Work with your failures

By expecting to fail a set number of times, we reduce the time we spend being surprised and frustrated by failures. This mindset helps us fail effectively. Instead of being frozen by fear of mistakes, we can embrace them. Mistakes highlight the room for improvement and pinpoint the area where we need to change our approach.


  1. Next time you start a daunting task, adopt a mindset of embracing failure.
    Think, “I will have to fail 10 times before succeeding". When you fail, try to identify the exact mistake you made and learn from it. Cheer yourself up when you fail: ”Awesome! One down, nine more to go.”

  2. Iterate your failures.
    Open up a blank document on your computer and freely type out all the possible ideas/solutions to your problem. Review your notes and highlight the good elements (phrases, ideas, etc). Then, identify the mistakes and remove them, one by one. With every iteration, ask yourself if you're satisfied with the standard yet. Keep going until you can't spot any mistakes.

  3. Analyze and improve previous works for practice.
    Choose a piece of work you've previously completed. Analyze it thoroughly and identify all the mistakes or poor elements. Then, allocate some time to improve it. Confront your shortcomings with complete honesty.

  4. Apply a failed solution to a different problem.
    Reflect on a solution you previously came up with that didn't work out. Make a note of this solution's characteristics, and see if it can help you solve a different problem you're facing. Keep it in mind for the future too.

  5. Set yourself up to fail to learn what constitutes success.
    Consider a problem you're facing and remove its constraints. For example, if money is a valid constraint, imagine yourself solving the problem by taking money out of the equation entirely. Look for insights from this solution.

  6. Learn from the mistakes of others.
    Observe the failures of others with objectivity and curiosity. Retrace their steps and figure out what mistakes they made. Make a note of your insights, it could help you when you're in a similar situation.


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