How Failure Can Teach You to do Pretty Much Everything Better


11 Ways that getting it wrong is the path to getting it right


Failure. It’s a scary topic. It brings the strongest to our knees and makes each of us question whether we will get up and try again. Yet we do just that, again and again.

Why do we do it? Why do we take on failure again and again and again?

There would be fewer wars if we would just give up more often. Garfield the Cat

Failure is a big topic and it is difficult to get it right. So I’m pretty much planning to butcher the topic because how else can you learn about failure, than by failing? Rather than go on and on with a long article, I will share a few thoughts about failure.

a. Did you know that research proves that 100% of us will fail at something. And the better you and I are at failing, the better we will be at living. See point two.

b. Learning from failure will make you stronger. That said, it’s stupid to try to fail more often in order to learn more. Try telling someone in recovery that they should drink again so they can learn a bit more, or telling the person on her second marriage that she should head for divorce again just so she can grow more.

c. Most people who go to rehab won’t be successful the first time out. I have heard that it takes seven times to overcome an addiction, but the research does not confirm that number. It seems that you need to keep at recovery until you learn whatever it is you need to learn, wherever that path will take you.

d. 90% of new businesses fail. Yes, that’s 90%. If you are in business for yourself, you need to become comfortable with “F” words: Failure, Focus, Fortitude and a few other “F” words that I won’t mention.

e. 66-75% of marriages will be successful. (I know this one is stated in the positive… really it means that 25-33% of marriages will fail). Statistics show that marriages are lasting longer and longer. Shows we are learning a few things these days.

f. You and I are paid to fail. Yes, we are. Every business invests a great deal of time and energy training us to make small failures in the classroom and in the training season so that it will prevent larger failures later on. Fail small and learn.

g. Admitting you have failed is one of the most difficult things you can do. But when you and I do it, our vulnerability can spark a change. It was failure that helped start the organization, “Admitting Failure” that shares stories of failure to promote vulnerability, change and growth in our business and our personal lives. To learn more about AF’s mission follow this link. 

h. You can learn a great deal from your failures. A recent Huffington Post article by Lisabeth Saunders Medlock invites you and me to consider 9 Powerful Lessons We Can Learn from Our Mistakes.

i. New habits take roughly 30 days before they begin to stick. That’s a lot of small failures along the way. It’s also a growing number of small successes. Stick with it.

j. When a Politician or a public figure or a company fails, the news gets splashed everywhere. Failure sells newspapers. You have to work to find the good news that is all around you. And good news can fuel you to the next level of growth, but you have to invest energy to find it.

k. Failing can be a door to a new start. This is from my very wise boss, Tracy:

Sometimes you have to give up what you have in order to get where you want to go.

If this piece has inspired you, you will want to read Don’t Let Disaster Ruin Your Joy and What You Can Do if you are not Failing Well.

I write articles about wellness, leadership, parenting and personal growth. My hope is to deliver the best content I can to inspire, to inform and to entertain.

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Keep it Real

Photo by Emertz76

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