When Failure Is a Good Thing

Failure is a process you can learn from. And, most important, it means you tried.

Posted in , Nov 19, 2015

Failure can be a good thing--you can learn from it and it means you tried.

Most people view failure as something that should be avoided at all costs. As humans, we tend to connect failure with a bad experience we had as a child. It may have been an “F” we received on a paper or the high expectations our parents placed upon our shoulders that stopped us from trying.

Award-winning psychologist and author, Ron Friedman, tells the story of how Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, revolutionized the women’s underwear industry and became a billionaire in his book, The Best Place To Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace.

Early on, Sara overcame a series of obstacles: zero experience in the hosiery industry, lack of a an education in business and only $5,000 to invest. When asked where she found the courage, she gave all credit to her dad. While most parents ask their kids, “How was your day?” when sitting down for dinner, Sara’s parents asked her and her brother, “What did you fail at today?” each and every night.

When interviewed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Sara said, “Instead of failure being the outcome, failure became not trying. It forced me at a young age to want to push myself so much further out of my comfort zone.” In reality, Sara’s father had re-defined failure; it became more about learning and less about a personal weakness.

If we view failure as weakness, we avoid stepping out of our comfort zone. Instead we must remind ourselves that failure is an action, it does not define us, but instead matures us. I’m sure that there are many risks we would all take in our personal, professional and spiritual lives if we could get past a fear of failure.

What has been the greatest lesson you have learned when taking a chance? Please share with us.

Lord, give me the courage and faith to step out of my comfort zone; help me to overcome my fears and grow from my failures.

Related Videos

View Comments