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Why Failure is Your Friend

We’re all afraid to fail. Whether our motivation is disappointing ourselves, our coworkers, or our friends and families, no one wants to intentionally complete a task that misses the mark you’ve been aiming at. However, failing at something gives us an opportunity to learn. And that learning experience allows you to succeed on future projects.

As creatives, our internal critic is the loudest voice that we hear. If a scientific study was done on creatively inclined personalities I am sure that they would find a correlation between being creative and being a perfectionist. We pay attention to details, second guess our decisions, and lack confidence with our final products until we get input and feedback from others. Some of us never finish certain personal projects because they just aren’t right. I know I have several.

This fear of failure can sometimes stop us from trying something new or completing more projects. You don’t want to fail so you don’t try.

You always learn something from every experience and project. This is even more relevant in a creative field because the landscape we all work in is always evolving over time as the world changes around us. Since we each took so long to build confidence in our work it is difficult to break out of comfort zones to attempt something you haven’t done before.

There is an incredible freedom felt in starting a project thinking I don’t care if I fail. I am going to try and I am going to learn. Unfortunately, these usually have to be personal projects on your own time since clients would not sign up for experiments. But I encourage you to try and forget about failing on your next personal project. Even if it is a tiny one. And I will end with one of my favourite quotes, “failing to try is trying to fail.”

Do you have an experience when you failed and it taught you something? Share it with us.


I am a creative addict that loves painting, drawing, illustrating, and hand drawn typography. I am graduating from the NSCC Graphic Design program in May 2014 and will dive head first into a creative career.

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