• Ella Sampson

Failure & Success

It can be extremely frustrating in life where something does not go as planned or you may have had some negative feedback - and this can become very personal and taken to heart. If you have created something and someone is either not impressed or does not like it, it can really knock you for seven. Unfortunately, life is made up on failure and success. I like to think of it that if we don't have those moments of failure, then how can we improve to be a success?


Believe it or not, but failure has happened to many familiar faces; J.K Rowling, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney and Einstein. These are all names that we think have become a huge success story overnight, but this is not quite true. Take J.K Rowling for instance - one if not the biggest fictional writer in the world. During her early stages of writing, she was going through a very bad end to her marriage, she was unemployed and a lone parent. It even took twelve rejections from twelve different publishers before the first Harry Potter novel debuted in bookstores. Over twenty years later, Rowling has earned over $25 billion with the success of the Harry Potter series.


There can be some positives of experiencing failure in our lifetimes; it keeps our ego in check, and although in the moment it just seems so easy to quit as you think yourself "no good" at what you do, I would advise to not. Not so long ago, I actually had a negative comment about one of the products I made for a customer. I admit, this really set me right back and I wasn't sure if I wanted to continue doing what I was doing and from then, the first few orders after that felt like everyone was going to complain. But, the opposite happened - I got better at what I did! It makes the first time I made a coaster look rubbish and I really want to ensure I put out the best quality of work possible. It is very easy to think that failure gives us negativity - but really we should look at it as a positive thing; it creates a new perspective. It teaches you perhaps of what you could have done better and therefore, you improve to become the best you can be. Success unfortunately, does not happen overnight. We have to really work for it.


Success is good but failure is better...you have to think about it in these three points:

  • Failure is a redirection - it demonstrates to you where you should and shouldn't be in life

  • Failure is an opportunity to come back stronger and revaluate the situation

  • Failure is not the end of the world - it basically means you get another shot to try it all again and become better!

There are some really interesting quotes coming from some very big names that I think are useful to remember.

  • “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” - Winston Churchill

  • “Failure is success if we learn from it.” - Malcolm Forbes

  • “The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.” - Buddha

  • “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failing is another steppingstone to greatness.” - Oprah Winfrey

  • “Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t waste energy trying to cover up failure. Learn from your failures and go on to the next challenge. It’s ok to fail. If you’re not failing, you’re not growing.” - H. Stanley Judd

I know and can really understand that failure can really hurt, I've been there myself and I've seen it in person. It's almost like a really harsh rejection, and from our cognitive skills, our brain can interpret rejection as a threat to our safety and make us feel really distressed, whether this could be financially or for status. Our brains can also trigger anxiety and depression to make us do something about the situation. This could be useful as this depression then deploys and helps sustain the concentration on rather complex problems and perhaps come up with a solution. When we do go through failure, we may find ourselves experiencing unpleasant feelings and have very negative self critical thoughts like "why can I never get things right" or "I'm rubbish at what I do". Although this is very much a self-criticism, it is also our brains trying to protect us - ultimately, you do not have to agree with these thoughts but I think it is important to understand why you may be having them. Perhaps it's not best to agree with these thoughts but to accept them and just find a solution to move on is beneficial. It's really important to stay connected to others too and talk about your worries - this will ensure you won't feel "abandoned" in your head. It's then time to move on. Accept what went wrong and now use this failure to gain the success you want and desire. I can say in my life, even though I have had some failures, these have enhanced me to come out stronger and earn the success I truly deserved.


Remember, don't always beat yourself up...there will always be a solution.

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