Hey! Failure’s OK! (Part 2)


from Schlusselbein2007


‘I can’t do it!’  

‘I’ll never be able to.’  

‘I’m rubbish at writing.’  

Steven threw down his pencil.  

I could see how red his face was.  

Tears weren’t far away.  

Many years and no doubt many tears later I met his mum in a local restaurant.  

‘It’s so good to see you again!’ she beamed.  

I listened while she told me with great pride, that Steven had just passed his law degree. A ‘2.1’.  A huge achievement for a dyslexic student.  

I learnt a lesson that day, a lesson about failure.  


Last week I wrote about my first two reasons why Failure is Good For You.  

Here are the next two:  


Failure is good for you because:  

3.   It makes you stronger.  

Steven had a very hard time at school.  Every step along the way was a struggle. Until he discovered the truth that his dyslexia was not his fault. He simply needed to be taught in the way that he could learn.  As soon as he  believed in himself and his ability things began to go his way. His self-esteem grew. It was a slow process, but he got there. He was determined to succeed, he believed he could, and he did.  

4.   Failure opens your eyes to the real world.  

It seems to be the fashion in some of  our schools here in the UK, not to allow a child to ‘fail’ at the annual school sports day.  

There must be no winners or losers, just ‘participants’.  

How can that be right?  

As the child grows he will face many situations in which he has to compete. That’s real life. Surely it’s good to experience not coming first while still young and to learn that,  

Hey! Failure’s OK!   

Why do we want to protect our children from the real world?  

We do them no favours.  

They need to grow stronger and a little failure from time to time will help them, in my view.  


So… over to you:  

  • Has failure made you stronger in any way?
  • Has failure opened your eyes to anything in the real world?

Do add your comments… you know what to do… 

Header image by abbyreed, on Flickr



Filed under action, adjust, anxious, dyslexia, expectation, failure, goals, hope, persistence, plans, positive, progress, realistic, success

4 responses to “Hey! Failure’s OK! (Part 2)

  1. Emma

    having read both these posts today this is a subject close to my heart as this is a feeling I am currently struggling with and have been since saturday but to me it is different to the other reasons we “fail”

    My brother was doing a london to paris cycle ride in 4 days and finished on saturday. Only last monday following a suggestion from our parents thay my husband and i go and meet him at the finishing line as they couldn’t go. We knew it was short notice and my mum did say if it is to much to say and not to go but i then decided it was something i wanted to do as he has given me so much support in the last year that i thought is was the least i could do.

    So we got out there on friday and in the last min rush realized we had “assumed” our mobiles would instantly do there roaming thing, boy were we wrong about that! So we emailed my brother and found one from him on sat saying the finish line had moved, but it didn’t make sense. Then about 2 when we had been told to go the finishing end in time for the ride to finish between 4 and 5 we saw another group of people finish a london to paris cycle ride, we spoke to them and said yeah the other group will be along soon so we “assumed” that was where the other group would finish. Yet another thing we got wrong, plus we were looking for banners etc as i’d been told they would be there. By 5pm we assumed we had missed it and were cold and wet so went back to the hotel, about an hour later his group turned up so i meet him then on the brink of tears for failing and letting him and my parents down. He said not to worry and that it was out of our control and so does my husband and others but I still feel like i have failed them all and let them down. I know i shouldn’t but don’t know how to stop feeling like this.

    sorry for going on for so long

    • Em…
      I’ve read your comment carefully and it’s very clear to me that you didn’t fail. Far from it. You followed some not very clear instructions. You did the very best you were equipped to do and you let no-one down.
      You have to ask yourself this: could you have done any better, in the circumstances?
      You did your best, that’s all any of us can do.
      I hope you feel better about it all very soon.

  2. christine

    I’ve been dabbling with ‘art’ in a number of ways recently and have been known to point to someone else’s work and say ‘I could do that!’ Well, I’m here to say that sometimes I can’t! I’ve tried to ‘do that’ a couple of times recently and failed! So the lesson I’ve learned is that I shouldn’t dismiss other people’s hard effort so lightly…sometimes making something look simple and effortless takes a lot of erm, effort!

    • Yes, you could Christine! You just need to put in the same effort as they did. Your ‘lesson’ was a good one to learn. I’m certainly learning that at the moment, trying to get my writing project done. I’ve been told it’s a slow process but it never looks like that when I pass all those published books in the shops…
      Back to it for another 2 hours…

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