You Know Those Tiny Failures You Face Every Day? They Could Change Very Well Change Your Life.

Tiny Failures Crackers - No Revisions

We always hear about how important it is to learn from our failures. Or, more importantly, how we should always see failure as a pathway to self-improvement.

But failure here often conjures images of that time you froze up on stage, or when you’d sat for an exam only to realise you’d accidentally left a page blank.

Thing is, catastrophic failure isn’t the only time you learn in life. Your day-to-day snafus work great for growth too. And you don’t need to suffer death by humiliation as part of the process. Doesn’t that sound like a better deal? You bet it does.

So how do you do it? By celebrating your tiny failures.

Why small failures are big for growth

Let’s face it: even the tiny mistakes suck. Like replying ‘you too’ to the cashier who’d told you to enjoy the movie. Or sending an intimate message to an entire WhatsApp group instead of your bae.

You know what, though? These small mistakes will probably teach you more than the big ones do. Let me tell you why.

a. Higher frequency means more chances to grow

We’re not computers, able to calculate every detail down to the letter. We’re human. So when something bad happens, we tend to find one main takeaway and that’ll be that.

But smaller mistakes, though? They happen all the time. Which means you get to learn multiple times a day. Improve on these little things and you’ll be mighty formidable. Like Marco Pierre White said, “Perfection is lots of little things done well.”

b. It turns your default mindset into a positive one

There are always two sides to a problem. You can either see the good side or the bad. And we all tend to default towards one side or another.

Focusing on learning from your mistakes will allow you to see your problems in a new light. Suddenly, bad things aren’t just happening to you—instead, they’ll be part and parcel of your day. Yet another puzzle to solve.

Just like how gratitude can convince you to see the silver lining in the bad things, so too can tiny failures help you appreciate your problems more.

c. It allows you to embrace imperfection

Here’s a spoiler: you will never not make mistakes. But you already know that.

You know what flaws do? They help you accept. Like the fact that you’ll never be free from imperfections. That even though you’re a much better person than you were 10 years ago, you’ll still have much to work on.

This is especially useful if you’re a creative. Because knowing that nothing’s perfect will quell that desire to create ‘the best’. And soon, you’ll be nailing with your ‘good enough’s.

My own flaws

Life is a constant learning journey, and that’s a good thing. Because my days will be so pointless without anything to work on. Here I share my own failures just to give you an idea of how to deal with your own speed bumps.

i. Punctuality

I try to be on time. But sometimes I succumb to the Void Of Tardiness. And every time that happens, it’s mostly caused by the lackadaisical rate at which I get ready. Plus, I always feel like I have more time than I actually do.

So I’ve learned that the best counter to this is to prepare everything I need beforehand. I’ll need my clothes, bag, and keys laid out if I’m to stick to a proper flow. I also aim to be 15 minutes early, because for some magical reason, that’s the only way I’ll arrive on the dot.

ii. Socialising

I’ve met more people this month than the past three years combined (follow my stories on Instagram to watch me suffer).

Naturally, as an introvert, I’m totally out of my depth. So I’ve taken to copying the techniques of the experienced networkers out there.

And paying someone a compliment seems to be a common strategy for breaking the ice.

Thing is, giving compliments relies heavily on the delivery. In fact, everything relies on the delivery. And I’ve learned that the power of a compliment fades significantly if the receiver didn’t hear me the first time.

So I’ve learned to speak louder. With more gusto. So that I won’t have to repeat myself and look like a fool. And this is just one of the thousand other social skills I’m currently honing.

iii. Procrastinating

I’m sure I’m not alone here. Battling procrastination is a daily thing for me. It’s something that I will truly overcome. So my goal is to outsmart the Big P on the daily. Because like a weed, procrastination will root itself deep into my being if not consistently addressed.

I do this by keeping a procrastination log. I’ll observe the biggest chunks of time I spend each day procrastinating. Then I log down all the details: what I should’ve been doing, how I procrastinated, and how I can improve.

As a result, I’ve taken to washing the dishes right after dinner instead of leaving it till I’m done with Netflix. And writing in the morning to wake up instead of mindlessly scrolling Instagram. And performing ritual sacrifices instead of just herding satanic goats.

You know, the writerly stuff.

Tips to help you succeed with failure

Here are some pointers that have helped me leverage the power of learning from my small failures. Hopefully they’ll help you fail better too.

