Stop Fearing Failure, It's Good For You

Stop Fearing Failure, It's Good For You

Embracing failure gives you the freedom to learn and grow.


When I was sixteen and angsty, I embarked on a personal challenge I titled "Project Failure." The goal of the project, according to my tumblr bio, was to shatter my fear of failure. The reasoning behind the project — inspired by the entrepreneurs idolized by my high school self — was the idea that failure is a positive thing. Experiencing failure, ideally, would teach me valuable lessons and help me succeed long-term.

In the early years of SpaceX, Elon Musk himself said, "Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough."

The general consensus among entrepreneurs is that risk-taking is essential to innovation. And, if you are afraid of failure, you will inevitably avoid taking risks. This is applicable to professional, academic, and personal life. If you fear failure, you will avoid trying new things and stay tucked within the limits of your comfort zone, only doing things that you know you will succeed at. You will miss out on big opportunities.

My personal motive behind "Project Failure" was a discontentment with my accomplishments and a strong craving for adventure. Part of this might have simply stemmed from my age — most sixteen-year-olds do feel this relatable angst. However, part of it was a genuine concern for my future. I wanted to be well-equipped to thrive in college and my adult life, and I knew I had some growing up to do. I needed to get out of my comfort zone. I needed to fail.

So I started small. I applied for jobs that I was unqualified for. I took rigorous classes. I set challenging, potentially unattainable goals. Nothing happened. The only thing I was failing at was letting go of my fear. My perfectionism drove me to succeed.

At seventeen, I felt a gaping lack of meaning in my life, so I ramped up the risk-taking. I had wanted to start an online art store for years, so I used "Project Failure" as a catalyst. I invested time into designing my products and put them up for sale in my store, well aware that the likelihood of success was slim. For the first three months, I made zero sales. I allowed myself to fail.

Then, something unexpected happened: I stuck with it. I continued to pour my passion into designing my products, and I sold my first sticker the next month, making a whopping twenty-one cents of profit. Still, I stuck with it. Over the next year, sales increased exponentially, and they continue to grow today.

At eighteen, as I started college, life felt less meaningless, but I was still desperate for adventure. Moving out of my parents' house wasn't as exciting as I had expected it to be, and college didn't feel particularly meaningful. I needed more from life.

That meant letting go of 4.0

During my first semester of college, I took five classes, managed my online art shop, started a new part-time job, started writing for two publications, and went on a new adventure every week. In order to pour myself into more rewarding work, I took a step back from my classes. I knew I needed to keep my GPA high enough to keep my scholarships and apply to graduate school, but there was no need for it to be perfect. Letting go of 4.0 opened up a new world of opportunities. Permission to fail allowed me to grow.

If you are stuck in a rut, consider starting your own "Project Failure." Giving yourself permission to fail changes your life by removing the constraints of perfectionism. Failure sets you free.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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The Power Of Journaling

Slowing down in a fast pace world.


In a world where everything is moving so fast pace, I have found comfort in taking small moments to reflect on the blurring images around me. I have always loved to journal, but recently I have found a system that works very well for me.

One habit that I have newly formed is creating a section in my journal that I like to call "Get Out of My Head." Life moves very fast and sometimes my thoughts can't keep up. This causes stress, anxiety, sadness and even the feeling of loneliness. I have created this section in my journal to be a safe place where I can just scribble down whatever is taking over my head, but there is a trick.

Like I stated previously, I have always loved to journal, but I never found ultimate comfort in it because I would go back and read what I wanted to remove from my mind. This was causing me to reexperience what I didn't want to. I highly suggest having a place in your journal that is essentially a flame for all th4e thoughts you want to rid of.

On the contrary, have a section in your journal where you love to look. I try and fill this section with happy thoughts, quotes, verses, and gratitude. This makes journaling and reading your entries something to look forward to, rather than not.

In conclusion, journaling is unique for everyone and it takes some time to figure out exactly the right way. But once you discover the safe place that journaling can be, it can change your life forever.

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