Why Failure is Essential to Success


Failing at something is often given a bad label and it can also be something that we can all take very personally. Often, we’re too quick to attach these moments of failure to ourselves, seeing them as a part of our in-built personality which creates a fixed mindset for ourselves that just because we didn’t achieve something one time, that therefore means this loss is forever.

This is one chosen narrative for how we choose to perceive failure, and the impact of seeing failure in this way can be detrimental to our future successes. When we succeed or when we fail, all we are doing is just gathering information about what has worked and what has not worked.

I like this definition of failure because it gives the potential to do something about it after. It’s less personalised and it shows how failing at something in the short term can have a positive benefit in the future. Indeed, persistence is so key in achieving our goals because the reality is, that experiencing moments of failure is just an inevitable part of life. However, what I wish to emphasise through this article is that, how we choose to respond to failure is more important than the event itself. Sometimes failing at something is not always in our control, but our response and attitude towards it afterwards always is.

The positive side of failure is that we learn. We learn what worked, what didn’t work, and we can adjust our actions accordingly over time until we get to the point where we can achieve what we want. Failure is not fixed. Often something that is successful for a period of time can lose success and bring unsustainable results in the long term. Just look at that old fashion brand you wore in the late 2000’s that no one wears anymore. Yet for some time you couldn’t walk down your street without seeing everyone wearing that same jacket.

Part of the illusion that failure isn’t essential to success is aided by the structures in which our society is perceived through social media. Naturally and understandably people are quicker to share their successes than their failures. However, remember this means that mostly we only see the successes in other people’s lives, whereas we live very personally with our own moments of failure as well as our moments of success. This can give off the perception that everyone else is doing well, ‘living their best life’, which can leave us feeling isolated and confused as to why we’re not doing as well. We all know it already, but never forget it – social media isn’t a fair reflection of real life.

In reality, moments of failure and success are both so temporary, and neither can sustain us for too long. What this means is that any failure brings with it the potential to help bring our next success when we apply the lessons, we have learned from the times that we have failed. Indeed, failure truly is a spark for personal growth, which is the catalyst for any success.

Seek failure in every aspect of your life and you will learn, you will grow as a person and eventually those failures, and the experiences you gained from them, will be the foundations for your successes in the future if we choose to always persevere…