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Failure – Is it necessarily bad?

By: Varsha Sharat

I have the habit of collecting quotes since childhood. When I was a child my favourite quote was ‘Failure is the stepping stone to success’. Even though I didn’t fully understand what it meant, I had a special affinity towards it. As I grew older and with a couple of failures under my belt I understood the full significance of what the quote actually means.

When things are going smoothly and without any hitches, one doesn’t try to pause to have a go at how we are doing. We are happy with the monotony of things and life in general. Suddenly when things don’t go our way or we have failed in how we do what we do, we are thrown out of our comfort zone and are faced with a problem on our hands.

When we are presented with an imminent problem or setback, how we respond to the situation defines our future. When we experience failure in our life it forces us to introspect, which we might not have the chance to do, when we are successful. It forces to ask us the most important questions – Why did we fail? Could we have done it differently? Did we over look the other options that were available? Is it the only thing that we wanted to do? What is the best way to recover from this failure?

Instead of answering the questions posed, we tend to dwell on our failures. We get disappointed, depressed and stay in the zone rather than finding answers. As much as it hurts that we have failed, our shame is further propelled by the disappointment shown by our peers, family and friends. We are constantly worried about how others perceive us rather than focussing on why we failed in the first place.

When we start asking ourselves these questions, we do the most important thing that is essential to our growth – Introspection. Introspection is about knowing our strengths, weaknesses, what we are good at and where we want to see ourselves going. And whether the current path that we have taken is the correct path.

As an example – When Rahul Dravid was dropped from one-day game for his low batting run rate; he utilized the opportunity to hone his skills and became an indispensable player to the Indian Team. Vinod Kambli on the other hand, could not handle the failure and never made it to the Indian Team.

The onus also lies on family to make sure a failure in person’s life is not the end of the world. Giving him/her the necessary moral support is very much needed to come out of the situation instead of admonishing him/her for the mistakes he/she has done.

Sometimes failure is a blessing in disguise. It teaches us things which success sometimes cannot. It makes us realize our true potential if we address it in the right way. The decision is entirely up to us how we handle to it. It is the way we see it that makes the difference isn’t it?


  1. excellent article, its a bit difficult to accept failure but its about how you take those failures… in todays world, belief in yourself and desire to do well is important… 🙂


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