Failure is the New Success | How to Leverage Failure For Personal Growth

Regardless of what you’ve heard, failure, as you know it, doesn’t actually exist.

“If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough” – Jillian Michaels

Let’s talk about the giant elephant in the room. You already know that “there is no such thing as failure.” You’ve heard it before. But, for some reason, you don’t really believe it.

I’d like to clear the air and send you into your week with an important reminder:

Regardless of what you’ve heard, failure, as you know it, doesn’t actually exist.

The traditional idea of failure doesn’t exist because it implies “the end” or “game over.” When, the truth is, it’s never the end. We keep going, we keep living… because we have to, right?

We pick up the pieces and do hard things all the time because not doing that isn’t an option.

Many people think of failure as the antithesis of success, when, in reality, it YIELDS success. 

We can’t achieve real success without failure. If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough. If you are showing up, trying new things, being creative and putting yourself out there – there will be failures. Moments where you don’t hit your desired mark. Times where it feels like you wasted your time and energy. 

This is life. 

This is business.

So, it’s about damn time we learn to embrace failure for what it is and appreciate the essential role it plans in our growth journeys.

Failure is the new success. 

Here’s how you can STOP letting your setbacks or shortcomings make you feel like a failure and START thinking like the successful badass you were meant to be…

Your story – and the forces at work in your life – are so much bigger and more complex than what you can comprehend at any present moment. 

Remember when you were a kid and you’d get super pissed that your parents didn’t give in to every tiny whim? We couldn’t see it at the time, but eventually, we learned that it was for our own good or safety, right? 

Getting the real skinny on failure is a lot like that.

Oftentimes, it takes viewing your setback in the rearview mirror to understand why it was necessary. However, remembering (and believing!) the truth that there is growth in EVERY “failure” gives you a new perspective when you find yourself at a low point.

Success is not a dichotomy of achievement and failure.

This is a big one.

A fixed mindset says failure is a dead end instead of a stop on the road to improvement. 

A fixed mindset believes:

  • Achievement means you set an expectation and then you met it.
  • And failure means you missed the mark or didn't measure up to the expectation you set.

A growth mindset has the ability to see failure as an opportunity to learn.

A growth mindset believes:

  • Anything that moves you forward, closer to your goal, is an achievement worthy of celebration.
  • You are worthy of giving yourself grace.

In order to grow, you have to set goals outside of your comfort zone. They will push you to stretch for things that you cannot yet do. 

Even if these goals seem “unreasonable,” they are achievable. However, there’s something you must FIRST understand:

Any successful person will tell you that you HAVE to embrace the fact that you WILL “fail.” You WILL fall short. And that’s okay! In fact, this is the most beautiful part of your success journey and learning experience. Choosing to welcome these moments takes a little of the sting out and helps you bounce back faster (resilience for the win!)

This is not failure, nor the end.

Aiming outside your comfort zone and “failing” to meet your own expectations actually moves you closer to your goals than if you were to “achieve” something easily within reach.

When you look at it like this you realize, failure sets you up for success.

No matter what you’re going through right now—roadblocks that stand between you and your goals or feelings of defeat that have knocked you down—remember that you WILL land on your feet. You’ve survived 100% of the hard stuff so far. You can do hard things. In fact, you are doing them already.

Feel your feelings, figure out where you want to make changes or improvements, make a new plan then get back up and do it again.

Shoot for the stars, if you fall short you’ll land on the moon!

More on this topic...

About the Author

Heather Vickery
Heather Vickery
Heather Vickery is an award-winning business owner and global leader with over 20 years as an entrepreneur. She leverages her entrepreneurial skills and expertise to coach individuals towards greater personal and professional fulfillment by helping them leverage their fear into intentional bravery. Heather says “When we choose bravely, on purpose, we choose bigger, have bigger successes and it’s contagious” A celebrated public speaker, Heather inspires audiences and empowers attendees with the tools they need to live bold and successful lives through creating balance, time management, mindfulness, as well as countless systems, strategies, and boundaries. She’s the author of Gratitude Journal: Shift Your Focus and Grow Grateful: A Gratitude Journal for Kids and Families. Heather is also the host and executive producer of The Brave Files Podcast.