How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong

This is a book for anyone who has ever failed. Which means it’s a book for everyone. 

If I have learned one thing from this shockingly beautiful venture called life, it is this: failure has taught me lessons I would never otherwise have understood. I have evolved more as a result of things going wrong than when everything seemed to be going right. Out of crisis has come clarity, and sometimes even catharsis.

Part memoir, part manifesto, and including chapters on dating, work, sport, babies, families, anger and friendship, it is based on the simple premise that understanding why we fail ultimately makes us stronger. It’s a book about learning from our mistakes and about not being afraid.

Uplifting, inspiring and rich in stories from Elizabeth’s own life, How to Fail reveals that failure is not what defines us; rather it is how we respond to it that shapes us as individuals.

Because learning how to fail is actually learning how to succeed better. And everyone needs a bit of that.

Reviews of How to Fail: Everything I’ve Ever Learned From Things Going Wrong

    • ‘A book full of wisdom, humour, humility, tenderness and heart. Elizabeth Day’s beautiful, reassuring stories and observations are a guide to self-compassion, a celebration of all things imperfect and will galvanise you to try, try again’ Dolly Alderton, author of Everything I Know About Love
    • ‘How To Fail has rapidly become my essential companion in this over-competitive, demanding world. By turns profound, witty, and extremely reassuring, Elizabeth Day’s sublime deconstruction of the myth of ‘success’ – and the journey to find our own markers of contentment – is a life-changing gift to us all.’ Jessie Burton, author of The Muse
    • ‘Brilliant Elizabeth Day, who you could probably trust to talk eloquently about anything’ Evening Standard
    • ‘Brilliant … Covering everything from job rejections to failed IVF attempts, this podcast will make you feel better about life when things aren’t going to plan’ Harper’s Bazaar
    • ‘Funny and insightful’ Grazia ‘It’s really quite special’ Red
    •  ‘Whip-smart celebrations of things going, well, wrong’ Emerald Street
    • ‘Listening to this show is cathartic; failure is a constant experience shared by so many, and being open is not a bad thing’ BuzzFeed
    • ‘Tender and insightful, as well as acerbically funny’ Reader’s Digest