Chastain was featured in seven films this year - Coriolanus, The Debt, The Help, Take Shelter, Texas Killing Fields and Tree of Life.
"Right after Tree of Life came out, I started hearing about strategies for my career," she told LA Times. "And I made a decision that I wasn't going to do anything based on a strategy.
"If I don't continue to challenge myself and risk failure, I have no business being an actor. I'm not an actor to be a personality. I want to see every part I take like a master class. And you know what? I'm going to fail sometimes. And that's okay. Because when you fail, you learn more."
Chastain said she considered herself "unlucky" after companies working on her films kept "getting sold", but went on to share the positive side to delayed projects.
She said: "I took advantage of the delays and kept working. The great thing is it created a blank slate. A director could see me without having knowledge of a performance that might have typecast me, so I took advantage of that a lot. This year... is the flip side of that."
Watch the trailer for Tree of Life below: