Martin Gee for TIME
By Tamara Jayne / Leaderonomics
August 25, 2016

We have all heard those motivational quotes, “Failure is not an option” or “Failure is never final,” and sometimes it can be easy to succumb to avoid failure at all costs when really we should be embracing it as a part of us.

Sure those quotes may be good to apply to our daily lives as it serves as a reminder to aim for excellence and to pick yourself up when you’ve been knocked down but what would happen if we treated failure as our best friend?

What would happen if we learnt to embrace it rather than disgrace it?

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1. You appreciate the top more when you’ve hit rock bottom
Ask every chief executive officer, manager, celebrity, or business person—the many failures they have endured before reaching their goals.

If it were easy to reach the peak of Mount Everest, nobody would need years to train for it.

Nobody would need to mentally and physically prepare themselves for the weather, the oxygen levels, or the weight. Nobody would be accredited for being the person who managed to climb Everest because reaching the top would be . . . well, easy.

When you’ve faced the criticism of family members and friends, when you have tackled the competition of other companies, when you have invested everything and received no returns, when you have tried. . .

. . .and tried. . .

. . .and tried, for years—and finally make it, the results are bittersweet.

The process you take to reach the finishing line may be tormenting, but the sweetest victory comes from the most difficult path.

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2. Failure indicates that you tried
Before creating the first airplane, the Wright brothers designed the first bicycle. They learnt that the sturdier they made the bike, the tougher it was to manoeuvre it.

Eventually, they designed the bicycle in a way that allowed the rider to shift body weight and balance to maintain control. They believed this theory could be applied to a machine that could fly and so they set out to prove it.

Each time they launched a new prototype, they would gather information and diagnostics to decide why it didn’t work and why the airplane failed in the air.

With every crash, it brought the brothers closer to creating an airplane—which has brought people from all over the world together, making foreign cultures and new “frontiers” much easier to access.

Teaching children, from young, that it is okay to fail, prepares them for reality. As children reach high school or even adulthood, they find it hard to cope with failure merely because they were not taught that failure is what you make of it.

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3. You gain credibility
While it’s easy to say that all will be fine, essentially failing teaches us more than if we had not failed at all.

Credibility is attained when you can say, “Yes. I’ve been there before. I have failed in that area before.

But I got back up. I picked myself up and kept trying.”

Dust your hands, wipe the blood stains off of your knees, and keep running.

Keep trying.

Keep pursuing.

Tamara used to fear failure but is learning to treat it as her best friend. She wants to hear your stories, so fear not and write to her at For more Thought of the week articles, click here.

This article originally appeared on

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