Most of us don’t think of failure as an opportunity — but successful people know the secret to turning the knowledge learned in a failure into opportunities for growth and success.
As kids, we all learned about winners and losers. Perhaps, we were taunted when playing sports (anyone else the last to be picked for the team?) or about the dismal results of a test. Some of us may have been ridiculed because of how we looked, how we dressed or how we talked (Kindergarteners don’t think a British accent is “cool”).
What happens then is that some of us take the “loser” label and define our future self worth with it. We become reluctant to take risks. And yet, others become more determined to show everyone that they can be “winners.”
No one likes the way failure makes us feel, but when we realize it’s not the end of the road and we have time to come back as a success, failure can actually be a learning experience.
What you can learn from failure can be invaluable to your future success. A close analysis of what went wrong with a failed idea or venture can help you make sense of the situation and learn lessons that will make you more successful the next time around.
You may have to dig deep to find the reasons for a failure. Did you devote enough time to the project? Were you prepared for the results? Could the failure be one that’s out of your control? Or could you have changed something along the way to strengthen the outcome?
Every failure can be turned into a unique opportunity to grow and learn — and every success might be detrimental to future successes. It’s a contradiction that’s difficult to understand unless you’ve experienced both the opportunities in failure and the dangers in success.
Being honest with yourself is the first step in turning failures into opportunities and learning experiences. Blaming failure on others or making excuses can only serve to dig you further into a state of denial.
When that happens, you don’t learn anything. If you don’t use your failures to find flaws in your thinking, you’re likely doomed to future failure.
Being open to learning from past mistakes is a characteristic of every successful person. Remember, that every failure you experience shows that you tried. If you never fail at anything, chances are you’re not trying hard enough to succeed.
While none of us seek to fail, the process of life and how it works makes it inevitable that some failures will happen along the way. Your success will come when you seek to learn how you failed and figure out what you’re going to do next time to ensure success.