On Failure: Why Falling Down Is Important


“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.”

I have been thinking about writing on this topic for a few weeks and today felt the best to transform it into a post. Often people let their failures act as weights pulling them down or as reasons not to try at all. Maybe you have never tried because you were afraid of what others would think. Or perhaps, you were afraid that you wouldn’t be good enough or that the risk was too great.

In my most recent failure, this week, I suffered a horrible fantasy football loss. One that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. My example for this post may not seem very important and there are surely much larger failures and examples, but it was still tragic on its own level. Until this week, I was 2-0 in the league and set up for a close game. On Sunday at 1pm, I settled in to watch the games, feeling pleased with myself for picking up the Colts defense for week 3. It wasn’t until some time later that I checked the scores and saw the hellscape that lay before me. My only defense was locked on my bench with an empty gap in my lineup.

Fantasy Football Defense Failure

How could I let this happen?

Even as I write this I still can’t believe that I neglected to start a defense. For those of you who are unfamiliar with fantasy football, I essentially left a completely blank spot on my roster.

I could make excuses, but it was my fault. What’s done is done and I need to cope with my loss. I know that using fantasy football as an example for a blog post on failure may seem a bit silly. However, there are different levels of failure, and this wound is still fresh.

Moments after I realized my defense was on my bench. So many emotions.


On a more serious note. However painful or embarrassing failure can be, whether it is as simple as fantasy football or starting a business only to have it fail, it is an important part of life. It may not be very glamorous or thought of highly, but failure is actually quite beneficial.


So Why Is Failing Important?

Failure allows us to grow.

It is a learning experience and teaches us to get back up. When we fail, it creates an opportunity for self reflection. In the days and weeks after we have failed at something, there is time to analyze what went wrong. It allows us to take new approaches and realize what we should have done differently. It an opportunity to go back to the drawing board, so we can find a new and creative way to attempt greatness.

Failure keeps us humble.

It keeps your ego from growing out of control. Well, most of us anyway. Failure reminds us that we can’t always be awesome at everything, forever. It also, makes us more understanding of the failure of other people. At least for me, I am pretty sure I will keep my fantasy football smack talk in check this coming week.

The Light vs Dark Argument

Without failure, would success be as sweet? If everyone succeeded at everything they tried, the feeling of accomplishment when you obtain success would be diluted. It is the age old archetype of light vs darkness. In order to know and appreciate the light, we must be familiar with the darkness. The tougher something is to achieve the sweeter the victory.

Failure shows you aren’t afraid to try.

Being able to say you have failed shows that you are not afraid to take chances. It means you have believed in something and put yourself on the line. It shows ambition and dedication to see something through, even if it doesn’t work out. So if you don’t let failing destroy you, it is a testament to your character that you tried in the first place.


Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from ever trying. Maybe failing is just the thing you need to find success. If you try and are met with failure, let it be a humbling, learning experience. Refocus your energy and try, try again. Overall, I would rather try and fail, than never try at all.

I would love any feedback, suggestions, or constructive criticism. So feel free to let me know what you think!

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  1. Great post, sorry about the Colt’s Defence mistake.

    Yeah, I think our school system is a little soft on it’s students and they look at failure as something to be avoided. Problem comes when students don’t even want to try so they can avoid failing, but I don’t see how anyone can be perfect in the first go.

    Dweck’s Mindset totally showed me that I was stuck in that perspective of fear of failure, now I fail all the time… :) Colts will be there next week. Haha.

  2. “I didn’t fail, I just found 1000 ways not to make a light bulb” -Ben Franklin
    I have always liked this theory on failure and it’s a great to have others notice the importance on failure. You don’t really learn from success all that much, but learn more from failing. Nowadays people are so concerned about their kids not failing, they have forgotten the importance it can carry. I think this has to do with society and the education system slowly doing away with activities that may incorporate competition. People shouldn’t be afraid of failing or losing. I know i’m not the fastest, strongest, or smartest, but I’m going to try my best. If I fail, I’m going to fail the best I can, and look good doing it as well.

    • I agree, competition is so important to development and the trial and error aspect is what shapes us as we grow. I like where you said, “If I fail, I’m going to fail the best I can.” Sounds like a motivational poster or something. :)

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