1. Keep a journal

Keeping a journal keeps you mindful of your daily pitfalls. And writing down what happened helps suss out the failure points of your day.

Did you use salt instead of sugar while baking cookies? Bought too many groceries and wasted all that food—yet again? Mistook a face-to-face meeting for a virtual one, and wondered why they didn’t send you a link till the very last minute, then came up with a lame excuse to not look stupid, but just made things worse when they caught you lying?

Not speaking from personal experience.

Anyway, keeping a record will hopefully help you avoid them in the future. Plus, you’ll have a hilarious record of all your embarrassing moments to look back on.

Who knows, maybe one day your journal will become a bestseller and you’ll be the next David Sedaris.

2. Ask yourself the right questions

Listing down your failures is one thing. Asking yourself what you could’ve done better is, well, better. Always take the time to prod yourself on your failures and work out why things happened the way they did.

Could the failures have been avoided? How can you make sure it doesn’t happen again? Is it an important lesson? Why or why not?

The favourite question I like to ask myself comes from Tom Bilyeu: How is this the best thing that’s ever happened to me?

The answer often highlights how I stand to improve. For example: It’s taught me what temptation feels like so I can recognise my binge-drinking cues better.

By asking questions, I get to unearth my psyche little by little. Hopefully towards a more productive future.

3. Be specific

It’s also important to be as specific as possible. Vague statements like ‘I need to do better’ or ‘I messed up’ won’t cut it. You need to get down to the nitty-gritty if you want to make real progress.

For example, instead of ‘write more’, dive deeper into what that means. Does it mean increasing your daily word count? Choosing to write instead of watching TV after dinner? Making a pact with the devil in exchange for literary success?

The more specific you are, the easier it will be to act on your mistakes. After all, ‘eating a salad with lunch every day’ is much more actionable than ‘eat more greens’ (what even is that?).

Fail forward

So to sum everything up, remember that your failures are worth more than your successes. After all, how do you expect to become the ultimatest version of yourself if everything’s hunky dory?

To close, I’m just going to leave this cheesy saying here: “Two people stared out of a jail cell, one saw the bars, the other saw the stars.”

I don’t know if it even relates to the topic at hand, but hey, if it doesn’t, I’ll just chalk it up to another learning experience.

I’m gonna be honest here: I want your e-mail address. This is so that I can keep sending you more (exclusive) content in case this site ever goes down. Plus, you get a free guide on how to grow your blog too.

57 thoughts on “You Know Those Tiny Failures You Face Every Day? They Could Change Very Well Change Your Life.

  1. I love that you suggest asking the right questions… Most people hate you for that but not your precious self, your precious self is always grateful for those words/ thoughts of wisdom.


  2. Magnificent blog post Stuart. This topic here “You know those tiny failures they can change very well your life” and I agree with you because in this life we face failure because we are not robots we are human we make mistakes even the tiniest ones👏💯

    Also, I agree that to avoid surrendering or succumbing to failure one needs to keep a journal, be punctual, avoid procrastinating and have a plan. The mistake like the one of sending a wrong message to an entire WhatsApp group instead of your bae is a big one because you feel bad since all the people in the group will know the message thus being cautious is key.

    A really great topic to look into frequently as the seem starts💯💯


    • And the best thing is making mistakes helps us upgrade, so it’s a win-win situation. And journals are great for every use imaginable. Just interviewed a journal specialist, and it was an eye-opening experience. Anyway, thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. hahaha the “you too” thing.

    “Hi how are you?”
    “Good, how are you?”
    “Good, how are you?” (d’oh!)

    As I get older, I’m learning to care less about the little faux pas. I just figure, well, the other person will forget or if they don’t, it’s their problem. Maybe I made them laugh at how stupid I am. Better luck next time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL, yeah, they probably wouldn’t think twice about it. But I’ll be at home, thinking how stupid of a person I was. It’s just like those moments when I will be up at night. I’m just thinking about my cringy past. Scumbag brain.


  4. I love that closing saying. Is that a Stuart Original?

    The husband is perpetually tardy, too. For YEARS it drove me nuts and I considered it selfish, but over time I realized that he quite literally is terrible at estimating time just like I’m terribly at estimating distance. I’m quite good at estimating time, so I just assumed everyone is, but I really think it’s no different than other skills and deficits we all have. (Ditto for a sense of rhythm. I have one, but when I see people at the gym who are totally off the beat in class, I realize not everyone has this.)


