From Failure To Success

10 Great Lessons You Can Learn From Highly Successful People About Failure

I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. – Michael Jordan

So, you have this fantastic idea and you are absolutely excited to get started with your project…

BUT, something is holding you back. Somehow you always find a reason to procrastinate and to occupy yourself with other, less important things.

Could it be that you are afraid of failure?

After all, this isn’t as save and straightforward as most other things you may have done so far. So, yes, there is a risk to fail and to mess up.

What will your friends think about you? Will you be laughed at, ridiculed, called a loser…?

Your idea about failure may be completely wrong

From an early age on we are taught that it’s bad to make mistakes and that they need to be avoided by all means otherwise there are unpleasant consequences.

The truth however is that failure and making mistakes is a necessary part of success and it cannot be avoided.

It can only be avoided if you decide to “play it save” for the rest of your life and if you are happy to remain in your comfort zone and stop expanding and enjoying the exhilarating feeling of continuous growth.

But, that’s not really what you want, right?

The most successful people are the biggest “failures”

Yes, the most successful people are those who fail the most. With each failure your grow, you become bigger, you learn new and important things and you get one step closer to reaching your goals.

Big dreams and big goals can only be realized as long as you are ready to fail – again and again.

Learn from the most successful people and adopt a similar attitude towards failure

The happiest and most successful people know that…

  • #1: Failure is an integral part on the way to success and self realization.
  • #2: Whenever you step outside the comfort zone and whenever you try something new, failure becomes inevitable.
  • #3: Each failure brings you one step closer to reaching your goals.
  • #4: Failure is a great teacher and it allows you to learn some of the most valuable life lessons.
  • #4: Each failure makes you stronger, bigger and better.
  • #6: Making mistakes is not a big deal as long as you learn from them and avoid repeating them.
  • #7: Failure teaches you that a certain approach may not be ideal for a specific situation and that there are better approaches.
  • #8: Successful people will never laugh at you or judge you when you fail, because they have already been there and they know about the valuable lessons you can learn from failure.
  • #9: No matter how often you fail, you are not a failure as long as you don’t give up.
  • #10: Each time you fail, your fear of failure becomes smaller, which allows you to take on even bigger challenges.

One thing is absolutely sure, if you REALLY want to succeed in life, if you want to do something special, if you want to fulfill your dreams… failure becomes inevitable.

But, it doesn’t hurt as much as you may think. With the right attitude you can even turn “the art of failing” into an interesting and exciting adventure.

If you are still stuck in your old paradigm of “failing is bad and should be avoided by all means”, I highly recommend you read some autobiographies of highly successful people to learn how they “failed” their way to success.

You will be astonished how often those people failed until they finally succeeded and what a different and rather positive attitude they have towards failure.

How do you deal with failures?

Do you have a specific approaches to quickly get over your failures and to continue on the road to success?


Robert Spadinger is the founder of where he teaches people how to create a life that’s filled with love, abundance, happiness and success. If you enjoyed this article, you will also love his book: “How to Create The Life of Your Dreams”, which you can download for free from his website.

You can also connect with Robert on Facebook and Twitter where you can find additional advice and a daily dose of uplifting and inspirational quotes.

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34 Responses to 10 Great Lessons You Can Learn From Highly Successful People About Failure

  1. Ragnar says:

    Failure is the oldest teacher, and perhaps the wisest of them all. Some things are impossible to completely grasp without first banging your head against the wall repeatedly.

    I try to think of every failure as a learning experience instead of a disappointment. I sit down and write down what I did, analyze what I could have done better and take that with me when I try again. (only for long term projects)

    When failure gets me down, I might focus on another project for a few days, until it’s not so overwhelming anymore.. and then take a second look with a clear mind.

