Learning from failure

Posted in Blog on 16 Mar 2020

As children we are taught to believe failure is bad, ultimately connecting it to our own negative feelings which can feed our inner saboteur. However, as many successful people will testify, failure is fundamental to achievement. Without the lows we cannot fully appreciate the highs. Most people will experience failure within their careers – from not hitting quotas or targets to completing a project past the set deadline.


Even though it might not feel like it, failure does not necessarily mean total defeat. For one, it can help redefine your priorities. Firstly, ascertain why you failed. Perhaps you neglected a certain aspect of your work or let your attention slide, it may have even been caused by something out of your control entirely. Sometimes we all wish we had the benefit of hindsight, once you have an idea as to why the failure occurred you should, in theory, be able to avoid making the same mistakes again.


However, it’s essential to move on and not to dwell on playing the blame game. Instead, take the positives from a negative situation and apply them in forthcoming situations. For one, failing to achieve something you had your heart set on can help you evaluate your values and clarify what is actually important to you. Many people become even more impassioned about their mission after experiencing failure – it may even light a fire underneath you, helping spur yourself on to accomplish future greatness.


After undergoing failure, learning how to refocus your energy and continue with the day to day helps us to learn an important lesson in resilience. Failure for many may also provide you with the blank slate needed giving you a clear starting point in allowing you to move on. Failure can also make us emotionally stronger and subsequently more rounded as individuals. The capacity to handle negative thoughts with stoicism after suffering a bad experience can equip us with the mental tools needed to ensure success in both our professional and personal lives.


As is commonly said: it is better to try and fail than never to try at all. Failure may be uncomfortable, but it can also help shape us and sow the seeds for our success. It is also part and parcel of the human experience, so to not use it for self-improvement can be a failure in itself!



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