Weekend Reading: On Failure, Rejection, and Growth

Weekend Reading: On Failure, Rejection, and Growth

July 27, 2017
Weekend Reading - Orange tabby cat wearing glasses reading from an open book

What does it mean to fail? Failure is taboo in our competitive culture, the thing we are expected to avoid at all costs. But what exactly constitutes failure or rejection, and why are we so afraid of them?

Our reading this weekend pushes us to unpack how we define failure and, in turn, success.

It asks us to consider how not reaching our goals might in fact be an opportunity to reevaluate their worth, to forge a new and more worthy beginning.

Failure reframed can become growth, can mean affirming anew the value of our work, and making our own rules.


Learning to fail involves learning to make our own rules.

Part of our struggle with failure is a struggle with relationships; if we cultivate compassion for others when they stumble, we can hope in turn for support in the times we fall short of expectations.

The single most important lesson we must apply to our work is the ability to assert why it matters.

Sometimes the thing we never wanted to happen, like getting rejected from a conference or losing out on a great collaboration, can be a blessing in disguise.

Healing from failure can sometimes look like diving into new work, or our old work in a new form. What matters is that continue to cultivate a passion for and humility in whatever we take on.

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