Make failure your key to success

Make failure your key to success

by Vanessa Ng 08 Jan 2020

Having a fear of failure is completely normal. There isn’t a soul around who isn’t the least bit afraid of the judgment and embarrassment that comes with it. While it is important to acknowledge the presence of that fear, we should never let it intimidate us into inaction. In fact, harnessing fear correctly allows us to channel it towards productive and meaningful ends.


Sure – being labelled a failure sounds ugly in theory, but you shouldn’t let that get under your skin. Allowing the fear of failure to get into your head and affect your confidence levels will cause you to underestimate or undervalue what you are capable of. Experiencing failure is in fact a means for you to further progress, improve, and push yourself to new heights.


As clichéd as it sounds, nobody is perfect. We are all bound to fail at something, at some point in time. Even the most successful of household names have failed dramatically and spectacularly at some point in their career, be it before or after they became famous. The truth is that your attitude and action after failing is the determining factor. Yes, you may feel vulnerable in the face of impending failure. However, the benefits of failure should not be discounted simply because of the negative emotions that you experience.


In fact, failure has transformational benefits. Best-selling author Seth Godin asserts that the person who fails the most will win, since “staying in the game” requires a good deal of skill and ability. With each failure, big or small, you learn valuable lessons about your own weaknesses and what you are lacking. As such, you will be more capable of generating new insights and developing skills to better understand the underlying problem.


“If you fail cataclysmically and never play again, you only fail once. But if you are always there [trying], putting your work into the world, creating and starting things, you will learn endless things. You will learn to see more accurately, you will learn the difference between a good idea and a bad idea and, most of all, you will keep producing.”


To cope with failure, you can try going public with your ideas to get feedback while remaining open-minded to criticism. Do not be overly concerned with results and embrace the journey. To do so, try adopting a growth mindset where you view failure as a form of learning experience. If you never stop trying, you’ll never truly fail!