COLUMN : why failure is the road to success

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we’ve been taught to dread it – that feeling of making a mistake, of failing. we’ve been told over and over again that failure is the opposite of success, it’s got to be either one or the other.
what a horribly harsh and discouraging way of looking at it.

when we start on a new venture, to be able to even get our asses in gear, our belief in reaching our goal must be a hundred times greater than our fear of failing at it. we have to be so confident that the risk of not getting there is so small that it makes little difference.

because if we think there’s a fifty fifty risk of being a loser, most of us wouldn’t even think of trying.

yet for almost everything in my life that i count as a true success, there’s usually a whole heap of mistakes, fails, missteps and tumbles along the way. stuff that sounded like good ideas at the time, and turned out to be detours, frights, or downright damages to heal from.


because when it comes to the things i count as true successes, most of them have in common that they were risky. that i took the road less travelled. that i didn’t do safe, tried and tested. i had an idea, wanted to try something new, and it worked. quite often right after not working for a few times. and for everyone of those not working times, i learned something. without those lessons, the success would of course never have happened. if i had given up. if my confidence took too huge a turn. if i had beaten myself up, instead of shaking myself off.

so the next time i succeed – i will count my fails, remember them with pride. wear those sons of bitches like little badges of honour. feel good that i’m ok with being a failure from time to time, it just doesn’t scare me that much.

and most importantly : that even if i never would have succeeded, the lessons i learnt while failing would have made it worth trying anyway.

love // jenny

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  1. Failing is hard but you learn so much from it. Very nice said Jenny. It is true that almost every success had failure beforehand.
    Thank you for the wonderful words.


  2. Ah failure… A few years back I tried to get a driver’s license. Failed 2 times and didn’t have the balls to give it a third a try. I get this weird knot in my stomach even thinking about giving it another go. I should really overcome my fear but it’s so damn hard.

  3. Thanks for this post Jenny. I need to remember that it’s okay to mess up and to just move on and learn from my mistakes. :)

  4. Jenny, I admire that “road” you take, not being at least 80% sure of the outcome, yet still having courage to venture out there differently.
    lol! I think “failure” was a word made to be opposite of “success” by humans in order to push/ force us to activity: to think, innovate, achieve, go forward, so that we may ‘try’ to progress ourselves and our world instead of being in a perpetual state of inertia! If people could never fail, or be called failure, would they even try?

  5. Exactly what I needed, dearest Jenny! I will try to keep in mind more often that failures aren’t necessairly bad. Still a bit stuck on my creative projects, but I’m sure things will rise soon! Keep up the good work! Love your videos :) love & light to you & David <3

  6. Thank you so much Jenny,I am two months away from graduating law school, I have a creative brain and so many ideas for what I wanna do with my photography and blog on the side that it scares me. But im diving right in after reading this! Love Kirby

  7. “You miss 100% of the shots your don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky

    This is an often quoted saying here in Canada, and sometimes in the US. It means that you always lose when you don’t try.

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