Every Failure Makes Me Happier

Here’s something you don’t hear every day, right?  Which is why you’re probably wondering if I’m for real, or just saying this to get your attention. Actually, it’s a little of both.

You know just as well as I do that failure is nothing to be happy about, especially the minute it happens. Even when it’s something seemingly unimportant like your ice cream falling to the ground, it still doesn’t make you happy.  And what about the biggies like losing your job or ending a long-term relationship.

So the first phase of every failure experience is sadness, grief or some other similarly negative emotion.  And this is just how our brain works. We can’t stop these initial feelings associated with failure. They will take place no matter what we do or how well prepared we are.

And this is actually where my strategy to being happy with failure has its first step. And please bear with me on this, I didn’t say that this post would provide a magic-pill solution.

This initial moment of emotion is where you have to acknowledge what happened. And you need to do this regardless of the area of your life in which the failure occurred. It doesn’t matter if it’s a relationship, a failed business, sports, or anything else. You have to start by acknowledging what happened.

Now get ready because I have a piece of advice that you certainly don’t hear every day…

After acknowledging the failure, you need to understand that it IS your fault. Yes, it’s not your boss’s or your spouse’s, or anyone else’s. You are the only one to blame.  (Personally I don’t buy into the excuses of “it’s not your fault” or “you couldn’t do anything about it.”  This attitude will get you nowhere.)

Taking the blame is a good idea because it gives you control.  Control of the situation. Control is probably one of your biggest assets. It’s your ability to make things happen (to change things) by your actions.  If you don’t believe me simply look at it from the opposite point of view. If you are not to blame, and you had no control over what happened, then it can surely happen to you again because you can’t do anything about it. Does this approach sound remotely attractive to you?

So, since now you know that you’re in control, here’s the next step.

Realize that you’re probably going to go through a myriad of emotions similar to those that occur when you experience a breakup.  Essentially, the feelings we experience after a breakup are very similar to what happens with any kind of failure.  To some degree we can find ourselves in: shock, denial, isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.

From my experience, the fact that I took the blame, then regained control, enabled me to get through all of the phases much quicker.

The topic of failure in general is a very big niche for many motivational speakers and authors. People make their whole careers out of teaching others how to deal with failure. There are various techniques, tricks, and approaches.

In the end, mine is this and it’s pretty simple:

  • recognize the initial feelings
  • acknowledge what happened
  • take the blame

And now the last and the most important step:

Embrace failure and treat it as an investment.

If you’ve failed despite being in complete control over the situation then now you simply have another lesson on how not to handle your matters.  Chalk it up to experience and use it as a reference in similar situations.

Everyone knows that failure is just another step to success, and if you’ve never failed, you’ve never lived.

You are in control, you should use this experience to help you win in the future, you should be happy that this failure has brought you one step closer to success.


About the author: Karol K. is a freelance writer and a blogger. If you want to check out what he’s up to, feel free to hit him up on Twitter.


  • Honestly, suffering is more meaningful than the positive experiences. You consciously evolve more through suffering.

    •  Something I have to agree with…

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  • So true Karol. I believe the fear of failure is what holds most people back from going for their goals and dreams.


    Being more responsible is a very good philosophy. Control is very easy to understand, but control is also an illusion. You don’t control anything in our world because of our inter-dependant human nature. We are all in relationship with each other. All of your acts, words, and attitudes have an effect on everyone close to you that… you don’t control. So it’s an illusion to control a situation. As you can not control a storm, you can not control a situation, there is too many parameters you don’t own. But if you are flying a plane going trough a storm, a plane that you will not respond as you want (you will not be in control), you can still be the pilot in command and decide what is the best to do for you. Focus all of your energy to go above the storm will probably be the best for you and your vehicule in this case. It’s more being in command than being in control. Control and Command are not the same, there is a small understanding that makes a big difference. If  you try to be in control you will be disappointed by the outcome, because you are not the only one involved in the situation.If you are in command of your life, you will be more flexible, you will take decisions that you will never regret, and that’s the best way to be happy. Concerning the failures, they are part of the learning process, we need them to progress and experience what make us growth. All the best

    • Thanks for this comment. I need to think this idea through (being in command of instead of in control of).

  • MichaelThomas

    how can i gain confidence when people let me down?

    • Don’t rely on people to get your confidence. Sounds vague, but it’s actually the easiest way. :)

  • Lisa

    I don’t know if accepting that it is my fault will work when I have tried my best of my ability and failed. This will just lower my self esteem more than anything. This is not very practical advice. It doesn’t apply to every situation.