Using failure as a tool for growth

May 24, 2024 | Development, Home Featured, Opinion

Many people do not fulfil their potential due to insufficient education. Inspirational speaker and entrepreneur Stephen Seki’s story can inspire others to reach the best versions of themselves.

For years I have researched why so many people never reach their true potential. Fear of failure has disrupted so many talented individuals from reaching the true success they seek.

In my book ‘Everyone Fails: 10 common reasons why’ I explore the top reasons many of us allow failure to stop us, instead of using it as a tool for growth and creating the success we truly desire.

Insufficient education

Insufficient education is a very common reason as to why a lot of people never fulfil their true potential.

Education is a valuable asset in building a successful career as well as exposing us to environments that change our mindset. Speaking from personal experience education played a huge part in changing my perception of what is possible.

Personal experience

Growing up in poverty in a small Ugandan village, education was only possible for the children whose parents could afford the school fees. I barely got one meal a day so education was something I could only dream of.

Fast forward ten years and coming to the UK with no education I was unable to read, write or speak any English. My new life in England gave me a lot of things I never had; stability, safety, food, water but by far the most important thing it gave me was a chance to finally have an education.

This was an opportunity that I never dreamt I would have so I was eager to make the most of it.

Learning from failure

Despite being ten years behind my classmates academically my eagerness and passion for learning pushed me to not only want to catch up in school but to also pursue my dream of one day going to university.

My lack of education and academic ability put me at a severe disadvantage but I did not fear failure. I embraced my failures and dissected each one to find the lessons I could use to ensure I improved on my next attempt.

Whilst my classmates regularly fussed about their fear of getting things wrong, I expected things to go wrong but my attitude towards the failures was always to learn from them.

Although this strategy did not make me the best student in terms of grades, it helped me to reach my dream of going to university and eventually finishing my university course (repeating two of the years in the process).

A tool for growth

My years at university built a confidence in me that I was good enough to compete and this confidence changed how I showed up in the world.

Insufficient education is not about academic excellence but rather the mindset of having the confidence to fit into diverse environments in the workplace and business.

With the world changing so quickly it is important to acknowledge that insufficient education is not just about university but rather the individual’s ability to embrace available learning opportunities for their own personal growth.

Education changes lives, but its value is not always recognised by those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

For nearly ten years, I have worked with schools from disadvantaged backgrounds to support and raise the aspirations of their students.

I have also worked with companies in designing their outreach programmes and speaking to leadership teams on the best ways to support young people entering the work force.

I will share more of my experiences and learnings at ISE’s Student Recruitment Conference 2024.

Find out more and register for ISE’s Student Recruitment Conference taking place 24-25 June 2024.

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