8 Things You Need to Know About Failure

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Things You Need to Know About Failure


by Dale Galloway (pages 22-23) from his book, How to Feel like a Somebody Again.

1. To fail is not the same thing as being a failure
2. To fail is not the disgrace everyone thinks it is
3. Failure is only a temporary setback
4. Nothing worthwhile is ever achieved without running the risk of failure
5. Failure is a natural preparation for success
6. Every failing brings with it the possibilities of something greater
7. What you do with failures is up to you
8. Failings are opportunities to learn how to do things better the next time-to learn where the pitfalls are and how to avoid them

Last week in my post, Pursue Your Dreams: What are You Waiting For, I blogged about the importance of pursuing our dreams confidently and actively. It’s something very easy to WANT to do and THINK about doing, but when it comes down to it . . . sometimes it’s downright scary to pursue our dreams!

Often times . . .

  • We are scared of failure.
  • We are scared of messing up.
  • We are scared of falling short of our perfect, ideal goal.

Definitions of failure and success aren’t limited to the lists I’ve included, but I think they pinpoint the reasons and benefits of embracing a “fail” and evolving that into a better and more exciting opportunity in the future.

Experiencing failures and mistakes will make the “success” of achieving your dreams and great opportunities more worthwhile and enjoyable. Channeling your fails into new, proactive experiences is just as important as making the conscious decision to not be scared of failure in the first place.

Rather than beating myself up for these small “fails” I am approaching the future by embracing them. No matter what age we are, we can learn lessons from our fails and fears and turn them into great things, great opportunities and great dreams.

I especially like the first bullet-point on the list:

To fail is not the same thing as being a failure.

How refreshing!

We are not defined by a temporary setback or fail we have. We are so much more than that, dreamers. We were created to pursue and complete great things. Don’t label yourself as a failure just because things didn’t work out as you originally plans.

Keep going, keep pursuing, keep running toward your dreams.

I can’t wait to hear about them.

XO —Andi

Andrea TaggertAndrea’s dream is to graduate college from Ohio University in spring 2011, to find a job that allows her to utilize her public relations education and skills; to launch her own personal website www.polish-my-crown.com; and to become a certified life coach and motivational speaker.

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  • Heather Montgomery, CEO & serial entrepreneur

    Andi – can’t wait to hear about what you think is a failure for you. You are so young (I might be feeling old right now!) and I need some perspective on what that looks like for you.

    So glad you are here to share! – Heather

  • Carole Merriman

    great article on failure … i like the illustration

  • Andrea

    Rod (or anyone!), you may most definitely call me Andi! Thank you for your comment. What I’m getting at in the post is not that I am “expecting” to fail, but instead being realistic about what I define failures. I’ve learned that channeling former “fails” into a better opportunity has lead to greater happiness for me. One example would be applying for jobs for example. I prepare to find a job and I am not going into the job hunt ASSUMING I won’t find out, but instead being optimistic about the search. Lets say I apply for jobs, and get turned down for a position I really wanted. This, by some people’s definition, would be a “fail”. What I’m trying to clarify in this post is that instead of viewing myself as a “failure”, I can take this “fail” or little bump in the road and continue applying for jobs. For all I know, a better job is out there for me! And I DEFINITELY know that you appreciate success more after you’ve had an experience that plants you flat on your face. Hopefully this helped clarify what I was saying—let me know if I should explain or rephrase more. I appreciate your comment (and yours Cath and Remy!!) and thanks for following my journeys!


  • Mariska

    Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Stefan Thomke, a professor at Harvard Business School, says that when he talks to business groups, he tries to be provocative and say, “Failure is not a bad thing. I always have lots of people staring at me, thinking ‘Have you lost your mind?’ That’s O.K. It gets their attention. Failure is so important to the experimental process.” So failure on girl!!!! -M

  • Catherine Hughes, Editor & Chief

    Andi, I would be curious as to what you failed at that brought you to this place so that we could see if it was indeed a failure. I’d love to see you write about your experiences. Sometimes what we think is a failure ends up being a great gift. I’ve failed at relationships where later I have thanked the Gods that they didn’t work out.

