Why Failure is Good for You

Wales manager, Chris Coleman says not being afraid to fail was key to his country’s greatest night of football as they reached the Euro 2016 semi-finals.

“Don’t be afraid to have dreams,” the Wales manager told BBC Sport.

The result secured Wales’ first semi-final place at a major tournament, and came against the team second in Fifa’s official world rankings.

Wales were ranked 117th in the world in October 2011 with Coleman facing calls to quit his role from some Wales fans, but they have now reached the last four in their first major finals since the 1958 World Cup.

“Four years ago I was as far away from this as you could imagine,” said Coleman, 46. “I’m enjoying it, it’s great and we deserve it.

“If you work hard enough and you’re not afraid to dream then you’re not afraid to fail.

“I’m not afraid to fail. Everybody fails. I have had more failures than I’ve had success.”

This week I posted a video by Sarah Blakely, founder and CEO of Spanx. She explained how each week her father would ask her what she had failed at. Then he would celebrate her failure. It made her realise failure wasn’t fatal…. failure leads to learning and learning leads to growth.

Providing we don’t keep making the same mistake over and over again (the definition of madness!) then failure is good for us. We become resilient, more creative and more accepting of our weaknesses as well as our strengths.

I knew I’d passed this lesson on when one of my children called me and said ‘Mum, guess what I learned this week’ …. Instead of starting with what had gone wrong they were excited to celebrate the benefit of their failure …..

So my questions this week are

  • what can you fail at
  • what will you learn
  • how will you use what you have learnt positively

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