We all do it. Yet it brings us so much shame. We try to pretend we don’t, or feel awful as a result. Yet it’s perfectly human. Failure that is.
Elizabeth Day realised the taboo around failure and set up her podcast How to Fail with Elizabeth Day, in which she interviews people including Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Sebastian Faulks, Olivia Laing, David Nicholls, Dolly Alderton and Sathnam Sanghera. Even these talented and privileged people have failed at things, it seems, and she includes quotes from them in her new book of the same name.
The book goes through chapters on how to fail at relationships, or education, or fitting in. She tells tales of divorce, and being fired. She talks about school, work, and social difficulties. She takes in the whole of life, because at times we all fail.
But the flipside is that we all succeed. By overcoming life’s difficulties, we find ourselves growing. It’s a nice read (even as its frustrating that everything is framed as a failure in some way) and inspiring in its approach.
‘What does it mean to fail? I think all it means is that we’re living life to its fullest.’ she says. A full life is one we can all aspire to.