Why Failure Is the Best Fuel for Success


The road to a prosperous photography career is anything but clear and smooth. It’s an uphill climb full of twists and turns that takes perseverance and patience. Few professionals have navigated their way to the top better than boudoir photographer Rachel Stephens. During her Boudoir Photography course on CreativeLive, Rachel outlined some of most valuable lessons she’s learned from the bumps, twists, and turns along the way.

Don’t fear failure.

Failure teaches us where we want to be and how to be stronger. Failure builds or illuminates the stepping stones that you’ll use to success. Every time something tries to knock you down, you squash it underneath you and make it a stepping stone. One step forward at a time, you’ll make it to the top.

Failure is a great teacher.

Learn from it. When something doesn’t work out, ask how you can use the experience to figure out your next step. How can you use it on your journey and know which direction to take?

Shame is just a word.

It’s okay to fail and to talk about your failures. You are not alone. Share your failures with others and get their feedback. Let the experience teach you.

Build upon it.

Acknowledge the risks you are taking by attempting to build a viable business based on your art. It takes courage and there are no guarantees. Look for the stepping stones and get back up.

Be confident.

Using the word but justifies failure – it presents the problem and gives no true solution. It also kills your ability to problem solve and blocks your passion. Instead, try coming from a place of confidence. Say “I can do this” every day. When you have to do something new, remind yourself that you are capable and what type of person you are. Be clear on what drives you and use it to bounce back and recover from any failures. Realign with your passion and focus on that drive.

Be the hero.

You are the hero in your own journey. Conquer your adversity, whether it be finding your flow with clients, creating custom retouching techniques, mastering lighting, or managing your time. Bring your journey full circle by going from visualizing your dream to now living your dream.

So root what drives you in your heart and follow your bliss until you are living your dream.

Joanna Ziemlewski

Joanna Ziemlewski is a New York based Strategic Intervention coach, freelance writer, lover of life and people. Most of the time she is inspiring and showing others how to create an extraordinary quality of life on her site SoulScaping. Follow Joanna on Facebook and Twitter (@soulscaping).