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As It Turns Out, Nobody's Got It Together: 6 Reasons It's Okay to Admit Failure

As It Turns Out, Nobody's Got It Together: 6 Reasons It's Okay to Admit Failure

We've all had those moments.  Those times when, despite your best efforts, you just fall flat on your face.  And then you dust off and pretend it never happened.  Why?  Because, for whatever reason, it seems taboo to admit it happened.  

Failure is a touchy subject.  Nobody wants to admit failure.  More importantly, nobody wants to accept failure.  You have a drive within to achieve better results, and most bosses, family members, friends, and significant others affirm that drive by expecting better results from you.  They certainly don't want to accept failure, so neither should you.  Right?

It's funny how society seems to have formed this image of pseudo-perfection in daily living.  We put on a good face for the company.  And the neighbors.  And the church.  And the social networks.  When it all adds up, you're left with a self-image that appears, to the general public, to be perfection.  Only you know it's a lie.

Now before you think I'm going to endorse a brash approach to brutal honesty, let me say that there is certainly a time and a place for cordiality.  You know the value of a good presentation, and the importance of understanding your audience.  So gauge your social interactions appropriately and give each one the response it deserves.  Then remember these 6 reasons that it's okay to admit failure:
  1. Admitting failure shows humility.  Proverbs 18:12 says, "Before destruction a person's heart is arrogant, but humility comes before honor."  Enough said.
  2. Admitting failure creates transparency and trust.  You can't have one without the other.  When you create transparency with openness and honesty, trust is a natural reaction.
  3. Admitting failure shows others you understand the value of a good life lesson.  There is absolutely a reason for everything you experience.  Many times, the reason is to teach you - or someone else - a lesson that will serve as preparation for the next step.  Don't miss the benefit of learning from your mistakes.
  4. Admitting failure shows off your genuine side.  You know how they identify authentic diamonds?  They look for flaws.  Most real diamonds have defects.  If you see a diamond with no imperfections, it's probably not real.  The real valuable stuff is created under incredible pressure.  Just like human character.
  5. Admitting failure levels the playing field.  When others see that you've failed before, they get a better sense of connection with you because they know their own weaknesses.  People usually feel more comfortable around those who have similar backgrounds and experience.
  6. Admitting failure opens the door to new opportunity.  Thomas Edison said, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."  He recognized the important role of failure in the road to success.  For every failure you experience, you take one step closer to success.
So the next time you're tempted to tout your accolades and achievements without any mention of your failures, remember the value of honesty and humility.  And get ready for the rewards that come with them.

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