Many people are held back by a fear of failure. They hold the perspective that failure means they aren’t meant to succeed, and that they aren’t good enough.

However, failure offers us a perfect chance to learn and improve. Without failure we wouldn’t know what areas we need to improve in.

Think of failure as a form of coaching or feedback that gives you an opportunity to learn what can be done better.

People rarely get a straight shot toward their life goals. Unexpected things happen and we make mistakes along the way.

Getting from where we are now to where we want to be will require a few detours, and these detours offer us a chance for growth and lead to character development. Failure reveals that we are trying new things and pushing our limits beyond what feels easy and comfortable.

In essence, failure helps us reach our potential.

Failure leads to wisdom

We learn a lot about life and who we are when we’re willing to take a chance and experience what the world has to offer. The more we experienc,e the more we learn about how to effectively handle life’s ups and downs.

We also learn about our values and what is most important to us. Failure can really make you reflect on what your life purpose is, and what you’re meant to do here.

Failure leads to personal growth

When we begin to grow as a person we are going to experience a learning curve and moments of naivety. No matter what the aptitude, whether artistic ability, athletic ability, or social skills, it will require growth and learning.

This means a little failure is required to get to a proficient and knowledgeable level. Failure is just a part of the process of expanding our abilities and skills.

Failure leads to resiliency

Even though most people wouldn’t sign-up to experience struggles and overcome obstacles, these are often some of the most valuable times in our life. When we hit rock bottom and can bounce back, we begin to see how emotionally strong we really are.

When we realize we can handle more than we thought it helps us gain self-confidence and trust in our abilities.

Failure leads to compassion

Compassion comes when we can connect with what others are going through. If you’ve never been through it, you can’t know what it’s like. If you’ve lost a job, a loved one, or a major opportunity, and see someone else going through this pain you are more likely to feel compassion for their plight.

Failure helps us connect with others in moments of disappointment and be more likely to take action and help.

When we can view failure as an essential part of personal growth, it helps us expand our view of what we’re capable of. It helps us realize that learning is a part of reaching our goals and that this requires some moments of uncertainty and disappointment.

Fortunately, this will ultimately make us stronger in the long run.

Photo credit: Morning theft



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Hank Chen (July 9, 2011)

Mental Health Social (July 9, 2011)

From Psych Central's website:
PsychCentral (July 9, 2011)

M. Price-Mitchell (July 9, 2011)

Dr. Debbie Grove (July 9, 2011)

Sue Atkins (July 9, 2011)

Douglas Eby (July 11, 2011)

From Psych Central's World of Psychology:
Best of Our Blogs: July 12, 2011 | World of Psychology (July 12, 2011)

@briankotts (July 13, 2011)

Tara Green (August 1, 2011)

Fail to Succeed? (August 8, 2011)

culture of fail | barb rude's blog (March 2, 2012)

    Last reviewed: 9 Jul 2011

APA Reference
Wilner, J. (2011). Are You Failing Enough?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 31, 2015, from



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