The old adage ‘what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger’ has long been used as a way to handle any failure or rejection that may arise. Helping people to understand that growth and development can come from what many may consider failed ventures.
Scientists at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management have established a causal relationship between failure and future success, proving German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s adage that “what does not kill me makes me stronger.”
The researchers used analytics to assess the relationship between professional failure and success for young scientists. Their results showed that failure early in one’s career leads to greater success in the long term for those who try again.
“The attrition rate does increase for those who fail early in their careers,” lead author Yang Wang said. “But those who stick it out, on average, perform much better in the long term, suggesting that if it doesn’t kill you, it really does make you stronger.”
“There is value in failure,” Dashun Wang said. “We have just begun expanding this research into a broader domain and are seeing promising signals of similar effects in other fields.”