You don’t FAIL you LEARN

Fear of failing? I’ve had my share, but what if you look at it like this – your don’t fail, you LEARN???

This philosophy, or outlook, can be applied to all aspects of life. I read this comment whilst doing some online research for this blog and felt inspired to delve a little deeper into what this means.


Van Gogh, scream, failure


To begin with, of course, we all want an overnight success. The culture these days for instant hits of pleasure, gratification and what is deemed to be success is rife. Working hard to achieve success is somehow forgotten in the world of fast media, and instant gratification is king.

The definition of the word fail, (verb) is ‘to fall short of success or achievement in something expected, attempted, desired, or approved’ To fall short, not to not achieve

But back to the point in hand, to FAIL is to LEARN, it’s not in the failing that you necessarily learn, it’s in the picking yourself up and starting again. Trying to find where your weaknesses are and how you can build on them.

We can use this philosophic approach to all situations…so you FAILED your driving test, so you learn how to parallel park better (yep that was mine, and I am now an AWESOME parallel ‘parker’ I can fit ANY vehicle in almost any space!!) You failed an exam? you revise and learn the parts you failed in. These are basic examples, but what about looking a little deeper, that ‘failed’ relationship, divorce even? You sure as hell won’t make the same mistakes twice. Pick yourself up and try again, learn from the ‘mistakes’ and move on….




Don’t just take my word for it, google these celebs to find that they also had a fail/learn experience and moved on to become successful in their fields:

  • Oprah was fired from her first job at the age of 23.
  • Vincent Van Gogh failed as a missionary and then decided to go to art school.
  • Vera Wang failed to make the Olympic figure skating team, didn’t get the Editor-in-Chief position at Vogue, and designed her first dress at age 40.

Previously I worked for years in education, and the trend was not to use the word ‘fail’ but to say ‘you have not yet achieved’ fluffy political correctness for sure, but it has a point. Let’s teach our young people that they are not defined by passing or failing.

I’m working on this daily, in my yoga practice, in my healthy diet (damn you peanut M&M’s), in my constant daily struggle with my arachnophobia (oh yes living in the jungle is testing times!).

I hope you can seek some kind of solace in this post and ask yourself, what do I have to learn from this ‘failure’? What can I do to move on and improve what I wasn’t so good at yesterday? Don’t fail, LEARN.

butterfly hope for the future



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