Spanx founder shares dad’s powerful lesson on the importance of failure: ‘What did you guys fail at this week?’

Spanx founder Sara Blakey shared the powerful lesson behind her father’s motive for his kids to fail at something every week, and it’s reframing viewers’ perspectives on failure.

TikTok account The Mentor House (@thementorhouse) is known for sharing inspiring and motivational content. One of their videos features a clip from a lecture given by Sara Blakely, the founder of the shapewear brand Spanx, where she tells viewers the lesson behind her father’s encouragement to fail at something each week, and viewers love the inspiring message.

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At the beginning of the clip, Blakely shares how, when growing up, her father would encourage her to fail. She explains that whenever she and her brother came home from school, their father would ask, “So, what did you guys fail at this week?”

If they didn’t have anything to share, Blakely’s father would express genuine disappointment, which “flipped the whole model on its head” when it came to failure.

So, when Blakely would come home from school and tell her father that she tried out for something and it didn’t go well, he’d high-five her and say, “Way to go!”

Over time, Blakely realized that her father’s intention for this method was to change his kids’ definition of failure.

“My definition of failure became NOT about the outcome, but about not trying,” Blakely says at the end of the video.

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For Blakely, this shift in perspective meant that her only failures in life occurred when she didn’t try something out of fear.

The wisdom Blakely imparted in the video profoundly resonated with viewers, and many expressed the proverbial paralysis that comes with perfectionism.

“I wish my parents did this. Everyone always expected me to get everything right the first time,” shared one user.

“I’m hesitant to do most things because I was taught perfection and excellence at all costs, so now if I even start to think something may fail, I don’t [try],” one TikToker mentioned.

Failure is one of the greatest teachers out there. It’s not the end of the path, only the beginning,” a wise viewer expressed.

While everyone wants to excel at whatever they do, it’s important to recognize that success can’t happen without failure.

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