Learning from Failures

Written by Do I Editorial

Sometimes, despite our best efforts to succeed and be the best that we can be, our efforts are met with unsatisfactory results; in other words, failure.  Although there are many people who believe that there is no such thing as failure, just constructive feedback, this statement, though powerful, is incomplete. It is true that failures do provide invaluable feedback as they give us insights into what may have gone wrong; these allows us to rectify our mistakes and, hopefully, jump back on to the path of success. However, feedback alone cannot guarantee success. Changing our attitude and making small, but significant, changes is what is required to ensure favorable results the second time around.

What people really need to do is to actually examine failure in order to determine where they went wrong. Only when you actually determine the causes for failure does it constitute feedback which can help you on your journey to success. Failure can be very advantageous to an individual if he only takes the time out to learn from it rather than sulk about it. However, there are a majority of people who do not really take the time out to analyze their failures. This leads to them making the same mistakes over and over again, thereby extending their learning curve and never really reaching the kind of success they desire.

However, listed below are some ways to take the ‘feedback’ you receive and convert it into something positive. Here are some ways by which you can convert failures into triumphs and thus realize your full potential as an individual.

Analyse your failures
There are many of us who do not like to look at our failures and learn from them. In fact, most of us would rather shy away from them and move on because of the painful memories associated with them. We tend to block those feelings out by immersing ourselves in destructive activities like drinking, partying and even random dating. However, this leads nowhere because it means that you were trying to superficially get over your failures without properly analysing them. We all need to take the time to study our failure arduously in order to get a deeper understanding of where we went wrong.  

Find the root cause
In order to truly learn from failures, one must be willing to find the cause for an effective solution. Sometimes, we do things without realizing the domino effect it could have on our lives. Our actions on a daily basis are varied and therefore we need to take the time to isolate them to truly find our which one of our actions caused the failure. If we fail to do so, we may blame our failures on a wrong action.  

When we take these isolated moments and examine things dispassionately, we can assess how our actions contributed to our failure. This clarity will help us deal with our concerned actions more effectively in the future to avoid any repeat mistakes.

A different perspective
It could also happen that when we try to analyze our failures, we are often blinded by our own emotions since we tend to approach these problems from a very subjective standpoint. Most times, it does help to look at these failures from another point of view. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes and try to understand what went wrong.

If you are able to detach yourself and approach the failure from a more rational, dispassionate standpoint, there is much to be gained. You will find out things that you may never have noticed before. It is, therefore, important to approach failure from different perspectives to gather valuable information about how things should be changed to ensure a better outcome the next time.

A different approach
We have all been told to try different options if one fails. This holds true for people who want to overcome failure. You need to find a different way of approaching the situation if the already tried and tested method did not go too well the first time around.

Everything we do in life is susceptible to trial and error; failure is, thus, an inevitable part of the learning process. Therefore, we should never be deterred when things don’t really go our way because it means that we weren’t smart enough the first place around. In order to be successful, there are so many paths to choose from – make sure that you do not get discouraged if you fail by taking a certain route. It only means that you are setting yourself up for discovering a better, more effective path.

Experience counts
Sometimes, you need to take the positives from a bad situation instead of crying over past failures. Experiences – good and bad – help build character and need to be embraced. Despite repeated failures, make sure you press on because sometimes the best rewards come to those who work for it assiduously. Do not lose heart if you fail at first, because sometimes success is just that corner ahead.

Take risks
Sometimes, the main cause for failure is the risks we take. But should that stop us from ever taking risks in the future? No. It is always necessary to push yourself to newer limits by thinking outside the box. However, do ensure you take calculated risks as opposed to brash risks that may pay no dividends. The risks you plan to take may seem preposterous on the face of it, but if they ‘feel’ right, go with them.

Compete with yourself
Failure can be a great source of strength and motivation. Therefore, individuals should use failure as a source of motivation in order to look beyond the immediate situation. By creating healthy competition with yourself, it will only serve to be beneficial to you even as you look to overcome future struggles.

Find support
We all get by at times with a little help from our friends. When you fail, you need to sometimes take the help of genuine people who will be there to guide and support you on your next venture. When working on a new goal or activity, take the help of people who are like-minded and who will give you constructive advice to spur you on.

So, the next time you find yourself staring at defeat and are deflated because of a few setbacks and failures, always try to look on the bright side before actually giving up on yourself and your dreams.  As Calvin Coolidge said: ‘Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

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