self improvement

How to Succeed When You Fail

When you experience a setback do you become depressed and upset? Angered that it didn’t work out?  You may even just want to give it all up. It didn’t work this time so why would it ever work right? Wrong!

After failing at something you immediately focus on your lack. You didn’t get it, that’s it. But that’s not it. There’s more to this story. Something else is going on here. You have to change your point of view to see it. You must look beyond the initial disappointment and find the diamond in the rough because it’s there.

Failure has its positive points. I know it sounds imaginable, or even like an oxymoron but it’s true. You can learn from it, find little details that can help you succeed next time. You may even discover that the win you wanted may not have been the best for you or find out more about yourself.

If you didn’t do it that way, how would you know there’s a better way? Changing your perspective on failure can open your eyes to a new way of winning.

Beneficial failure

Trying something new – appreciate the experience. In order to grow you must have new experiences and evolve in the way you do things.

When you’re doing something that you’re a novice at you may not get it right the first time. But you have to continue because you’re doing what you need to do, trying something out. You’re getting out of your comfort zone.

Live a little! Doing the same thing over and over cannot bring you the same joy it did originally. Mix it up.

Learn from it – it may not work out but it’s still a learning process. You can move forward with knowledge you did not have before, and may not have been able to get any other way. Some people learn by observation, some learn better by personal experience.

When I try a new technique and I don’t get the exact results that I want, I try to figure out what lead the difference in the outcome. Then, once I identify it, I tweak it. Depending on the technique I may only change one thing at a time until I get what I want from it, just to make sure I’m making the appropriate changes and moving in the right direction.

Learning from it is good because it prevents you from making the same mistake twice. Instead of repeating the same thing over and over you’re breaking the cycle. You can approach the situation with clarity and a higher level of intelligence.

Increase self-awareness – Although you may not have gotten what you wanted from the situation you can learn something new about yourself.

Maybe you were not able to put as much effort into it as you would like. After a little reflection you may identify time constraints and find an opportunity to work on your time management.

Gain new relationships – While working towards your goal you may have developed new relationships. People enter your life for a reason. Try to acknowledge the benefits of this new encounter and be gracious. The new relationship you gained may be more valuable than you originally thought, or even your goal itself if it were achieved at that time.

Reconnect with your priorities – When you experience a loss you can reflect and become more aware of what is important to you. Remembering what your priorities are will help you put things into place and perform on a higher level.

You’ll be better next time – Chances are you will have another shot at it one way or another. It may not be identical, so you may not notice at first glance, but it could be along the same lines.

For instance, you may not have gotten what you thought was your dream job because you didn’t really engage the interviewer. But now you know to ask more questions. Yeah, it sucks that you didn’t get that one, but another good one will come along, maybe even better than the previous one. You’ll be prepare, know what to say and make it an interview to remember, getting you that call back.

You can think of your failure as a practice run. As mentioned before try to learn from your mistake so next time you can avoid that slip-up and make your mark. Just applying that tweak can make the difference. You’ll know it, feel it and it will shine through.

Failure is not the end of the world, not even the nail in the coffin for your goal. Experiencing a hiccup can be helpful and actually get you improved results had you really gotten what you wanted. It’s really just a learning experience and an opportunity for you to learn more about the situation, and even yourself.

At the time you may not see the value in the experience, you probably will just zero in on your failure, but with time and the appropriate steps it can be a priceless lesson.

What have you learned from previous failures? What impact did it have on you?

Lea is a certified life coach, foodie and lifehack obsessed. Take another shot at living your life the way you imagined. Head over to her personal development site now to take the eye-opening Redesign Your Life course to do just that! Connect with Lea on Google+.



Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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