    Great post :)

  2. Kevin Simms says:

    I’ve always used failure as motivation to keep going. A fuel which allows me to achieve bigger and greater things I never thought possible :)

  3. Robert says:

    That’s great Kevin. And that’s exactly how it works, each failure we overcome prepares us and enables us to tackle and achieve bigger and greater things.

  4. Robert says:

    Thanks a lot for your fantastic tip, Ragnar. You are absolutely right, the most beneficial approach when dealing with failures is to look at them as learning experiences rather than disappointments.

    And yes, it is also important to analyze our failures so we can avoid making the same mistakes again and we can find the best approach for the next step on our path to success.

  5. Anders Hasselstrøm says:

    Failure is the best teacher in the world. No comparison :) Embrace failures for being the best teacher you’ll ever have.

  6. Robert says:

    Excellent advice, Anders. Each failure brings us one step closer to reaching our goals. We should embrace failures when they happen and learn as much as possible from them to avoid making the same mistakes again.

  7. Great list! I’ve found all of this to be true as a failed, then successful entrepreneur. At least 6 of the 10 tips I would have written about myself if I’d have thought to put them together in one list as you have. Good job.

  8. Robert says:

    Thanks Steve and congrats for overcoming and learning from your failures and succeeding as entrepreneur.

  9. TheFreshlyInspired says:

    What a great read and list!

    If we don’t fail, we will not figure out what we really want and what we’re capable of doing. Most successful people I know are more than willing to take on the risk knowing that it can give them invaluable lessons they could use for whatever venture they are taking.

  10. Robert says:

    You are absolutely right, the most successful people have a very different attitude towards failure and they are happy to take the risk to fail, because they know that the reward of overcoming and learning from failure is much bigger than the temporary, short-term pain of failure.

  11. susan gregg says:

    Failure can be an incredible teacher. As Winston Churchill so aptly put it, “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” We can never succeed unless we are willing to fail trying. Thanks for the great post and reminders ….


  12. Robert says:

    Thanks Susan. That’s the key: Walking from failure to failure without losing any of our motivation, drive and enthusiasm – always keeping in mind that we just got one step closer to success and reaching our goals.

  13. Lorna Kring says:

    Very wise Robert, thank you. Changing the meaning of failure from “bad” to that of a useful, instructive tool to be used on the road to my goals has made a world of difference for me over the years.

  14. growthguided says:

    Great post Robert,

    I think the whole experience is summed up in this one sentence for me!

    “One thing is absolutely sure, if you REALLY want to succeed in life, if you want to do something special, if you want to fulfill your dreams… failure becomes inevitable.

  15. Robert says:

    Yes Lorna, it´s just a matter of seeing the best and getting out the best from everything that happens to us.

  16. Robert says:

    Yes, success is not just one single event that´s happening out of the blue. Most of the time, success are thousands of little steps and along that path there are also those steps we call failure.

    Once we succeed and look back on our path, we realize, that those “failure steps” have been amongst the most important steps on our road to success.

    Those failures pull us in new directions, they require us to stretch and to become bigger, they allow us to overcome our limitations, they prepare us for bigger things in life we would not be able to do otherwise…

  17. Joseph Dabon says:

    Failure is only a failure if you don’t get back into the fight. Otherwise, it is only a setback –

  18. Breathezy says:

    Everyone has failures in life, that’s just integral to living. The most important lesson from failure that I have learnt is i need to ‘remember’ how I dealt with it when it last came my way. Remembering how I got through failure, and how I did it, stays with me forever. It also gives me the confidence, that no matter when failure comes my way again, I will beat it, or at the very least, go down fighting :)

  19. Guest says:

    Yes, that’s a great way to master bigger and bigger challenges. You remember how you overcame your last challenge (or failure), you move into the feeling of confidence, you get yourself into the energy and vibration of successfully mastering your challenge… that way, success becomes almost inevitable.

