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

By Elizabeth Day

There are so many themes in this book that I can relate to. Based on her mega successful podcast by the same name, it explores the vagaries of living without a strong sense of self.

And having moved from London to Manchester as a nine year old, I know how it feels to be an outsider struggling to fit in. Day moved from England to Derry as a child and she recounts with almost gruesome honesty the horror of making the ‘wrong’ friends, of standing out for all the worst reasons and all the things she did to try to make a good impression.

Through each chapter of failures – like failing at friendship, careers and relationships – she shares many valuable learnings, like the importance of self knowledge and valuing yourself and how its worth enduring a degree of risk to have adventures, because not having them means missing out on life – a far greater risk. How outward success doesn’t always equate to inner confidence in ones abilities. And how running is meditative and connects us with our bodies.

This book is packed with relatable incidents not only from Day but from her guest interviewees, from Christina Hendricks to Wiz Calipha, from Satnam Sangeera to Phoebe Waller Bridge. It’s fantastically entertaining and full of important truths. So while it’s crammed with past pain and disappointment, especially around her struggles to conceive, you find yourself rooting for Day and underdogs the world over. So much good can come from failure, and Elisabeth Day is exemplary of this.