Kirstie Dawson-Smith - The Freedom of Failure

We’ve been taught to see failure as a negative. The definition itself isn’t very motivating is it? …. Failing: a weakness, especially in a person’s character; a shortcoming. Reading that sentence makes me feel glum and uninspired, and all I can think is “no - I don’t want to fail!”; because what is the opposite of failure?.... Is it success?


Saying that ‘f’ word out loud wasn’t possible for me, specifically when talking about my actions. And I’ve been challenging myself with how I view failure over the past few months.

There’s a sense of liberation that comes with embracing your “failures”. Just say it out loud, and breathe. Acknowledge it, and the impact that it has had an you as a person. See it as another stroke on your canvas, a page in your book, or a stitch on your shirt.

We often say “if only I’d known better”. But catch the beauty in that sentence. The fact that you realise it, and now you know better, does the situation even count as a failure then?

“It is only a failure if you don’t learn from it” and I believe in that so much. Because often we are so quick to be negative and see all the wrongs in a situation and we don’t acknowledge the rights. It’s about shifting perspective. Because without the “failure”, you wouldn’t be where you are now. You wouldn’t have the knowledge and wisdom that you refer to for guidance would you?

Take a moment to think about something from your past that you thought was a huge failure… What impact does it have on your life right now? Can you see what you’ve learnt from it and what effect it has had on you as a person?


It’s time to own our failures and mistakes. It’s about acknowledgement, accountability and acceptance. Whether it’s quitting study, resigning from a job, the ending of a relationship, getting rejected for a new idea…. Stop seeing these as negatives.

Don’t solely look at the end result. If we make the effort to be less judgmental on ourselves, and focus more on the energy and effort that we invested into that situation, we’re able to see the true outcomes from those situation.

Once we really own those failures, what’s stopping us from trying more?


Kirstie Dawson-Smith

If you'd like to read more about Kirstie's pursuit of the entrepreneur lifestyle, follow her blogging exploits on Instagram and Facebook. Then check out her website, Class 22.