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Kirsten Long  The lighter side of failure

What do a baby and Thomas Edison have in common? They both kept on trying till they got it! Thomas Edison made many light bulbs before he finally got one that worked – imagine if he had given up after his first ‘failure’? Look at a baby learning to walk – how many times do they fall down before they get it right? Imagine if that baby never tried again after the first fall.

Through life’s knocks and falls, somehow, many of us start to fear failure. We beat ourselves up when we make a mistake. We never forgive ourselves when we get it wrong. If we fail at something, we hide it away and never try again. What happened?

We started seeing mistakes or problems as bad – instead of feeling excited about the fact that we have just learnt something of value. I believe failure is nothing more than feedback. We can use the feedback to adjust the way we do things as we go forwards.

Failure is only failure when you give up. If something doesn’t work and you give up and never try that again, then you have failed.

If you look at a failure as feedback, and you learn something, then you can try again and do something differenty. This is not failure. This is success.

Change your attitude to failure. Change your thinking about failure. Think of failure as feedback. When something goes wrong, ask yourself what the reasons were. Explore and learn. Then do it again – with your newly acquired knowledge – and do it differently. Make your ‘failures’ work for you. Be grateful for failure.

Remember success is not possible without feedback - the two go hand in hand. Go out there: Fail; Learn and Succeed!


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