In recent years failure has become somewhat in vogue in the world of business self-help. A rise in entrepreneurship, and the extraordinary successes of a handful of entrepreneurs with a serial history of business failure have served to remind us that bold ventures are risky, and that with risk sometimes comes failure.
Unlike traditional Japanese culture with its social horror of “losing face,” America is at ease with the idea of a rocky path to success. Still, on the individual level, we often respond to failure reflexively with shame on the one hand or defensive bluster on the other. Real psychological growth, however, depends on our ability to process failure – to accept it, to learn from it, and to transcend it.