How Failures Can Prepare You for Success

We often look for success stories to learn how to achieve success ourselves. However, there is much value in failures. Read the article to learn more.


Tavian jean-pierre

2 years ago | 4 min read

Photo by Keren Levand on Unsplash

It is natural for us to desire what others are doing well when we seek to improve. Not too long ago, I was reading articles on some of the things other writers do well to engage their audience.

When we know we need to improve something in our skillset, we want to learn how others are doing it. And this desire often drives us to the good that others are doing that we are not.

Although there is much to learn from the good others are doing, nothing beats learning from failures. A lot of the time, we start with browsing the market for success stories. We want to know how others became successful and what their route was.

However, this is not the best place to start. After all, there are many different routes to success. You have probably found a tonne of stories and differing advice on success and how to obtain it. There is not only one road to success, so trying to define it can be challenging. Yet still, many take the difficult path of doing so.

What I have found to be more useful is identifying failures. There are also many routes to fail. However, most of them are similar, and those who have succeeded often warn against them.

Also, failures are easier to spot. When a process or a specific style of doing something is not working, it is clear to see. But with success, it can sometimes be the subtle things behind the scene that are keeping things going well.

So, here is how failures can help you become more successful. I have found that those who continue to lead the market learn from their own and others failures. It is through embracing failure that you can propel yourself forward to success.

Learn From Your Own Failures

Learning from your failure does not mean finding a solution right away. In fact, it might not be finding a solution at all. For the most part, learning from our failures is a journey that we have to define.

The solution does not fall in our laps. Instead, we need to go a different direction, try something new or think outside the box. It is through having to define your way out of failure that makes your failures beneficial.

Our failures give us the opportunity to:

  • Become resilient
  • Venture our own path
  • Become humble

Become Resilient

Resilience is something you will need on the journey to success. The problem is, we only become resilient through having something pushing against us.

Those forces against us can sometimes be our family, friends or money. However, our failures are also another force that pushes us away from success. They delay our progress and stop us from getting where we want to be. However, through overcoming our failures, we build character and are better prepared for the next failure.

Venture our own Path

I am a big advocate of having good role models in your life. Without them, we will have no direction and probably fail completely. However, we can sometimes get into the habit of holding their hand along the whole journey.

Unfortunately, your mentor, teacher or role model can not hold your hand forever. There comes a point where we must define our own methods and trod the path of success on our own. Through this, we build independence and a capacity to solve problems.

Become Humble

Finally, when all is going well, we can often get carried away. Companies like Blackberry and Nokia, who failed to evolve when they should have, are still suffering losses due to their pride.

Our failures keep us on our toes and remind us that we do not have it all sorted out. We can get things wrong, and that is good. It is through those failures we can humble ourselves to learn from others. And this leads me to the final point.

Learn From the Failures of Others

Instead of looking for “best practices” from other companies, seek to find their failings. We often try to find out what is working for our competitors and the people we look up to but never consider where they may have failed.

The most obvious reason why we would want to do this is to ensure we can avoid the paths that lead to failure. You may have many ideas that sound great in your head, but more than likely, someone has probably thought of it before.

The questions you want to ask are why is no one doing it and why did the idea fail. In these two questions are much insight and the experience of others. And it is through this you can expand your knowledge and build on your ideas.

The failures of others do not just give you a better path to tread. They also confirm the theories you have about your market and your customers. For many of us, we believe that our market is a certain way. In doing so, we build products and services we believe our customers need.

However, we can often overlook the fact that our view of the market is probably not the correct one. We can have a good understanding of our customers and competitors, but we will never really know what is going on in everyone’s heads.

The failings of others can help either confirm or prove your theories wrong. It is through the failures of others we can spot trends and patterns in our markets that will give us the edge.

The reality is, by the time you hear about a good idea, it is too late to implement it. Either the market has moved on, or someone is already doing it. But people do not pay attention to the value in someone’s failures. They often see it as just a path to avoid.

However, by dissecting the failure and asking questions like:

  1. Why did customers not respond?
  2. What was different about the idea?
  3. How did the idea fail?

You can build a greater knowledge of the market than just understanding what is working. The failures of others, although it sounds negative, are a great navigation tool for our own strategies.

Closing Thought

In closing, I can summarise this whole article in this short statement:

“Through our own failures, we can build the character to become successful. Through the failures of others, we can gain the knowledge to become successful.”

The best keep getting better because they understand the value of failures. It is this very learning process of analysing failures that keeps their strategies strong.


Created by

Tavian jean-pierre

I am a Visionary and Writer who seeks to enrich society by challenging how we do business today to lead to a world of better leaders and opportunities tomorrow.







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