Why is Failure Important

Is it Worse to Fail at Something or Never Attempt it in the First Place?

Most people have heard the old saying, ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try again.’ But, is trying something new, only to fail, really worth it? How does it affect us when we avoid doing something we know we could fail at? What happens when we do try it, and we just don’t get it right?
It might seem like there isn’t a clear-cut answer to this question, but that’s probably because many people don’t want to hear the answer. The truth is, it’s much worse to never attempt something in the first place than to fail.

So many success stories have come out of monumental failures. Notable figures like Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, and Michael Jordan have all shared stories about their own failures, and how many times they had to ‘lose’ at something before landing on a great idea or finding a solution that really worked. Think about it this way: Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. If he chose not to move forward after that failure, the game of basketball wouldn’t be the same.
The idea of failing at something can be scary, especially when it has to do with your career, relationships, or even your reputation. But, you’ll never know success without trying something. You’ll probably never know significant success without failing.

Failure is important, as those notable figures might agree, because it allows you to learn and grow. Getting something right the first time feels good in the moment, but there’s a good chance there is room for improvement. Failures allow your ideas to get bigger and better. Learning from your mistakes again and again tends to mean the final outcome will be above and beyond what it could have been if you got it right the first time.

Never attempting something in the first place might make you feel safe at first. Again, it can be scary to think about failing. But, think about how much scarier it is to spend your life wondering ‘what if?’

Not trying something at all due to a fear of failing can cause more turmoil in the long run. You’ll always wonder what may have happened if you didn’t fail. Those thoughts can actually end up making you feel worse about yourself than if the idea didn’t work out.

Face Your Fear of Failing

The best thing you can do is face your fears head on when it comes to failing. The things you’re probably afraid of ‘messing up’ are usually the things you’re most passionate about; certain ideas, relationships you really care about, etc. That’s why it can seem so scary to fail in the first place.
But, failure is a part of life. It’s how we react and move on from our failures that makes all the difference in the world. Never attempting something in the first place will leave you stagnant and discontent, especially if you’re passionate about something. Accept failure, learn from it, and embrace it in order to become an even bigger success!

Mollie Busino, LCSW, Director of Mindful Power, Counseling Hoboken. Mollie has had extensive training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Rational Emotive Therapy, and Mindfulness. Her work focuses on Anxiety, Depression, Anger Management, Career Changes, OCD, Relationship, Dating Challenges, Insomnia, & Postpartum Depression and Anxiety.