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  • March 29, 2023 5 min read

    At one point or another, we’ve all experienced some type of failure in life. Often, these moments where we didn’t achieve our goals are unforgettable at best or traumatic at worst, but while it’s normal to feel discouraged when things don’t go as planned, we shouldn’t let failure stop us from moving forward! In fact, failure itself is known to help us achieve greater things. Here are just a few people who turned failure to success:


    • Steven Spielberg is one of the world’s most successful directors today, but before he got started directing, he was rejected by the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts not just once but twice. Currently, he has three Academy Awards, two British Academy Film Awards, twelve Emmy Awards, nine Golden Globe Awards, three Directors Guild of America Awards, and seven Producers Guild of America Awards. 
    • Thomas Edison has more than 1,000 patents, including the phonograph and practical electric lamp, and is known as one of the most successful inventors who ever lived. And yet, his teachers told him he was "too stupid to learn anything". 
    • Oprah Winfrey is a household name: she has her own TV channel and is also a billionaire. Before her success though, she grew up in poverty and had a difficult life littered with failures. She was also fired from her first job as a TV anchor. 


    From failure to success: what can we learn from failing?

    These are just three of the many people out there who saw failure for what it is: nothing more but a temporary setback. There are many others, not all of them well-known or celebrities, that do the same everyday. They push on and let their failures lead them to eventually succeed. In today's blog post, we look at the six benefits of failure and how it can ultimately help us become more successful!


    1. Past failures help us become more resilient.

    According to the American Psychological Association, resilience “is the process and outcome of successfully adapting to difficult or challenging life experiences”. For some, resilience may come naturally but this isn't always the case. The vast majority still needs to develop this skill and one of the most effective ways to do so is through failure.

    Each time we fail, the easiest thing to do is to give up and walk away especially if the outcome has left us disappointed or discouraged. However, if we shift our mindset and see failure as an opportunity to learn and grow instead, this starts a chain that helps us build the resilience needed to keep going. Whenever we encounter failure, over time, we start focusing on the fact that it's not an ending. Instead, we view it as an opportunity—a stepping stone to success.

    Benefit: Being more resilient can help us navigate the hardships of life with ease. What is an unclimbable roadblock to others is just another challenge to us, one we can overcome.


    2. It builds character.

    If there’s one thing that failure can help us with, it’s how it can “put us in our place”. This isn’t meant to be a bad thing—this may just mean we've overestimated our abilities or underestimated the challenges before us. This then teaches us to become more humble: to realize that success is something that we need to constantly work hard for, that it’s not easy and that we’re not invincible.

    Failure can also teach us patience and perseverance. Success is not a linear road and achieving goals isn’t always simple. There are no shortcuts and, typically, blood and tears are involved as we work toward our goals. With patience, we know to keep going even when we’re at our lowest point because there will be a payoff somewhere down the road. We just have to keep going no matter what.

    Benefit: Building character can help us become better people. It allows us to take a good, honest look at ourselves and figure out what we need to work on.


    3. It encourages further learning.

    Though it may not always seem like it at first, failure actually encourages us to learn more. Failing forces us to confront the fact that there's something that went wrong and, if we want to fix it, we'll have to be accountable. This can be empowering! By getting the chance to reflect and then analyze our mistakes, we can use whatever new knowledge we end up acquiring to make improvements on ourselves. We can also take steps to ensure the same mistakes won't happen again.

    Benefit: When we embrace failure, we allow ourselves the opportunity to dig deeper and learn what we can from it. This adds to what we already know and our life experience.


    4. It helps us keep taking healthy risks.

    Some people fear failure so much, they refuse to try new things or immerse themselves in new experiences. Instead, they simply play it safe no matter what and pretend they're content with their lives, when in reality, they're just afraid. They don't take risks and miss out on a lot of opportunities that can help them reach their goals and dreams.

    But what if finally stepping up and taking a more challenging role at work finally pays off, leading you towards the career path you've been eyeing for so long? This is just one example of a big what if that you will never know the result of unless you take a risk. We can even discover new talents or learn new skills, ones we may not have encountered without stepping out of our comfort zones. So what if we fail? We'll just have to learn from it and try again, this time armed with the knowledge needed to increase our chances of success.

    Benefit: If we accept failure as nothing more but a part of life, we won't be as hesitant to take risks that can help us achieve amazing things.


    5. It’s a great way to become more self-aware.

    You can discover a lot about yourself through failure. This is because when you make mistakes, you're forced to take a good, hard look at yourself, your decisions, and the actions you've taken. You'll have a better understanding of not just your strengths and weaknesses, but also who you are as a person and how much you're capable of. Growth and success isn't possible without self-awareness. It's a key component that ensures we continue to look at ways to improve and do better so we can achieve great heights.

    Benefit: People fail all the time. What sets successful people apart from the grain is how they use failure as a means to look at themselves and figure out how they can change so they can keep on succeeding.


    6. It’s one way to strengthen relationships.

    Failure can also help build a sense of community. Often, when we fail, we need support and encouragement so we can pick ourselves up and keep going. They can be from anywhere and anyone: friends, family, co-workers, and even concerned acquaintances or strangers willing to offer kindness. In the same vein, lending your support to others who have experienced the same as you can build trust and mutual respect. This reciprocity creates a great support system that involves people who are willing to be there for one another during times of need. 

    Benefit: Failing can bring people together, which means you get to have a community of like-minded people who will be there to lend a hand or a listening ear when times get tough.


    Failure is life's greatest teacher.

    Failure may seem like an inescapable setback but it’s nothing to be feared. As something that’s absolutely vital for success, accepting it for what it is—a temporary wall to climb over—failure can teach and help us succeed.

    How has failure helped you reach your goals? How did you pick yourself up after experiencing failure? Let us know in the comments! We’d love to hear your story.

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