7 Lessons To Be Learned From Failure


Failure is not an option when success is your destination

When life throws us a curve ball, duck and if we cannot duck, grab a life line. Life’s challenges are merely a stepping stone of greater things to come. Most of us get disheartened when confronted with rejection or failure, it is a natural first reaction. Stay strong and once we allow the wave of negative emotion and shock to ride past us, we can assess the situation in terms of what can be learned from the experience.

Dennis Waitley says it best:

“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something that we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing and being nothing.”

None of us sets out to achieve failure, often it is just simply part of the journey. Think about all the successful entrepreneurs, most did not achieve success overnight. Mistakes were made, focus was tuned in to aspects that worked and an unstoppable attitude was inherent. Phenomenal success can be achieved if we pay attention to the clues left behind from our mistakes because it is these signs that will eventually lead us on a different path.

There are lessons to be learned from our failures and these include:

1. Be Disciplined Every Day

To be disciplined we must first change our thinking. Unless this changes, we will simply continue to repeat the same mistakes. By altering our thinking, our actions change and we can develop good daily habits, whether it be organisational skills, time management, reading and learning from those who triumphed. Developing positive daily habits will eventually lead to results forthcoming. If we are only disciplined a little bit, then clearly we will only see minor changes, however, if we have a complete overhaul and commit to achieving our goals bigger results will emerge.

2. Own Up To Our Failures

Embracing our failures is necessary in order to move on. Attempting to shift the blame on external circumstances such as our parents, education, money, resources is easy but will not serve us. Once we acknowledge and own our mistakes, we pave the way for new beginnings. When we are transparent, the opportunity for others to believe in us becomes deeper. We are not perfect beings and others can so totally relate that they become our cheering squad for success.

3. Time Is Of The Essence

One thing we all have irrespective of our wealth, education, status is time. Therefore, how we utilise our time is crucial. Anthony Robbins states that when we truly identify our purpose and our reason is strong enough, we will find the time. Think about it when we make a goal a priority, we allocate the time and resources to accomplish it, like the time we had an exam or had to prepare for an interview, we get the ball rolling to make it happen. Utilising our time should be spent being productive and working towards our goals and not just simply being busy.

4. Redefining Your Purpose

A rejection, a mistake can often mean a change in focus. Clearly the path we were on is an indication that it was the wrong direction. A change in course often allows for reflection and the option to undertake things differently – sticky notes/ post it notes were created in this way. In 1968, Dr Spencer Silver, a chemist was attempting to invent a strong adhesive and instead discovered a weak one but nevertheless identified a practical and useful purpose for the now famous sticky notes.

5. Discovering New Skills

Challenging times has a tendency to unearth in us skills we never believed we had. It is often during these confronting times that we find the energy, resources and skills to do what is required. We simply go on autopilot and just take massive action. It is only when the dust has settled that we are able to reflect and say, “Wow I can’t believe I accomplished that!”

6. True Friends Vs Acquaintances

Troubled times allows us to see the depth of true friendships verses those who simply turn out be mere acquaintances. Those who value friendship will stick around to motivate and inspire us, while others clearly have no time for us.

“If you’re absent during my struggle, don’t expect to be present during my success.” Will Smith

7. Appreciating Success

It is important to step back and reflect on the successes we have achieved rather than focus on what still needs to be done. Knocking down the hurdles is more meaningful when the unthinkable becomes possible and success is so much sweeter when we stepped up to the challenge and thumped them over.

In all of us success is within reach, it requires a clear focus, intention and massive action. You may not be where you intend to be today however, you can steer the course of your future by changing your thinking and making different choices. Today is a brand new day to start doing things differently, so do whatever it takes and just go for it!