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Failing Forward: The Secret to Personal Growth and Success

Have you failed before? This article is for you. A personal reflection on Why failure is important to personal growth. Includes stories of successful individuals, and great book and movie recommendations.

Benjemen Elengovan
Benjemen Elengovan
3 min read
Failing Forward: The Secret to Personal Growth and Success
Photo by the blowup / Unsplash

Hey UpGraders 👋🏻

In this edition of Upgrade, I want to discuss the often-overlooked topic of failure and why it's a crucial component of personal development. I know it can be discouraging when things don't go as planned, but failure is not a roadblock; it's an opportunity to grow and learn.

I have failed many times in the past, and I fail everyday 😁‌‌‌‌

I failed 😞

  • to secure college admission in my first attempt
  • at launching products and services
  • in securing a job
  • in delivering projects
  • in investments
  • in building great relationships‌‌and the list goes on...

Here is the beauty of failure, they teach you and make you a better person. 😎

I know it can be scary to fail, but I truly believe it's one of the most powerful tools for growth and success.

Failure is the secret ingredient to Success

We have come across many stories of many successful individuals who experienced failures on their journey.

  • J.K Rowling, who was rejected by multiple published before Harry Potter became a global phenomenon
  • Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first job as a television anchor before becoming one of the most successful media moguls ever.
"Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." - Robert F. Kennedy.
Saihatsu boshi - learning from mistakes to prevent repeat problems - Japan Intercultural Consulting
How Japanese companies analyze errors and implement countermeasures

These stories show that failure is not the end but rather an opportunity to learn and grow. When we fail, we can reflect on what went wrong, make changes, and come back stronger than ever.

Here is what I do when I fail

  1. Acknowledge it: Not accept it, but recognise that my attempt to achieve a desired outcome has failed.
  2. Understand the root cause: This is probably the hard part. I pause and ask hard questions to understand the underlying root cause of the failure. This is many to identify a potential learning opportunity.
  3. Refocus on the Why?: Why did you start this in the first place? Why was the expected outcome important to you? The 'WHY' will trigger resilience and help you realign your focus.
  4. Embrace and move forward: Simple, draw an action plan based on the lesson learnt and go ahead to try again.

I also like the Japanese concept 'Saihatsu boshi' - a cultural process where you can learn from your failures.

If you're struggling with failure, I encourage you to read some of the books I've recommended on the topic. Some of my favourites include "Mindset" by Carol Dweck, "The Obstacle is the Way" by Ryan Holiday (best when listened to as an audiobook), and "Failing Forward" by John C. Maxwell.

Are you into movies? Here are my personal favourites that showcase life's journey and, in particular, the experience of failures

  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • The Pursuit of Happiness
  • Rocky
  • Unbreakable

Remember, failure is a natural part of the journey to success. Embrace it as an opportunity to learn and grow, rather than a setback.

‌‌That's for this week on UpGrade. I hope you enjoy the post and find it valuable. Please share it with your network, who may it will benefit.

Got feedback and would like to share your experience/ learning from Failures? Drop it in the comments section.


Benjemen Elengovan

Startup Addict | Founder & CEO of MyGigsters | Tech Enthusiast | ClubHouse @benjemen and Podcast Host


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