In this crazy world of ours where success is everything, maybe it’s time we embraced our failures and saw them as stepping stones on our way to something better. Here’s a summary of an article I read recently on the subject.

Knock-backs are a necessary part of life, be it in the workplace, at school or in our love life.

Failure can be quite an emotionally-charged word but mostly it’s in our heads – it is “just” a question of not getting the results we hoped for. Unfortunately some of us take the disappointment of not getting that result more harshly – or personally – than others.

Some of us worry about other people’s views of them and assume people are actually paying attention to our “success” or “failure”, which is probable rarely the case.

Unrealistic expectations can be blamed also for our feelings of failure. The trend for instant fame created by reality shows (think TOWIE or Big Brother) promotes a culture where people expect things to be handed to them on a plate.

Parents who have high expectations of their offspring may make it difficult to accept failure whereas those who say its OK to make mistakes are more likely to get over disappointments and move on.

Failure can be turned into something positive by looking at it as useful feedback on what we’re good at (or not).

We could ask ourselves “To what extent did failing get me closer to my goal?” Anything that moves you forward is positive.

Failure can lead to better things. Recognize that after a knock-back something wasn’t right for us, but something BETTER will be.

Read about people who have not just failed but have been through very difficult situations, like adversity or disability, and see how they coped.

Stop comparing yourself to others who you think are better than you. They’re not, they’re just different.

Keep trying and then try some more. The writer Samuel Becket said:


JK Rowling (see our Harry Potter quotes this month) tried 12 times to have her manuscript for Harry Potter accepted. “Failure taught me things about myself I could have learned no other way.

Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue, was sacked from her first job as junior fashion editor. “I recommend being fired. It’s a great learning experience.

Thomas Edison, inventor of the light bulb, took 1000 tries before it lit up. He said “The light was an invention with 1000 steps.”

Oprah Winfrey, the TV host, lost her first job as a reporter and was deemed “unfit for television news”. She said “Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.