Six reasons why it’s good to fail

Sep 2, 2020


I remember the first time I properly failed. Well sort of. I remember the feeling. And it wasn’t just one failure, it was two at the same time. I think it was for some music exams. I was around 12 years old and to say I was gutted would be an understatement. At that time, failure was completely alien to me so I took it really badly. I couldn’t believe it. How could I fail? 

But the more I thought about it, the more I realised that actually, I didn’t deserve to pass. I know this may sound harsh but it’s true. You see, I knew that I hadn’t really put in the work required to pass and so my failing was actually justified. It was definitely a wakeup call.

I suppose for a while the fear of failure was one of the things that drove me. I mean, who likes to fail? 

My relationship with failure, and trying to avoid it, has been an interesting one. Constantly striving to succeed because failing makes you look like you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s what I thought. However, surprisingly I’ve started to become friends with failure. Learning gradually that failure can be good.

I know this sounds ridiculous but bear with me.

For me, the times where I’ve stumbled or tripped have given me my biggest eureka moments or have made me stop and look at how far I’ve come.

Here are 6 ways that failing can be helpful

Great way to learn

I would totally agree that I learn more when I fail than when I succeed. I know this doesn’t quite sound right but for me it’s true. I remember where I went wrong more than the things I did right. And so, when I go to repeat the action, like arranging an event, I know how to make it better.

Builds resilience

I know that failing has actually helped me to become more resilient. I’m less bothered by the failure and more concerned about what I’ve learnt and how I can move on. And that’s the main thing. Being able to learn and then move on. Rather than dwelling on the ‘shoulda, woulda and coulda’.

Emphasizes how temporary things are

Although at the time, it feels like the world has ended. In all honesty, I pretty quickly forget what’s happened and move on. More important things become the focus. Time may feel like it’s frozen but in reality, before we know it, it’s old news.

Makes you more likely to take risks

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been more likely to throw caution to the wind and go all in. Go ahead and take that risk. Knowing the value that can come from failure or even reframing it and knowing how not to do something.

Leads to better ideas

Things going wrong or not turning out how I expected them to have led me to take a different approach. I’ve got to admit, these have usually been some of my better ideas because I’ve had to be creative, rather than going for the easier option. I’ve had to figure out a better way to do things. After all, the journey we take doesn’t have to be a straight line. It’s quite often a wiggly one.

Helps you appreciate your journey

When things have not gone how I’ve expected them to, it’s been a great opportunity for me to stop and appreciate how far I’ve come. Acknowledge what I can now do that I couldn’t a few months ago. It pulls me out of feeling bad and helps to put things into perspective.

So, the next time you think you’ve failed just remember this list and keep going.

What will you do?

You might also like to read ‘One Change Leads to Another

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