6 Life Lessons to Learn from Failure

6 Life Lessons to Learn from Failure

Admiring the success of others can be inspiring, but sometimes we forget what it took for those we idolize to get to where they are today. From the local entrepreneurs you love to famous celebrities and best-selling authors, everyone faces challenges along the way. 

Today we’re highlighting some of the key lessons we can learn from our failures without letting them stop us from living the life we dream of.

1. Failure is not the end unless you let it be.

It’s a temporary part of the path to success. 

The novel Carrie was rejected by publishers 30 times before becoming Stephen King’s first published book, and launching his now very successful literary career. Henry Ford failed his first two business ventures before creating the Model T.

There are countless other examples of people who failed — not once, but multiple times — before they finally achieved their goals. If you let failure stop you in your tracks, then you let your dreams become nothing more than imaginary.

2. You aren’t alone.

Failure happens so often that we should normalize it, not be embarrassed by it or ashamed of it. We may all feel disappointment, but remember that failure is completely natural and everyone around you has felt the same way at least once in their life. 

3. Failure can be the best teacher.

Instead of looking back on your pitfalls or mistakes as a way of defining you, analyze the situation to see where you can improve or take a new course of action. Failure comes in all shapes and sizes, but nearly always gives us a little constructive criticism if we look for it.

4. You can help others learn from your mistakes.

Our experiences and setbacks give us the personal insight to offer advice, compassion, and empathy to people going through similar situations. We can then become better friends, allies, and mentors to others when they need it most. 

5. You’ll discover your true support system.

The saying about finding out “who your true friends really are” is really appropriate when it comes to failure. Whether you lose your job, you make a mistake in your personal life, or some other mishap occurs, the situation can become a test to see who will stand by your side through it all. 

As hurtful as it may feel in the moment to have people you love avoid you or act negatively towards you during this time, going through failure can open your eyes to see who will be supporting you . . . no matter what. And those are relationships to cherish.

6. You learn more about yourself.

Probably the most important lesson of all: you start to know more about who you are and what you’re capable of. 

Failure can show you how you handle tough situations, for better or worse. If you gracefully dealt with a setback, you can look back on those moments to realize how adaptable you are. If it wasn’t your greatest response, you can learn from the mistakes to handle them better next time.

It can also allow you to figure out what you care most about and value in life. Maybe you thought success was about a certain job title you were aiming for, a revenue goal you had for your business, or a personal goal you’ve been dreaming of. Failing to reach any of these things doesn’t have to mean you aren’t able to obtain happiness, love, money, health, or purpose. These, too, can be forms of success in ways you hadn’t thought of before. 

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