Why You Need to Fail to Succeed

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Failure is an inevitable part of life and can happen across all aspects of it. Whether from work, parenting, relationships, school or so many other instances, failure happens. We all go through it. Maybe you did not get the job or the promotion. When that happened, you likely felt as if it were the worst possible thing. However, with every story of failure comes a story of success. Michael Jordan did not make the varsity team in his first tryout and he’s now regarded as the best basketball player of all time. Thomas Edison is said to have failed more than 10,000 times before he was able to perfect the light bulb. As this article shows, when you fail to succeed, it can be the best thing to happen to you.

Failure Makes You Stronger

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Being resilient in the face of adversity is one surefire way to make a success out of failures. The reality of failure is that the more you feel it, the more equipped you are to handle those negative moments. Everyone is going to fail at some point in their life. Each failure will knock you down, but as you get up, you will be ready to challenge the world. You will stop looking at fear as something that can keep you down and more like something that makes you step up and say, “This will not keep me down.” Walt Disney’s first animation company failed in less than a year. That failure did not keep him down, and he went on to establish one of the most successful entertainment companies ever. 

Failures Help to Discover What You Really Want

How badly do you really want something? How hard are you willing to work to get it? In order to succeed at whatever goal you have set, you are very likely going to fail on your way to that goal. If you fail at a task and it doesn’t really bother you, there is a good chance you are working in the wrong direction. Every time you fail, you will likely find yourself at a crossroads. Do you pull yourself back up and try again, or do you avoid the risk of more failure?

In these moments, success will come from the lessons and experiences you have learned from each previous failure. Choosing to push ahead will let you know just how badly you want to accomplish whatever it is you are looking to achieve. If your heart isn’t in it, move on. In the case of JK Rowling, her heart was in it, and even after all 12 major book publishers rejected the first “Harry Potter,” she persisted, and you all know what happened next. 

Failure Provides Room for Growth

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The bottom line is that when failure happens, it’s room for growth. That growth will be the ultimate decider in whether or not you succeed. Are you able to pivot and change your direction or your attitude to make the necessary changes to find success? Failure will also allow you to look inside yourself and see if you have what it takes to succeed.

With each failure, you will question how you failed and why. The founder of Kentucky Fried Kitchen (Colonel Sanders) pitched his recipe more than 1,000 times before he found a buyer. From there, you can grow and change and realize you may not always know the answers. That’s okay. The more you question what went wrong, the more opportunity there is for change that will lead to success. 

Failure Promotes Strength

While it’s easy to look at every failure as an obstacle, it’s more of an opportunity to overcome. By now, you can see an overarching theme that overcoming failure is a sign of strength. One of the more popular examples of failure promoting strength is the Apple computer company of the 1980s and 1990s versus the one today. When Steve Jobs initially left the company, it was a company on the brink of disaster. When he returned a decade later, Apple began its ascent as one of the most profitable companies in world history.

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So how does your story relate to Apple’s? It shows that even the biggest failures can be overcome. Apple could have allowed each successive product failure to doom the company. The Newton, the company’s first “tablet,” was a massive failure. Instead of setting aside tablet hopes forever, Apple pushed forward and introduced the iPad. Success from failure won’t happen overnight, but your strength will grow with time.

Failure Makes You Realize You Are Not Invincible 

All too often life has a way of knocking us off course. Just when we think everything is going well, the universe might have a way to mess it all up. Losing a job might make you feel humble. Ending a relationship might make you feel sad. These challenges are here to test you, and overcoming each failure will make you believe in yourself all over again.

You cannot take on every challenge and win. Nobody can. You need to take a hit every now and then to remind you that you cannot control every outcome. You cannot coast on good luck or charm or anything similar. You need to fail and remind yourself that you are human and prone to errors. From those failures comes success. 


Failure can be hard to deal with, and for many people, it will make them quit whatever task or goal they are trying to achieve. Instead, failure is something you can use to drive yourself forward and give yourself strength. With every failure, you can learn to convert negative thoughts to positive thoughts, push ahead and refuse to quit until you fail to succeed. We know you can do it. 

David Beren

David Beren is a freelance writer with over 10 years of writing experience. He loves dogs, his kids and hacking productivity.