Why we should experience failure

When I look back, I was (unfortunately) raised to believe that whatever you do, you must do it to perfection; work, studies, and ultimately in being human. It left me paralyzed.

The world revolves around the winners, the people who have it all, the people that smile in the camera, show off their riches, their beauty, their great life, their happiness. Everything.

We are trapped in this mindset, knowing it’s a lie that’s being sold to us.

To keep us insecure. To keep us buying. To keep us resenting ourselves.

We all make mistakes. We all fail. We are all imperfect. And we shouldn’t aim for perfection, because perfection is unattainable and also very surreal. What is perfect in one’s eyes varies very much depending on the eye of the beholder.

Instead, we should just do, and improve along the way. Just do what we can. We will grow, we will try. We will fail, and improve along the way.

Instead of saying “I failed” we should say “I experienced”. It’s an opportunity to understand that EVERYONE made mistakes in their lifes. It’s inevitable. The worst mistake in your life is not TRYING at all. That’s a life not lived.

Of course, some experiences are enjoyed more than others, and tears can be shed from joy or misery alike.

So, why are we afraid of failure? We fear:

  • Losing face
  • Losing security
  • The Unknown

In the end, it’s all about accepting loss and letting go. Here is something that might make you uncomfortable right now, but is kind of reassuring in the long run: Everybody will lose everything at some point.

I don’t mean all at once, but over time. But as the saying goes: As one door closes the other door opens:

  • You will lose a friend, but you will also meet new people, make new friends.
  • You will lose your youth, but you will gain perspective, calm, and self-acceptance over time as you grow older.
  • You will lose money, but you will value things higher and gain more appreciation for what you have.

So, in the end failure is what shapes us the most. Failure lies in your belief system. Every failure is a success story if you view it from a different angle.

It gives us a boost to work on ourselves, to listen to ourselves, to think outside the box. So let’s lift the taboo of failing and embrace the words of Thomas J. Watson:


“Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure.”

― Thomas J. Watson Jr.


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