    I agree with you that just because you fail, it does not make you a failure. But sometimes we fail because we quit too soon.

    In th book, It’s Always Too Soon to Quit by Lewis R. Timberlake, successful people share a number of important characteristics:

    1. Successful people possess honesty and integrity.

    2. Successful people are dedicated to excellence in anything they do. They are willing to accept nothing less than 100 percent from themselves.

    3. Successful people have determination and tenacity. They are not discouraged by setbacks, and once they commit to a goal, they stick with it until that goal is accomplished.

    4. Successful people are disciplined. They are willing to sacrifice the little things in life in order to achieve the things that really count.

    5. Successful people have a positive attitude. Their thoughts and actions are always of a positive and successful nature.

    6. Successful people have initiative. When they see that something needs to be done, they don’t assume someone else will handle it. They see that it gets done!

    7. Successful people are enthusiastic. They enjoy what they do, and their exuberant outlook shows through in everything they do.

    8. Successful people are concerned about others. A truly successful individual will plant the seeds of success in those with whom he or she comes into contact. They care about the welfare and accomplishments of those around them.

    9. Successful people have confidence. They are not fearful of the future, but instead look to tomorrow with hope and optimism.

    10. Successful people have the ability to dream. They dream of bigger successes, of new areas in which to achieve success, of how they will achieve those successes, and of how they can benefit their fellow man through their successes.

    I look forward to hearing all your stories about dreaming as you are taking off in life!!

    To all your successes,


    • Katie


      I also connected with the first bulleted point on your list:

      “To fail is not the same thing as being a failure.”

      One bump in the road does not label us with an “L” on the forehead for life.

      Thanks for bringing a dark topic into such a positive light!

  • Rod

    Andrea, (may I call you Andi?)

    I struggled with this blog, not your writing style. I actually like your way, as we say, putting pen to paper. My struggle is with looking to failure as a way to success. If we fixate so much on our failures or even worse our possible future failures we invite them into our world, our life and likely continually into our future.

    Why not plan to succeed, I’m not saying you don’t need alternative ideas within the plan, what-ifs as the case may be, but those are not plans for possible failures but plans for alternative successes.

    “Experiencing failures and mistakes will make the “success” of achieving your dreams and great opportunities more worthwhile and enjoyable.” I’m not sure that is true, I love it when I plan to succeed and all about my plan goes as scheduled. It is a wonderful thing; a great accomplishment achieved is very enjoyable. To use a very much over used “A-Team” saying ~ “I love it when a plan comes together!”

    Keep looking towards your successes, my young friend, and your failures will be at a minimum.


    • Remy, Photographer & CEO of Cornerstone Creative

      Rod- I hear what yo are saying, and Andi, if I would have been able to ‘see’ failing differently as I was growing up, I would have been alot easier on myself, and a little less self absorbed too – you know, in a ‘good way.” lol

      When I work with clients, I encourage them to plan for success and then, if their plan falls over, we have to look at it objectively and figure out why it didn’t work out the way we thought. Even if our goal is “10k in sales” and they make 20k, yea, its a ‘better’ mistake but their projections were still off and we wanna know why that happened. It’s just easier to make mistakes that are profitable. lol

      Mistakes are a part of learning, and embracing them, trying to stay objective and still motivated by them to do better is such a tough thing…so many times we get toooooo emotional about making them, or do whatever we can to NOT make them, it all contributes to slowing us on our path.

      Rod, the A-team. Really? I pity the fool who cant find a more real-time example! lol I hear you my friend. Hmm. Maybe Mr T would be a good motivator for running….. :)

      Welcome to the 8 women dream team Andi….xox Rem

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