Learning from Failure

Make The Most of Your Failure

Learn from failure try again
Samuel Beckett

Sometimes it feels like we can never do anything right, that everything we do is inherently wrong and we have no clue what we are doing.  Most thinking people will feel this way at some point in their lives, it is just human nature.  Often as we try out new thoughts to see which ones are “keepers”, and which ones need to be thrown back, we will experience failure characterized as a mistake.   However it is important to understand that mistakes in life are not only inevitable, they are vital to our growth as people and professionals.  You will never experience genius in any field without first experiencing a few missteps along the way.

Learning from the cruel hand of experience has been occurring throughout history and you shouldn’t allow your mistakes to define you because you have been presented with a powerful opportunity for growth when you approach it from the right frame of mind.  If you analyze the failure, why did this happen?  Why didn’t it work out?  What can I do better?  How can I fix it?  You will start to build on the misfortune, using the knowledge that you were able to compile by failing to move you toward a solid construction of a success.


Learning More From Failure

Make the most of your mistakes
New shirt!

Often times it is difficult to learn from success because if you feel everything went right, you are not going to be looking as hard for the weaknesses.  When you experience failure, it is not desirable so you are motivated to find out what is wrong or what you can do better and fix it.  This was the case for me as a coach.  When we won, it was easy to pat yourself on the back and feel good about yourself.  You won, how bad could you be?  But when you lose, you know that changes have to be made, both mentally and physically to experience success the next time.  The weaknesses jump out at you, and you always feel like you should have seen it coming.  Or even if you were able to recognize the problem, it is difficult to motivate change in people who are experiencing success.  Only after the group touches the cold hand of failure will they be willing to accept change.  We are like this as individuals, if we are experiencing nothing but perceived success there is no motivation for change.   That is why we all learn more from failure than we can possibly learn from success.

Our Society Fears Failure

One can lead to the other.

Today in our society, failure is looked at as something to be avoided, even more so than in the past.   Parents look at their kids today and want to control every aspect of their lives so that they can protect them from failure.  In doing this, they are robbing their kids of one of the most powerful learning experiences they can have.  Why are we afraid to let kids make mistakes?  I think it is for several reasons. First of all, mistakes can be painful, in many ways, some poor decisions can affect someone for their entire life, or in some cases end a life.  This is tragic but doesn’t change the fact that an individual needs the freedom to make mistakes to reach the potential that they have inside.  Lessons learned in this manner are lifelong and provide a solid base for development.  You can’t make mistakes for your kids, you can only guide them, love them, pick them up when they fall, and urge them to keep moving forward, trying again.

When you look at your life from an outside perspective and analyze events you would characterize as mistakes, honestly, make a list of the positives that have come from it.  You will be surprised at how your perspective will change.  We all want to avoid mistakes, and the wisdom of time allows us to do this more often.  You cannot live your life in fear of a mistake, or you are not living your life at all.


Learning from Failure Quotes:

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
– Albert Einstein –


Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.
– Og Mandino –
Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.
– Abraham Lincoln –
The person interested in success has to learn to view failure as a healthy, inevitable part of the process of getting to the top.
– Dr. Joyce Brothers –
The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.
– Elbert Hubbard –
If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative
– Woody Allen –
Good people are good because they’ve come to wisdom through failure.
– William Saroyan –
In order to succeed you must fail, so that you know what not to do the next time.
– Anthony D’Angelo –
Success is often the result of taking a misstep in the right direction.
– Al Bernstein –
Victory is sweetest when you’ve known defeat.
– Malcolm Forbes –
You learn as much from those who have failed as from those who have succeeded.
– Michael Johnson –
From success to failure is one step; from failure to success is a long road.
– Yiddish Proverb –
Success does not consist in never making blunders, but in never making the same one a second time.
– Josh Billings –
Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it’s a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from.
– Al Franken –
Instruction does not prevent wasted time or mistakes, and mistakes themselves are often the best teachers of all.
– James Anthony Froude –
Our business in life is not to succeed, but to continue to fail in good spirits.
– Robert Louis Stevenson –
The things that hurt us teach us.
– Author Unknown –
Being defeated is often only a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
– Marilyn Vos Savant –
My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.
– Abraham Lincoln
You’re on the road to success when you realize that failure is only a detour.
– Author unknown –
Make failure your teacher, not your undertaker.
– Zig Ziglar –
It’s how you deal with failure that determines how you achieve success.
– David Feherty –

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