    • Yeah, the time thing is really a problem for me. But I’ve found I could make it work if I just operate a bit earlier than everyone else. Maybe that’s why those people who have the clocks set half an hour earlier exist, lol. And nah, that quote has been around for quite some time now. I wish I was that smart. But if it was a pun, it’s probably mine LOL.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved this! It is very difficult to embrace imperfection and to be self-compassionate when you make a mistake if you are a bit of a perfectionnist, but it’s true that it is what helps us grow in the end! I remember hearing about this kid encouraged by their parents to fail at something every day – it was really inspiring but I felt like my anxious self could never ahahah but then maybe that’s precisely what I need ;)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish I was told the same, to seek failure every day. But Asian communities tend to want things done perfectly from the get go. Still, it’s never too late, so I’m trying to earn all my failures back :P

      If anything, I just want to see failure as data instead of a life problem. Always great reading your comments, Juliette!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Stuart, Thanks for the article. I don’t manage my time well and still trying. At times i seem to be able to do quite a lot within a short time but very often time just slips by without much ado. Having a good night’s rest helps one to focus, and I tend to waste more time when I’m tired. You are right about being specific when trying to trouble shoot why something is not working. Happy writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally understand that feeling. Time management is something I’ve been trying to optimise, I find that I always fall back to my old habits. It’s almost as if I’m trying to fight my own nature. But being aware of it helps. In many ways, we are facing the same problems. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts here!


  7. Stuart this is a fabulous post my friend.

    A few days ago, sometime at the ice cream shop told me to enjoy the cone. I said, “You too.” LOL….

    These little moments of less than mindful replies trigger fear in most cases. The fear manifests as shame or embarrassment or some other fear that needs to go to feel more at peace, accepting of life as it is and more in the moment.

    Asking the right questions gives people deep clarity in this regard. Once you begin to ask why failures seem to keep unfolding – even little ones – you can get at the root of patterns in your mind which reflect beliefs back to you. From there, you can forgive the beliefs that seem to be causing all of your failures. Tough at first but it does get easier with practice.


    • Asking questions is a skill isn’t it? Sometimes when we ponder over a topic, it’s hard to find connections. But when we change the topics into specific questions, then we get to address the problem properly. And we have so many beliefs that aren’t true. thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, Ryan!


  8. Thanks for sharing Stuart. I guess procrastinating is universal! I do it a lot. As always informative post. Also thanks for the free guide I hope to learn a lot from it. I never wrote journals but do take notes of things and when I look back at it I always find something to work on to improve myself.

    “a much better person than you were 10 years ago” – I think everybody can relate to this and should because only then its progress. I couldn’t help but spin it into a quote for instagram

    here goes

    Getting better? I’m a much better person than I was a decade ago. I think about a decade from now and I am no better than I could be!


    • I guess you can say you ARE journalling with those little notes that you take. By recording your thoughts and examining them later, you’re basically reaping all the benefits of journalling. Would definitely love to see you your notes and how you improve through them. Thanks for stopping by!


  9. Just to pick up on one of your many great thoughts here. You say “…instead of ‘write more’, dive deeper into what that means.” and I couldn’t agree more. Kinda why I cut my blog output this year to just one poem and one essay weekly. All in the name of diving deeper. Having said that though, I’m still not 100% certain I’ve dived deeper haha! O well, like you said, keep failing forward and maybe, just maybe, I’ll get to that ‘deep’ in time. Thanks again for another great post on living well with our failures.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your small failures are common areas for lots of people. Procrastination used to be a terrible habit for me, but I’m much better about it now. I take a very childlike approach and reward myself after taking on a task I don’t want to do.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Maybe I should reward myself more. I love the fact that we are all united by our pains, regardless of who we are or where we are in life. Some universal truth never change. Anyway, always great to have you stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m convinced your daily journal would be a best seller :)..being specific about acting on mistakes and failing forward are both excellent ways to grow and learn. Thanks for the reminder to stay consistent with that.


