Article You can learn a lot from your failures, which will lead you to success 0 2022 Life coaching Confidence coaching life coaching Lifecoachhub Pty Ltd LifeCoachHub

Is Failure Always a Bad Thing? (Spoiler: No it's not)

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Failure is not always a bad thing quote

Is failing always a bad thing?

So many people are not living their dreams simply because they are so afraid of what will happen if they fail at them.

  • But is failing to achieve something you want the worst thing in the world?
  • Is failing on the first try going to make it so we can never succeed at what we want to do? 
  • Is the saying that we learn more from our failures than our successes accurate?  All humans experience failure sometimes. 

If anyone over the age of 3 tells you otherwise they’re clearly lying.  It’s true that different people have varying amounts of failure but none of them have escaped failing entirely. 

  • How would that even work? 
  • Would you stay in your house all day because you’re too afraid of going to work where you could fail? 
  • Would you avoid trying to learn anything new because you might not understand it at first? 
  • What would the world look like if no one dared to fail?

Learning from failures

I have learned a lot about failure over the years (mainly because I had so much of it). During my senior year of college, I was dealing with very severe depression and mania.

I was accepted into a few graduate schools for social work, but I was unable to attend because my parents realized that I could not manage it when I was in such a state.

This felt like a huge failure on my part because I had worked so hard to achieve the next step towards my dream of becoming a therapist just to see it all crash before my eyes.

I didn’t know how I would overcome that failure. 

I wanted to be mentally healthy right away but that took years to achieve. But the journey ended up teaching me a lot.

Now I see that not getting what I wanted to achieve then has allowed me to achieve so much of my happy life now. I learned through my struggle with mental illness not to take happiness for granted.

I stopped being lazy about achieving happiness because if I had the strength to get through the day while I was mentally ill I could certainly put the same amount of effort into being happy when I was healthy. I am certain that I would not be the person I am now without my past failures.

I get knocked down but I get up again. Chumbawamba

There’s a song I like called “I Get Knocked Down.” Its chorus goes “I get knocked down but I get up again. You’re never going to keep me down.” 

Its message is about how no matter how many times a person gets knocked by life down they can always get up again. 

Life is full of experiences that will knock you down. Whether it be failing to get a job, failing to find a romantic partner, or failing to be popular there are so many things we can learn from the unsuccessful parts of our life.

I believe that getting knocked down can actually make you stronger than you were before. 

  • If you fail at making friends, it can teach you how to enjoy your alone time and be more comfortable with yourself. And then becoming a more confident person will allow you to more easily make friends.
  • Not getting the job you want can lead you to doing more soul searching about what you really want in a job and can lead you to a new field that you may like better. 

The list is endless. It’s a cliche but we really can learn from our failures if we try to.

Failure is not the end

Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. - Winston Churchhill

There’s a quote by Winston Churchill that says “success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It’s the courage to continue that counts.”  I try my best to live by these words (not always perfectly).  We often believe that if we can become successful in one area of our life we will automatically become successful in every part of our lives but that’s just not true.

Life will always require work and oftentimes that will require trial and error. It is of course nice to succeed, but it is by far not the only thing that can lead to maximum happiness.  There is another quote by Winston Churchill that I like that says “Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

Overcoming failures is a way of succeeding.  Life can be pretty rough but by coming back at it after your failures you show life that you mean business.  No matter what happens, life won’t break you.

Allow me to explain this with a short story. 

A young woman, let’s call her Dylan, has greatly struggled with failure for years without much success. She keeps trying to find the right romantic partner but her relationships keep failing.

Finally, she sees a relationship coach who helps her realize that failed relationships were not a waste of time because there is something to learn from each one of them.

Dylan starts journaling about her past relationships and what went wrong.  She realizes that as she went through having failed relationships her self esteem went down and she started putting up with too much. 

She had many relationships where her partner didn’t respect her but she stayed for a long time.  After realizing this she started working with a confidence coach to build up her self esteem. 

Now, when she’s in a relationship she demands nothing less than full respect. And soon she narrows her search down to the right person who she ends up marrying.  If she hadn’t learned from her failures she would never have found them. 

Failures can be rough, but they can lead to better decisions which can lead to success.

Rachel Alison Kaplan

Life Coach


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