Why there’s really no such thing as failure at work  

“I have not failed. I’ve just discovered 10,000 ways that don’t work.” The exact phrasing of this quote by Thomas Edison is disputed (and even sometimes misattributed to Benjamin Franklin), but its meaning is pretty clear — sometimes failure is all in the eye of the beholder.

You see, Edison’s invention of nickel-iron batteries were at one point just a long series of failed attempts, hundreds of hours of work with nothing to show for it. His assistant, growing quite weary of perpetual disappointments, said it was a shame that they should try so hard, yet achieve so little. Edison’s own personal spin on that failure kept them going and eventually led to another great milestone in human achievement.

We all fail at some point; it’s what we do with that letdown — or even how we think of it — that makes a difference. In the office, the story is the same. So here are a few things to remember the next time you feel like you have failed.

You now know what does not work.  >>Click to Tweet!>>

 Like Edison, you just discovered a new way not to do your job. You know what didn’t work, and more often than not, why. Use that failure as a moment of growth in disguise, and let it teach you how to be better the next time around.

You are more prepared than ever for the future.  >>Click to Tweet!>>

 You did not succeed, and it didn’t feel great. But it wasn’t the end of the world, right? Failure rarely is as scary or as painful as we think it will be before it happens. And guess what? You can use that to your advantage. You have a little less fear of failing, which means you can take on bigger challenges and even bigger risks that will put you onto the path to major success.

You just joined the ranks of all successful executives, inventors and entrepreneurs in history.                           >>Click to Tweet!>>

 What do all successful people in the history of the world have in common? At some point they all failed at something. The mountain to success is filled with potholes, unfortunately, so the ride is often a bit bumpy. It’s important to remember that a stumble doesn’t mean the climb is over. You’ve just crossed another hurdle on your ascent, so keep going.

What are some of the things you’ve learned from failure? Are there some big lessons we missed? Let us know in the comments below.