“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”
― Bill Gates
No one likes to fail and understandably so because failure doesn’t feel good. So many times, failure costs us something like our dignity, money, and time. While it is true, failure comes with a price, can you imagine what life would be like if we didn’t fail – ever. We’d all be a bunch of arrogant, overly prideful, non-compassionate people. Plus, I suspect life would be pretty boring if everything was easy and we reached our goals without any trials or tribulations.
I believe most people understand failure is just a part of life. The only way to avoid it is to stop trying all together and just accept whatever happens to you, which will still be painful and costly in its own way. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather pay the price for success, than the cost of defeat.
It may be hard to believe, especially if you’re in the midst of something right now, but failure is a beautiful thing. Failure is beautiful because it makes us better. In every failure lies a lesson, if we’ll only put our feelings aside and take the time to reflect on the situation.
As a person who’s failed many times at many things, here are my 10 things I’ve learned from failure:
1) “Failure is nature’s plan to prepare you for great responsibilities.” — Napoleon Hill
Even when you don’t reach your goals, you can gain new skills and grow as a person. For many years, I wanted my own business, but was unsure as to what the right business was for me. You see, I’m kind of a “jack of all trades, master of none” type person. So, I’ve tried many things that just didn’t work out, but each time I learned new skills and quite often I learned new things about myself.
2) “To begin again, every failure provides experience and opens the door of opportunity.” ― Debasish Mridha
Failure has a way of providing the experience that’s needed to better handle the next hurdle. It’s kind of like on-the-job-training; you learn as you go. Because of this, every time I start a new venture, I’m able to use all the knowledge I’ve learned in the past and make better decisions about what’s best for me going forward. Also, continuous learning whether in a classroom or on your own, can only lead to great things.
3) “No one ever won a chess game by betting on each move. Sometimes you have to move backward to get a step forward.” – Amar Gopal Bose
Sometimes, a perceived failure is not a failure at all, but rather an opportunity to step back and gain a new perspective on the situation. I’ve had times where I’ve been guilty of allowing my emotions to blind me from the truth. It is when I slow down and take an honest look that I can see things in a different light. During the moment of pause, I can decide what changes need to be made before I move forward. Quite often, it’s my new perspective (and new attitude) that leads me to success.
4) “Achievements make proud, failure makes strong.” – Unknown
I believe a lesson can be found in almost all failures, but in those rare cases I can’t find one I still find comfort in knowing that I am a stronger person because of it. Any time you experience turmoil and disappointment, but don’t allow it to break your spirit, you become stronger and more equipped to handle anything that comes your way. In fact, we are all much stronger than we think we are.
5) “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
Sometimes the only way to reach your goals is through trial and error which will require patience. This may be one of the hardest qualities to develop, but as we all know “patience is a virtue”. No matter how many times you fail, success will come if you persevere through the hard times and stick with your goals for the long haul.
6) “Use the losses and failures of the past as a reason for action, not inaction.” – Charles J. Givens
If handled incorrectly, failure can create fear and procrastination which makes it difficult to go after your dreams. I’ve even seen people become paralyzed by it and miss out on great opportunities. Once I really understood that it’s all part of the process, I was able to use failure as a way to fuel my fire. Now, instead of being afraid, I am more determined and more motivated to accomplish my goals and not let failure have the final say.
7) “Life is full of screwups. You’re supposed to fail sometimes. It’s a required part of the human existence.” – Sarah Dessen
Most people are harder on themselves than they are when their friends or family experience failure. I think the most common responses come from a place of love and encouragement. I know for me, I find it easier to accept other people’s mishaps than it is to accept my own. I’ve had times when I would beat myself up and allow what went wrong to replay over and over in my mind, but I am learning to do a better job of showing myself the same compassion I would show to anyone else.
8) “An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field. “
~ Niels Bohr
Every time you fail on the path to success, you learn what not to do and what doesn’t work. Combine that with your education/experience and before you know you’re the expert in your field.
9) “But instead of spending our lives running towards our dreams, we are often running away from our fear of failure or fear of criticism.” – Eric Wright
If your dreams are larger than your fear, you can almost become immune to missing your mark and just continue to move forward. I really believe a strong vision is very important for getting through the tough times. Now that I know how failure is a benefit to success, I’ve become fearless in my pursuit of creating the life of my dreams. If you want tips for creating the life you want, you can read our article on the subject here.
10) “Failure is success in progress,” – Albert Einstein
It’s been said that most people give up just before they reach the success they’re seeking. Can you imagine what life would be like if Thomas Edison had given up? I guess you’d be reading this post by candlelight. I think it’s important to remember that life is not a sprint, but rather a continuous marathon. As long as, you don’t give up, every failure becomes a step closer to success.
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