Failure: The Key to Success

Owen - Hinsdale, Illinois
Entered on October 28, 2008

Failure: The Key to Success

I used to fear failure. I would do everything I could to avoid the disappointment of letting my team, my family or myself down. I would feel so pressured to succeed and push myself so hard, that even the slightest failure left me feeling like I had fallen far short of perfection. When those failures did occur I was so devastated that I was unable to see the potential lessons to be learned.

Through time and experience I have learned to accept failure, appreciate failure and even welcome and embrace failure. I now believe that failure is a necessary building block to eventually succeed in anything I do. I have come to realize that not only is failure inevitable but it is essential to success; recognizing this is what transforms failures from obstacles to opportunities.

I have used my failures to help benefit me in multiple aspects of my life. I have not become a successful football player for Hinsdale Central by emphasizing practice on the things I already do well. I evaluate film of previous games and practices and search for little mistakes that could make or break a play. I learn from these errors and fix them in practice to get it right for next week’s game. Every week there is something to be learned from my mistakes on the field and I believe that each week I become a better player because I failed the week before.

Occasional failure has shaped me into a very successful student at a demanding high school. Reviewing feedback from peer editing and teacher evaluations for tests and projects allows me to build from my points of weakness and even strengthen my stronger areas. On my first essay this year I got an “F” on grammar because I had thirteen or more grammatical errors in one paper. I could have accepted that grammar is not my best attribute in my writing, but after obtaining feedback on that essay I worked hard on being error free. Immediately I improved and received an “A” on my second paper because I had zero grammatical errors.

Failures can only defeat you if you are unwilling to learn from them. It has been said that failure is not an option. But I believe that failure is the only option if you truly want to be your best.