Creativity Found In Failure

Written by Erin Young | Photo by Free the Bird

Failure. What is it? A dream that did not come true? A business venture that did not flourish?

It is a word we never want to hear, a feeling we never want to feel; and in the end, its presence is ever lingering.

There is a reason it is one of everyone's biggest fears. Nobody wants to admit defeat; whether it is a tasteless cake or not getting the big promotion, we are all affected by failure—we have all come face to face with it.

What matters is how we react to it.

Are we going to let it push us down or are we going to fight back? Sometimes not getting that one thing we wanted so badly can lead us to incredible places never imagined.

There is creativity to be found in failure. Creative thinking to be done through failure.

Failure always brings us to our knees. It makes us second guess and wonder what went wrong. Failure never ceases to make us contemplate, “what should I have done differently?” In times of failure, we must of course explore what could have been done differently, what could be done better next time, or even realize that we should not have done it at all. Failure does not mean that everything went wrong. Most of the time it is something miniscule, yet of grave importance, that caused the failure. When it comes to finding creativity in failure, look small. Get creative in how you change the small aspects of your failure—starting with how you react to it, because the small things always add up.

Perhaps what we wanted and failed to achieve what was supposed to bring us to this place of necessary creativity. Get back up and get creative. Add an another cup of sugar to the cake, try a new way of impressing your boss, or even quit your job and follow your dream of starting something new.

Stare failure in the face and be thankful for it. Then, create again.

Use your failure to fuel the creative fire inside of you, or even to reignite the fire that has diminished. A lot of times failure is synonymous with giving up. Do not fall into that trap. Work, make, and live while the failure is still fresh in your mind. You cannot accidentally make the same mistake twice, so get creative. Life is a series of missteps and ruined plans that all add up to success; success in work, in business, and in life. Failure does not always have to be a bad thing, often times it is the beginning of something huge, something created, and something successful.


Erin Young is a student at Clemson University who loves words and all things French. Whether it’s a batch of cupcakes or a strand of paragraphs, she enjoys creating and wants whatever she creates to inspire people.