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Taylor Swift’s Beautiful Reminder to Set New Precedents & Give Yourself Permission to Fail

Taylor Swift has received the prestigious Innovator Award at this year’s iHeartRadio Music Awards – and she used her moment in the spotlight to remind us all there’s no success without failure.

Taking to the stage (in a hooded jumpsuit – a bejewelled one, of course), Taylor said she was “flattered” to receive the award though she’s never thought of herself as an innovator: “I never, a single time, woke up in the morning and thought you know I’m going to innovate some stuff!”


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She goes on to share her own journey, emphasising how important it is to do what feels right: “What I did do is try to make the right decision for me at the time, whether or not it had ever been successfully done before. And I think that might be the key, because often times in any industry people are looking for a precedent or data that shows this idea is a good one or a feasible one. People want an example of something working before. But I think the coolest ideas or moves or choices are new ones, the ones that set a new precedent.”

Taylor used the example of “switching genres or re-recording all of my old music” and pointed out that the accolades she’s received tend to celebrate the choices she’s made that “worked out.” But of course, there’s another side to success:

“What I really want everyone to know, especially young people, is that the hundreds or thousands of dumb ideas that I’ve had have led me to my good ideas. You have to give yourself permission to fail. I try as hard as I can not to fail because it’s embarrassing but I do give myself permission to. And you should too, so go easy on yourselves. Make the right choices that feel right for you and someone someday might think that you’ve been innovative!”

The Innovator Award is given to an artist who has impacted global pop culture through their career. Previous recipients include Pharrell Williams, Alicia Keys and U2.

Later in the evening, Taylor also took home Song of the Year for “Anti-Hero.”

(Feature Image Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartRadio)

Nehal is an award-winning news presenter, author of "A Kids Book About Kindness Online" and founder of CelebrityKind. She has dedicated her career to creating connected and healthy spaces in the media. When she's not writing, you'll find Nehal hanging with family, dancing to Beyoncé, interpreting Taylor Swift lyrics or watching old eps of Oprah.

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