Go ahead, &;*%@ it up: How Failure is Your Friend

By Valerie Rice | October 23, 2020

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Raise your hand if you are a perfect person. Anyone? No? Good. Perfect people are super annoying. And liars. Nobody is perfect. And yet, for some reason, we all like to pretend that we are and that we never make mistakes. I am guilty of this too. I wasted a lot of time and energy trying to be perfect in one pursuit or another. But it was my epic (and not-so-epic) failures that I found to be the most valuable. Allow me to elaborate.


Failing means losing, and losing means not winning, and not winning means learning humility. Usually. I’m sure you have run into those people who think that they are hot stuff, and the best at everything, and BASICALLY the best there ever was. You know the type. The too-good-to-fail type. They think they can do no wrong. Give them power and they become dangerous. Let them loose in your office and they become insufferable. Learning humility is important. If you can accept your failures, own them, and keep your humanity, you will be a better person.

 “It’s failure that gives you the proper perspective on success.” – Ellen DeGeneres


How many times have you been told to think outside the box? Probably a lot. In order to do that, you have to have broken the box a time or two. Screwing things up a bit helps you to learn flexibility in thinking. You can’t solve problems if you never have problems, right? Well, thanks to failure, you can learn how to fix your problems! Hooray! This is not something you get the benefit of if you do everything right the first time. It’s also my favorite parenting technique. I LOVE it when my kids screw up because they get the pleasure of learning how to fix it. 

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison


Much like critical thinking, creativity is something you have to practice and nurture. I bet you didn’t know that every inventor ever failed a bunch of times before coming up with their great inventions. And a lot of them were complete accidents that had nothing to do with what they were working on. If we didn’t have so much delightful failure, we wouldn’t have microwaves. And that would be super sad, especially for leftovers. 

“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. ”

― Coco Chanel

So I suggest, me dear friends, that you befriend and celebrate failure. Failure is your new BFF.  Since you have no hope of becoming perfect anyway, let that idea go. Celebrate your unique mistakes, they make for great stories and give you serious character. Besides, the more failures you collect, the more xp points you can claim for leveling up. At least if you are a nerd girl like me.

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

― Maya Angelou

Published by vrice2010

A mother, an author, a nerd. After many years working in the fields of mental health and developmental disabilities, graduating from the University of Phoenix, and pouring my talents into my local community, I decided to spread my wings and reach a wider audience.

One thought on “Go ahead, &;*%@ it up: How Failure is Your Friend

  1. I think anyone who has been the leftovers in need of reheating in the microwave would identify strongly with the idea that mistakes are the journey to success, no matter how many detours there are. Who wants to be leftovers, with all their goodness, tucked away in the back of the fridge and forgotten. Without the microwave of opportunity where would they be? I wonder how many vital medications were developed during mistake riddled attempts to develop treatments for entirely different conditions.


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