When Failure is the Best Option

Most of us associate the word failure with negative thoughts and feelings. Nobody likes to work hard at something and feel like a quitter.

But there are times in life when failure is the best option.

For me, I realized this when I was in an emotionally abusive relationship, and hated the type of person I was becoming. No matter how hard we tried, and no matter how much counseling we endured, we were hurting each other.

Then after only 3 years, my marriage ended and we got divorced. I’m not the type of person to give up easily and I’m not a quitter.

I can be very competitive and I grew up believing in the quote “quitters never win, and winners never quit”. But I came to a point where accepting the failure of something that’s causing us pain, is the best and healthiest option.

 

Failure keeps you safe

Whether it’s a bad marriage, an abusive job or trouble in your finances, you should never “just suck it up” if it’s harmful to you physically, emotionally or mentally.

Quitting doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Sometimes it means you have the strength to accept that moving on is the best thing for you.

 

Failure brings motivation

For someone with my personality type, failure brings out my fighting nature. We get extremely motivated and hungry for victory. Caution is thrown to wind and dedication begins to take over.

The best success stories have come from the lowest points in life. In essence, failure is the key to real success, and without it you wouldn’t truly feel the thrill of victory.

 

Failure reveals your limits

There’s a fine line between genius and failure, between reaching higher and falling off the cliff. You never know your true potential until you push, and push, then push some more.

The best way to reveal what you’re truly capable of is to reach that epic point in your life, and then fail. That’s when you know, you did all you can. You reached higher and farther than ever before.

Failure is the best way to learn

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Failure shows you’re not afraid

Fear of failure is a big reason why many people, including myself, don’t strive for bigger and better things. We don’t want to learn to ride a bike because we are scared we’ll fall off and skin our knee.

I don’t want to get hurt, and I don’t want to feel pain. But if we all go through life trying to avoid pain, we will miss all the great life lessons.

How will you know the end of the story, if you don’t try? Of course there’s always a chance of failure, but there’s also a chance to succeed.

 

Failure gives perspective

It makes you stop and think, slow down and reassess the situation. When you’re failing at something it makes you thankful for what you do have, and for areas of your life that are successful.

We are all human, and we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Failure shows us clear boundaries and distinctions.

When you’re at the bottom looking up, you begin to see all the potential. You start recognizing the grand adventures and amazing opportunities. At this point you have nothing left to lose, and everything to gain!

Failure is not the end, it’s only the beginning! Never underestimate the power of small change.

Photo Credit: None

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About the author: Carrie Smith is the financial artist and owner of Careful Cents, a site that helps creative freelancers discover the art of making a living. In May 2013 she quit her full-time accounting job to pursue entrepreneurship and blogging. Since then she’s been featured in sites like The Huffington Post, Glamour Magazine, and Kiplinger Finance. In her spare time she enjoys painting, sketching, and making food with her chef husband. You can connect with her in real time on Twitter or Instagram: @carefulcents.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Daisy March 2, 2012, 8:09 am

    I was thinking about this yesterday; failure is important to success. After failure happens, you have a foundation upon which to succeed. I learn so much from failure, more than I do from my successes.

    • Carrie Smith March 2, 2012, 6:05 pm

      I agree Daisy. I’ve learned a TON more through my mistakes and failures than I have from succeeding.

  • Hunter March 2, 2012, 8:19 am

    GREAT POST! Failure cannot be assotiated with negativity unless you are lazy or learn nothing from it. Divorcing is a hard way to grow but I respect the tough decisions you share here Carrie. It’s articles like this that remind me why blogging is important. Keep it real.

    • Carrie Smith March 2, 2012, 6:06 pm

      Thanks Hunter! This is definitely one of my more personal blog posts, but I do like to keep it real :) We all have moments of failure. But like you said, as long as we learn from them and work towards improving, that’s how we grow.

  • Victoria March 2, 2012, 7:00 pm

    Sometimes people look at me by all the my failures versus my success. I’m quick to jump in to something without fully thinking it through. I try random things that sometimes don’t make sense to anyone else and most of the time I fail or find out I’m not good at it. Photography, sewing, selling Scentsy LOL…. Now people refer to me trying new things as my “quick fix” because it never lasts long. I guess I’m kinda impulsive and don’t mind taking risks. I sometimes wonder if I should keep trying to find my something I can be great at or stop racking up the failures and steady myself. People seem to like me when I’m less manic lol.

    • Carrie Smith March 2, 2012, 10:04 pm

      The good thing is, you’re always open to trying new things. I wish I had more of that type of personality. Sometimes it’s not about finding something you’re great at, it’s about finding what you’ve BEEN great at, and cultivating it. 

      You have amazing potential, and I think you short change yourself! At least you’re learning more about yourself through each of your mistakes. :)

  • Broke Gal NYC March 7, 2012, 3:15 pm

    Great post! In particular regarding relationships I don’t think that breaking up or getting divorced is a failure at all because clearly the relationship isn’t working. If anything, it should be seen as a success, because you successfully removed yourself from an unhealthy situation. Hey, we all fail, but we get the choice how to deal with failure. Learning from it is a true show of character :)

    • Carrie Smith March 7, 2012, 4:00 pm

      Aww thanks so much for the encouraging words. I try to share your opinion and echo it in my own mind, and most of the time I’m successful at it. I don’t think relationships ending should be viewed as a failure, even though sometimes it feels that way (from other people or feeling discouraged within myself). But I’m learning, and I’m growing from it. Which I think is the best way to handle it.

      • Broke Gal NYC March 7, 2012, 7:54 pm

         It’s weird that people view divorces as failures to me, especially after people take steps to make it won’t and it just isn’t happening. What is more successful then, making each other miserable for the rest of your lives? Psh, seems silly.

        You’ve got a good perspective on it, because failure is inevitable but growth is optional (I read that somewhere).

  • Geoff March 10, 2012, 3:00 am

    The only way never to fail is not to try something in the first place, and that would be very boring indeed. Failure is just a part of life, though admittedly failure at some things like a relationship can have greater consequences than buying the wrong color shoes.