  20. two juegos says:

    through your article, I reflect on the many things that I still wonder. I always hang around in a vicious circle “success-failure”. and perhaps this article has helped me to understand, failure is the mother of success

  21. Robert says:

    Absolutely, failure is a necessary part of success. And as with all sorts of challenges, they get so much easier as soon as you change your point of view and the way how you look at things.

    For example, you are saying: “a vicious circle success-failure”

    You could also look at it this way: “an exciting play of success-growth”

    Suddenly, what you previously called failure doesn’t hurt that much anymore – it just turns into an exciting challenge that will make you stronger, bigger, better…

  22. Ben says:

    The biggest traits for success have to be persistence and determination to learn from and move past failure.

  23. I remember a good quote by Churchill that I read recently: “Success is moving from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm”

    One thing that I learn to tackle failure is not to take it too seriously. Life is like a water flow, by going with the flow of life, failure and success are events in one’s life. don’t take it too hard.

  24. Robert says:

    That’s great Mulyadi and there are 2 very powerful truths in your comment.

    Enthusiasm, motivation, love and passion for what we do… is the fuel that leads to inspired action and to success. If we lose our enthusiasm, success becomes impossible.

    People oftentimes allow themselves to be knocked down by failure and to lose all their motivation and enthusiasm in the process. However, it is not failure itself that knocks us down, it is only what we associate we failure, our ideas and false beliefs that can knock us down. thoughts like: “I failed again, I’m such a loser, everyone will surely laugh about we, I’ll never get it right…”

    And yes, life is like a riverbed and we should be like the water in it. Life provides us with the perfect direction – we should not try to turn right when there is a left bend… and when the are rocks and other obstacles, we should just gently swim around them instead of fighting against those obstacles and trying to pass right through.

    Be soft and gentle like water and go with the flow of life… and your “failures” will no longer feel like failures and they will no longer hurt.

  25. Dom Goddard says:

    Looking at failure as a lesson has helped me massively. As long as I take a minute to reflect on where I went wrong, then it was never a failure for me but a lesson so I don’t make the same mistake again.

  26. Tony Sanford says:

    Great information. I have found through my personal experience that failure is a very powerful teacher. You tend not to forget the lessons learned through making mistakes those get imbedded in your mind so you really don’t tend to make them again. Failing is something that I really wouldn’t want to make a habit of but I have learned through failure that it doesn’t need to be the end or painful or destructive, only an obstacle to get around, Knowing this eliminates the fear involved with failure when it come to doing things that take me out of my comfort zones, I appreciate the challenges it brings. That’s my take on it. 😉

  27. Sandy says:

    Many of us have failed, and failed and failed again – the only time it is a tragedy is when we don’t get back in the fight and try again and keep trying. We will ultimately succeed if we believe that quitting is not an option. Thanks for this excellent post!

  28. Robert says:

    There is lots of wisdom in your comment, Tony. And yes, I think it’s crucially important to overcome the fear of failure in order to be able to take action and to move forward.

  29. Robert says:

    Thanks Sandy. Yes, the formula to success is to learn from our mistakes and failures, to come up with a better strategy, to get up and to try again and again and again… until no other outcome than success is available.

  30. Robert says:

    Yes, Dom, making mistakes is ok – but only if we learn from our mistakes and avoid repeating the same mistakes.

  31. happy says:

    I agree. I recently go through very difficult time in my teaching career. I think of quitting ,but I know it is not an option. I hang it there

  32. Subash says:

    Lincoln failed many many times before he became the President of the USA… But note, there are millions of people on mother earth who have failed and given up hope… any advice how to get them back on the track of fighting back by accepting failure as a trait of life that has to be accepted and learnt from.

  33. Carl Kevin says:

    Failure is a challenge that can make our life more worthy to live in. it somehow teaches usto become strong in dealing with life situations. Without failures, our life would be just so boring and no excitement at all. We can say that it molds/shapes us to become a better person in the near future.
    You can read my blog with here. It is about my own perception about life.

  34. thanks Robert for your reply.

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