Discover more from Scott’s Daily Blog
The Fabled Art of Failing Upwards
They say Thomas Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When asked about it, Edison replied, "I didn't fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps."
Failures, like shadows, are omnipresent in our lives.
Yet, each failure, every stumble... It's a stepping stone. An invisible mark on our map to success.
You've tripped, right? Taken a face-first plunge in the dirt of self-doubt.
But here's the unconventional bit: Your very collapse might be your wings.
Our DNA, that ancient code, taught us early on: Avoid danger. Evade risks. Stay in the safe zones. Because once, failure meant being eaten by predators. Now, it's just a bruised ego, but that fear lingers.
It's an old song, played in the depths of our psyche. "Stay safe, stay predictable."
But here's the contrarian beat: In today's world, avoiding risks is the real danger.
Why are we irrationally scared of failure?
Biologically speaking, our ancestors who avoided danger (and thus failure) lived to see another day. This fear of the unknown, of possible threats, got embedded deep in our DNA. It's why our stomach knots up when we take risks.
Psychologically, the modern world equates success with worth. A single setback? The mirror of society fogs up, questioning our value, our potential.
"What will people say?" "What if I never recover?"
The narrative's all wrong.
But here's a fresh lens: Failure isn't a mark on your character but a notch on your experience belt.
You failed? Congratulations! You've just earned feedback.
Now, how to combat this primal, ingrained fear?
Turn the tables. Instead of seeing failure as a dead-end, view it as a detour. A scenic route, with lessons as the landscape.
Every time you're down, tell yourself: "This isn't me. It's just a moment. A blip. A data point."
Lastly, don't just embrace failure. Dance with it. Make it your partner, not your enemy.
The one who never failed, never truly tried.
And in the end, It's not about how many times you stumbled, but the stories you tell when you finally stand tall.
Failure isn't your identity. It's your university. Learn. Rise. Repeat.