  12. or the times you send a vm message and damn auto voice says fuck you to a client and you didn’t read it before hitting send.
    Oh man.
    I always think I have more time than I do and then there is the abandonment issue of if I have to wait I’m triggered into memories so I’m the late one.. Yes, I’ve done a life coaching session on this.. lol .. or my cats that linger longer under my arm in the morning. How do you get up then.

    love your tips though and I’ll get right on those when I dig out.. or best leave the chair and set the timer.. bingo.. thanks for a great post Stuart! 💗

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I think those of us who think we have more time than we actually do really need to work on changing our perspectives. I know I always overestimate how much time I have, especially when it comes to deadlines. It’s no fun rushing those last minute jobs, so I hope to get this under wraps, lol. Appreciate you stopping by, Cindy, and hope you had fun at your yoga retreat!


  13. Stuart, excellent points. Many people fail to appreciate failure when it is their own. It is a lesoon one has to learn teh hard way. As for “Asking yourself the right question” at any given time I’m dealing with Me, Myself and I. Guess what, we don’t get along that well.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I have met so many inspiring bloggers on WordPress and I always feel that sharing your story or experience is a very courageous act, just like you did. It’s easy to take so many habits for granted. Journaling definitely helps to reflect on our actions and take the next step to improve it. Being specific with goals is what I am trying to work on this year which is helping me a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So many people see journalling is just a boring pastime, but I hope to change that. It is actually very useful for self-discovery and self awareness. It could even play a part in being specific with our goals. Thanks so much for your lovely comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. You know what is wonderful about computers? They inform you when you fail.

    Real life is likely to dunk you in a scalding pit of lava rather than inform you when you fail.

    Jokes aside, when I have to deal with people, I do the same thing. Emulate the characters I’ve read, people I have observed. It usually takes a while for people to find out that I am not great at socializing, and to some extent, despise it. And some people never find out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha, I wonder how many of us are actually impostors. Hiding our true nature because the world prefers one type of personality. Or maybe that’s a skill, just like everything else. Something that we need to constantly practice to get good at. And I’m definitely liking practice in the socialising department, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Actually, we’re ALL imposters, pretending to have lives of someone we wish we had. Consider infants and toddlers when they carefully watch daddy working on the car, mommy cleaning house, someone scolding the dog, and then go on copying them. By proceeding in this manner, they learn. The more someone does something, the easier it becomes until it does resonate enough and become habitual, moving into the subconscious realm. Then, the process is learned.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. I often refer, Stuart, to the saying, ‘there is no such thing as failure, only feedback.’ Sometimes what we perceive as failure could be viewed as success in another’s eyes. I like your point on specificity and drilling deeper on an issue. The question, why, (why did this approach not work? why am I procrastinating?) often helps. Although in some literature, the question why, is deemed too judgmental to be effective. A lot to think about here, Stuart. Thank you.


    • Yep, there was this project that I tried when I was younger, and it was all about collecting rejections. They did seem to help, but I didn’t have the thick skin to continue the practice. Still, we’d do well to look at our failures in a more objective light. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. “Perfection is lots of little things done well.” Thank you, Stuart.
    Great to remind a young person learning to throw a baseball or any other sport. Incremental encouragement for any endeavour, even when wrestling with writing.


    • I love how people take their own discipline and apply it to other parts of life, such as Marco did. Perfecting the little things to finish the bigger picture is such a great thing to do. I love that quote too!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Learning from our mistakes and failures, and taking time for reflective thinking is so important. But the one think that really struck home to me from this post was your procrastination journal. It sounds like such a simple, straightforward tool but with reflection and planning, I can see how this will help. Thanks Stuart

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Love this! As a perfectionist, I still have a hard time accepting my failures – I can get grouchy over something as simple as dropping the cereal box 😂 Oddly enough, I think I’ve (mostly) come to terms with larger failures, but it’s the small ones that still get me. Also, I’ve found that starting conversations with a compliment works really well, too! I’ve had to get more comfortable meeting new people and socialising since I became a youth group leader and once I started giving people sincere compliments to kick things off, starting conversations got so much easier. You always have so many great points for me to think about, Stuart! Thanks for another awesome post.


    • Some people do certain things better than others. As much as I’d love to emulate the social butterflies, I feel like it’s like cooking: I can have the recipe, but I need the practice.

      I gotta learn to be more natural with the complementing, lol.

      And thank you for your awesome comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. You should create a link from your mention of your Instagram file to the actual posting of it for a wider audience, and vice versa. Just a thought in aiding your growth as a writer.

    Liked by 2 people

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