Failure Teaches Us More Things Than Success

When people mocked how a failure I was as a writer, it made me realize my shortcomings. I need to learn more about grammar. I need to develop a unique style. I need to read more and write more and learn from other writers.

When people mocked how a failure I was as a musician, I realized I was just a mediocre wannabe. I need to improve my guitar skills. I need to practice more. I need to experiment with different tones and melodies and rhythm and songwriting themes.

(But nothing’s wrong with mediocrity, anyway.)

When my boss reprimanded my lack of time management, I realized how a hypocrite I was. I need to discipline myself. I need to change my bad habits. I need to correct my mistakes before correcting others. I need to think clearly.

But then, I always fail. And although I’m getting used to it, my resentment remains.

Failure doesn’t make me feel good. It makes me restless and for a second I want to evaporate, be gone, so nobody will know how a big failure I was.

Frustration, depression, embarrassment, and sadness joined forces.

It’s not the super comet, but it’s the one thing that gives me anxiety. And not just me — most people I know feel the same. Maybe traditional schools conditioned our minds on how bad failure was.

I’ve met people who are depressed because of failures. I’ve read stories of those who got suicidal due to their failures. Yes, it feels shit.

But despite the emotional pain, there are invaluable lessons I’ve learned from my mini failures:

Failure sends a message. It tells us that there’s something we need to do. There’s something we need to improve or devise or let go or create or accept.

Because of failures, I’ve learned how to focus on improving myself and stay humble. I’ve learned more about my weaknesses and strengths and limitations. And I’ve realized how powerful is my willingness in pursuing my dreams.

Failures gave me more clarity and more energy to make things happen.

In the words of J.K. Rowling“Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential.”

What about success?

Success, on the other hand, gives me pleasure and sometimes boosts my ego. This, I realize every time I did something “awesome” and people appreciate it. Yes, I was a success.

Of course I love success. I wish more of it. But I have to embrace failures too. It may be embarrassing and lonely (and feel shitty), but it’s a great way to learn and become better and eventually stronger.

What are your failures in life?

You have a choice: Continue or try other things.