Failure is Good: Why Failure is Good for the Self-Developer

Failure is GoodAn Introduction: What brought me to write this post today? 

No society rewards failure like it rewards success, because if we rewarded failure… then success in itself would be quite pointless! But the truth is that failure is good and failures are just as important as achievements in the creation of a unique nation or individual‘s success and I say this because failures, are learning curves. They teach us where we went wrong, so that we know what to right the next time and fundamentally, this teaching shapes the person we are today.

So Why Do We Push Failure Aside?

We neglect failures because they don’t make good history. Nobody wants to read about where their country went wrong, or where their idols fell down. The same way nobody wants to read about why their failing their exams or why their manuscript just isn’t up to scratch.

But history is still history. And failures are still failures. They still happened. And they have still shaped the world we live in today. So this post is all about why failure can actually be a great benefit to the self-developer and why we should never ignore our failures. Hopefully it will bring confidence to those of you who are currently at a low point in their life journey or just about to take their next big leap.

Four Examples of Successful ‘Failures’

1) J.K Rowling

Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me.”

Recently I discovered a very interesting speech, from Harvard where J.K Rowling (author of the Harry Potter book series) talked about the ways in which failure helped her gain the courage she needed to write her first best seller ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone“. In the speech Rowling talks about a time when she was at her lowest. And how she used this struggle to focus herself on the task at hand; on writing herself out of the situation. And it was this speech that actually inspired me to write this post today.

More on J.K. Rowling: A Wizard with Words… Life & Lessons


2) Marilyn Monroe

“Creativity has got to start with humanity and when you’re a human being, you feel, you suffer.”

Marilyn Monroe was, and still is one of the most idolized actresses and models in the world. But despite her magnetic looks and obvious abilities to charm and fascinate, Marilyn was told by many modeling agents that she should give up her dream of being a Hollywood star and instead become a secretary.

Marilyn also had an extremely rough upbringing; as a child she was moved from one foster home to another. But both of these downfalls, only gave Marilyn the fuel she needed to try and get a better life.

3) Isaac Newton

“Errors are not in the art but in the artificers”

Despite obvious intelligences, Isaac Newton failed in his studies at school on a grand scale and was eventually forced to drop out and attempt to run the family farm.

Running the family farm was an attempt that was no more successful than his academic attempts, but it gave him the vision he needed to put his life back into perspective and understand the importance of education in the path he wanted to go on. Shortly after Newton returned to academic study at Cambridge where he became the scholar scientists continue to admire today.

4) Oprah Winfrey

Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness.

Before her success, Oprah’s life was hardly one to idolize. Oprah was abused as a child and fired from her job as a TV reporter after being told that she’d never make the big screen. Today Oprah is one of the most influential faces in TV. And that’s because her failures and setbacks gave her the courage she needed to get back up and try again.

More on Oprah Winfrey: Life & Lessons from Oprah

Why is Failure Good for the Self-Developer?

Is Failure Good?1) Failure Brings Us Back to Our Core

For J.K Rowling, this was the stories she had to share and her dream of being a writer. Writing had always mattered to J.K Rowling. And so she used what she had left to get out of the situation she was in.

Failure is good for any self-developer in this light, because it helps us to understand why the successes we have mean so much to us and why the failures we have knock us down.

So don’t panic if you’re in a sticky situation. Think about what you still have, what you’ll always have and build yourself up from there. If this means taking a new direction, or going back to the start and rediscovering who you are and what you want out of your life, then so be it!

2) Failure Reminds Us That We Have To Work Hard

Marilyn Monroe was beautiful and charming. The world knew it. Her family knew it. She knew it. Everyone knew it. But the rejections that she had in her earlier years, reminded her that many other people are too. And you get what you work for.

So the biggest lesson we can learn here is that talent is only useful when we use it to our full potential. If we don’t use our talents, then they are worthless. So it’s always important to consider failure as a way of keeping on track with your progress or skills.

If you’re being told that you’re not good enough, think about why you’re not good enough and most importantly, what you can do to improve for next time.

3) Failure Makes Success Cherished & Deserved

The harder you work for something, the more it will mean to you. And it took Isaac Newton years of working on a farm before he realized just where his loyalties lay.

The key to taking a new direction is to understand that it’s never too late. So if you feel like you’re going in the wrong direction, stop. The longer you carry on, the more lost you’ll be. So seize the opportunities that your wrong turn has given to you and celebrate when the real successes become a reality.

4) Failure Makes You A Stronger Person

It takes a brave person, like Oprah Winfrey for example, to come away from critique wanting to try again. But it’s the brave people that become the great people. And often, the mistakes we learn from can provide us with the most valuable of answers about how to be better and do better next time.

You are not a failure, because there is no such thing as a failed person. As long as you are alive, you have as much chance as anyone to achieve your success. So don’t sit there and think you can’t succeed in your next job interview/manuscript/exam.

Think about how you can build up the courage you need to get back up and try again. You are not a failure. That particular event was. And trust me when I say, it’s all part of the journey.

Wrote by Aimee Hall