re enjoying this article, make sure to also check out our collection of encouraging quotes to help keep you going.
#3- Failure Reveals Character. Your Defeats Will Show You Who You Are
Everything—including failure—happens for a reason.
Everything takes place for a purpose.
Though this truth is hard to comprehend until looking back on your life in hindsight, failure always comes into our lives for the purpose of revealing character.
Failure comes into our lives to reveal qualities in us that we could never discover any other way.
Failure shows us who we are.
Smiling, laughing, and celebrating through good times is great.
But good times don’t show you who you are.
Hard times do.
Good times don’t show you how resilient, purposeful, determined, creative, strong-minded, resourceful, motivated, and intelligent you are.
Only failure can do that.
Failure is life’s universal test for pushing and elevating us into deeper levels of who we are.
Struggling through and overcoming painful situations, tough problems, tragic losses, setbacks, and moments of sadness reveals our best nature.
Suffering through the worst brings out the best in us.
A powerful example of this is—world-changing and record-setting author of The Harry Potter series—J.K. Rowling.
Failure was such a huge stepping-stone for Rowling that she dedicated a big portion of her Commencement Speech to Harvard’s Class of 2008 to enlightening the graduates to “the benefits of failure.”
She described how at the time of her own graduation from college, her greatest fear was failure—a fear that became reality seven years later as she struggled through single-parenthood, unemployment, and poverty all at the same time.
Hitting rock bottom was a dark period in J.K. Rowling’s life.
But it was also the foundation for her eventual success.
Because failure stripped away what Rowling called “the inessential.”
Struggling through that defeat broke her down to a state where all she had left was her true character.
Failure revealed her true character:
“I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. . . . I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea.
And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
So in conclusion, I encourage to embrace your failures.
I encourage you to not only embrace your setbacks, but to also spend some effort on projects, goals, and ideas that scare the hell out of you.
Aim to accomplish goals so ambitious—so beyond what you’re currently capable of—that they scare you.
Try failing on purpose.
Because that sting of losing out on success is momentarily going to burn.
But the unrelenting determination, unbeatable hunger for success, unstoppable creativity, and newfound knowledge of your true character are more than worth the pain of surviving through failure.
When the chips are down, keep in mind that even though you’re in the middle of the worst failure of your life, your greatest success lies ahead of you somewhere in your future.
February 12, 2021 at 10:14 AM
Failure is never fun, but this article reminds us all that it is a necessary step in the journey! Great points and a wonderful read!