5 Important Lessons We Can Learn from ‘Failure’

Failure is inevitable. You are going to experience it many times in your life. However, it’s what you take away from it that really determines whether you failed or not. While it can be hard to go through, there are many important lessons that you can walk away with. Some people choose to let failure hold them back. But the most successful people see it as a learning opportunity.

Know your motivating factor.

Often times, we fail because we’re doing something for all the wrong reasons. We don’t feel personally invested in the outcome. When you’re thinking about your goals, understand the reason behind them. What’s motivates you to do something? If there’s nothing you can come up with, it’s time to reevaluate and redefine your goals. You won’t get very far when you can’t motivate yourself.

Hard work will eventually be rewarded.

Sometimes, it may seem like no matter how much hard work you put into something, you never get it right. That feeling can be very disheartening. But know that hard work will eventually be rewarded. Regardless of whether or not you succeed at the task at hand, you tried your best. And someone will notice that.

Risks are worth taking.

Have you ever asked yourself ‘what if I had just done that?’ The thought of not knowing what might have been can be a tough one. And it really doesn’t go away unless you try. That’s why risks are worth taking. If you succeed, you made a good choice. If you don’t, you at least know that you tried. You won’t ever have to think about the ‘what if’.

Try again.

There are very few things that done right the first time. Some things takes multiple tries to get it right. If you fail, try again. Don’t view it as the end of the road. It’s just a setback. Whether you realize it or not, you always have the opportunity to try again. There’s a time and a place to call it quits but define that for yourself.

Failure doesn’t really exist.

Even though we’ve discussed failure up until this point, the funny thing is that failure doesn’t really exist. There are hiccups, setbacks and roadblocks. But those aren’t failures. They only become failure when you let it stop you from pursuing whatever it is you want to pursue. So the next time you think you failed at something, just brush it off. Instead, learn from it and become better than you were before it.

What do Sly Stallone, Colonel Sanders and Steven Spielberg have in common? Failure — and lots of it. [ANIMATED VIDEO]

I believe it was the great philosopher Rocky Balboa who said, “It ain’t about how hard you hit, it is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much can you take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”

Okay, Rocky is fictional — but his alter-ego/creator, Sylvester Stallone, knows a thing or two about failure. After all, Sly tried to sell the script (and was rejected) for the original “Rocky” movie 1,500 times before the Oscar-winning movie was purchased and made.

That’s just one of the tails of failure/success featured in a new animated video from The Doodle Video Guy.

What do Stallone, Colonel Sanders, Richard Branson and Thomas Edison all have in common? Consistent failure.

Watch this video to learn more:

What Lessons Can You Learn from Failure?

Don't let failure define you

Everyone experiences failure at one point or another in their lives. Failure comes in different forms and some pills are harder to swallow than others. However, failure doesn’t define you. It’s what you choose to do afterwards that does. There are those people who will let failure stop them from trying again. And then, on the hand, there are others who take it as learning experience.

Think about the last time that you failed at something:

1. Why did you fail?

2. What did you learn from it?

3. How did you apply that learning to what you did next?

4. Did you ultimately succeed?

Many people get stuck at question # 1 — why they failed. The root cause of failure isn’t always obvious and may require a little digging and soul searching. It’s easy to start blaming others but you control the outcome. What could you have done differently? There is always something, no matter how big or small. It doesn’t necessarily mean you did something wrong, it just means that there’s room for improvement.

After you’ve figured out the “why”, you need to figure out the “what”. What did you learn from it? From every failure or disappointment, there is a key takeaway or a lesson learned to be found. Think of it as a silver lining. It’s an opportunity to grow and learn more about your strengths and weaknesses. It’s not always positive but it’ll lead you in the right direction.

When you’ve figured out what you’ve learned, it’s time to apply that learning to your next step, if there is one. Maybe what you’ve learned is that whatever you’re doing isn’t right for you. That’s OK too. However, if it is for you, take another chance at it but this time, do it a little differently. Learning from you mistakes can be the most important lesson in life, whether it be in your career or in your personal life.

And lastly, after you’ve given it another shot, did you succeed? If yes, then great. Succeeding at something is one of the best feelings in the world and can open another world of opportunities. But if no, then that is fine too. There is always going to be another opportunity to try again. It might not seem like it but you are always in control. You can make the opportunity if you really want to.

Don’t let failure define you because, if you do, then you’ve really failed.