Success in Failure

Failure is an unavoidable part of life and it is an important part of life too. As Ellen DeGeneres says “It’s failure that gives you the proper perspective on success,” and she couldn’t be closer to the truth. Failure not only helps to provide you with a more confident perspective on success, but it offers you a chance to learn and grow. Understanding the benefits of failure can help us overcome our fear of failure and even embrace, learn, and grow from it. 

As failure is inevitable in life, it is important for us to embrace it (to an extent), but we know that can be scary. This article by Mind Tools discusses how you (and even your kids) can overcome the fear of failure. The article explains that one might not be aware that they are afraid of failure – instead one might avoid trying new things, procrastinating work, or only attempting tasks that you can perfect the first time. The New York Times also discusses the importance of facing failure and how you can overcome your fear of failing. Author Rachel Simmons suggests asking yourself these questions to help overcome your fear:

  • If I fail, what’s the worst that could happen?
  • If I do fail, can I handle that?
  • What resources do I have available that can help me overcome this failure?
  • What are the benefits of this possible failure? What can I learn from this failure?

As we all know that failure is inevitable, it can still be painful and upsetting to fail. However, this failure does not need to control your life. VeryWellMind provides some great tips and tricks for overcoming these upsetting failures. The article discusses the importance of taking appropriate responsibility for your failure. Although failure may not always be your fault, there are going to be times where you might have failed due to procrastination, lack of communication, poor initiative, or just plain forgetfulness and lack of planning. It is here that you need to take responsibility of your actions, as this will help you learn and better prepare yourself for next time. 

Another very important part of overcoming failure is practicing self-compassion and self-love. According to author Siobhan Curham from The Guardian reminds readers that just because you failed, does not mean you as a human are a failure. Curham also reminds us that everyone fails, and that it is okay – especially if we learn from our mistakes. For some great information on self-compassion and self-love please check out SEL4CT’s blog page.

Failure is not just something that adults face though, children face failure too. Just as failure is important for adults to face, its also important for children to face failure, as it can help them learn from their mistakes, build coping skills, understand and recognize their emotions, and much more. The magazine website Parent24 writes an informative article about the importance of allowing children to face failure, instead of constantly protecting them from it. According to the authors failure helps increase a growth mindset in children. Parent24 and Times Magazine explain the importance of praising the child’s effort instead of their “success” of the task – as effort is just as important as completing the task successfully. By praising their efforts and attempts at the task, it helps promote independence, growth mindset, and teaches them that failure/success isn’t everything. 

Remember, failure is not the end of the road but the start of a great journey. Robert F. Kennedy says it best though … “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”