Failure Is Good, Actually (Just Make Sure You Learn From It)

You win some, you lose some, life is like that, but oftentimes we believe losing to be an ultimate travesty, so we do our best to avoid it as much as possible. But what if we told you that failure could actually be a good thing? Now, we are in no way telling you to fail more, but if you are going through your share of failures, we'll teach you how to cherish them. And, if you are not failing, you're missing out on an exciting part of life.


If you feel down about not getting that promotion at work or failing that exam you studied hard for or an interview for your dream job; you've successfully completed the first step to building a better version of yourself. They emphasize the ways you can tell if you are truly happy. So, pick yourself up and get ready to turn your failures into success stories.

Basking in the failure

We're sure you've gone to promotion dinners and launch parties celebrating success, but have you ever been invited to an "I have failed miserably" party? We're guessing not. Society stigmatizes failure while glorifying success; not knowing the former leads to the latter.


If you have failed at something, own up to it. This is the first step of the learning process. Make sure you don't shy away from the emotions that stem from failure. If you are sad or angry, let yourself bask in those emotions. Emotional responses to particular life incidents imprint on our brains, so use this power to perceive your failures as learning experiences. Now, your brain will work harder to avoid losses in the future.

To acknowledge your defeat, come to terms with reality. For example, if you performed badly at a job interview, admit it. Do not try to lessen the blow with thoughts such as "I didn't want that job anyways." Instead, try to understand that failure isn't a bad thing and move forward with a plan if you'd like to try again.


Reflecting on the experience

Owning up to your failure is not enough; you must reflect on it. To do this, start with questions like, "What could I have done differently?" Evaluate your behavior and list all your mistakes; if you were given constructive criticism or feedback regarding why or how you failed, consider those. The goal is to learn from our mistakes to be more prepared next time.


We recommend writing down your thoughts or reflections regarding your failure; when evaluating, this physical embodiment will have a much better impact on your progress than a mental note. Plus, you can always refer back to it in the future for reference or to see how far you've come. When writing down the probable causes for your defeat, feel free to be critical of yourself; remember that you're doing this for your growth. So, going easy on yourself won't do you any good. As you attempt to win your losses and reencounter failure, go back to the drawing board.

Avoiding conflict with oneself

In the face of failure, it's difficult not to feel angry with yourself. You may be tempted to give up; sometimes, you will have negative thoughts or experience low self-esteem. When these emotions arise, deliberately stop them from vacationing in your brain and altering how you approach new adventures. If you notice signs of self-hatred, take a step back, acknowledge the feelings, and look for at least one thing you did right or enjoyed during the process. For example, if you tanked a job interview, you can find solace in how well you organized your documents or even confidently walked into the meeting. Sometimes, it could be your incredible fashion sense or how well you researched the company. 


Another trick you could use when encountering these thoughts and emotions is to be mindful of how you speak to yourself. You probably won't say, "You're an utter and complete failure" to a 9-year-old. So, remember to be gentle with yourself.

Starting over

A famous quote goes, "Don't be afraid to start over again. This time you're not starting from scratch, you're starting from experience." If trying again after failure sounds daunting, we hope these tips will help you overcome your fears. 


Starting over may require you to forget certain things from the past. So, you would have to stop dwelling on your failures and start planning. During this process, remember to think ahead and not get discouraged or worry about the time you have wasted. Starting over also requires immense willpower. It is challenging to take responsibility for our failures, pull ourselves together, and say, "I want another go." 

Unfortunately, comparison can also get in the way of this. When we fail, it's natural for us to look around and compare ourselves to others. But doing so while at the starting line can be disheartening and overwhelming. Therefore, focus only on your journey and block everyone else out, keeping in mind that life is not a race.


Getting creative

Failure prompts us to get creative; when we realize that doing something a certain way leads to disappointment, our brains find better ways of approaching it. So, the more you fail, the more creative you'll become. Just like Edison found 999 ways not to build a light bulb, you can now let your failures birth creativity.


So, in an instance of defeat, do not think of it as a loss but an opportunity for self-growth. Through your failures, you're given a chance to exercise your creativity. For example, if you failed at making a cake and now you're out of eggs, you can get creative and find a substitute for eggs. And once you find the correct replacement, perhaps, mashed banana or sweetened condensed milk, you can impress your friends with your resourcefulness. No matter where you fail in life, take it up with a smile and accept the challenge.

Empowering stories

We're sure you have read many success stories, but what if publishers tried to sell you books about failures? Would you buy them? We're sure you would if you wanted to feel good about yourself. But would you trust someone who failed to advise you on how to be successful? Well, all success stories have at least one account of failure within them, so if you're looking for advice on triumph, you should embrace your defeats gracefully.


If you have failed and are looking for motivation to go out there again and start over, we recommend going through the failure stories of successful people. Listen to podcasts, search the web, or watch TED talks on people who learned from their losses — it'll be most effective if you choose those you look up to. This will make you realize that you're not alone and even the most successful people have once failed, so your disappointment is not the end of the world, and if they can learn from their experience, so can you.

Future success

If you have never faced failure in life, your successes in the future won't be as sweet. Failure teaches us that the path to conquest is not easy, so when victory finally comes, we have earned the right to enjoy it. Plus, if you have only had triumphs all your life, you'll never have any inspiring stories to tell at the dinner table, and your biography will end up dull. So, to add that little bit of excitement to our lives, we need to fail a little here and there.


Your future successes would be sweeter because of today's failures. We're sure Edison was ecstatic when he got it right on his 1000th try; now, imagine if he got it right on the first try itself, the invention of the light bulb won't even be a big deal. So, keep in mind that your failures enrich your life, and it's never a bad thing to be defeated once in a while.

Getting uncomfortable

Are you the type of person who rarely fails? Or is the concept of failure unfamiliar to you? If so, you're missing out on everything this phenomenon has to offer. Of course, keep in mind that you should always take steps to avoid defeat. For instance, if you're going on stage to deliver a speech, do not focus on evading humiliation at all costs. Instead, concentrate on giving your best address; even if it doesn't go well, at least you'd know you did your best. This means you'd have to get uncomfortable to reach your full potential.


If you want to expose yourself to failure, do things that put you out of your comfort zone. Try activities that'll most probably end in failure. For example, if you're terrible at acting, try taking an acting class or attending a drama audition. Put yourself out there and embrace the chances of defeat, and once you fail, go through the above steps and make that letdown a life lesson for a better you.