3 Ways to Learn from Your Failures and Challenges
Have you ever failed at something? How do you handle failure? Have you ever had a difficult life experience that left you feeling hurt, disappointed, angry, or even embarrassed? So much so that you would rather just forget about it all together?
I have failed many times in my life, and I had to deal with some very difficult experiences. We all know how to celebrate our wins and our successes; for a change let’s talk about how to celebrate your mistakes and failures and use your most difficult life experiences to make you better!
Why Appreciate Failures
No one likes to fail or have hardships. When you are in the aftermath of a failure or going through a tough situation at work or home, the last thing you want to hear is that you should celebrate your failure or learn from your challenges.
On the other hand, it’s easy to celebrate your successes. Everyone likes to win, and everyone likes to reach their milestones and accomplish their goals. But when you fail or face difficulty, you retreat, you run away and hide, you don’t want to acknowledge what happened or even talk about it.
So, I want to share a few ways you can begin with to celebrate your mistakes and failures. Okay, maybe celebrate is the wrong word, but at least begin to appreciate the lessons you receive through every mistake and failure and use your most difficult life experiences to help make yourself better.
#1 Rethink Failure
Rethink how you look at failure. In reality, an experience is neither good nor bad, but through life, we learn to associate them as so. Failure has come to have such a negative connotation, that we immediately get down on ourselves when things don’t go as planned.
Failure is not a reason to stop and retreat, but rather it’s a reason to keep going, to try harder, to try a different approach or a different solution.
“When one thing doesn’t work, try something else.”
My oldest daughter was a hurdler in high school, and she has her knee scrapes and bruises to prove it. She was a great sprinter, but in her junior year, she took a risk and decided to try the hurdles. While she was already fast, she had to learn how to scale the hurdles and maintain her speed. I can’t tell you how many times she fell.
She even had moments when she doubted herself and was ready to give up the hurdles and stick to sprints; her comfort zone, where she was already excelling. Her repeatedly falling over hurdles wasn’t a sign to give up hurdles, it was a sign to learn some new techniques and to practice more.
Finally, in her senior year during the regional OCC track meet, she won the 100-yard dash, the 300-meter hurdles, and ran third leg on the first place 4×1 relay team. Imagine if she hadn’t taken a risk or quit because she fell or thought of herself as a failure.
My daughter, Shyniqua Allen
#2 Look at Your Track Record
Don’t be afraid to look back at what you consider your failures and challenges and access what got you there. What could you have done differently? What can you still change?
Take full responsibility for your outcomes and make adjustments as needed. Be honest with yourself. Don’t keep repeating the same mistakes.
In the same manner that you look at your failures and challenges, look at your success track record. What have you done right? What habits and characteristics helped you to achieve success? Use those same strengths to help you overcome failure and challenges.
Your success track record can also serve as a reminder of what you are capable of and help you bounce back from any failure or challenge.
#3 Be Willing to Fail Again
Don’t allow your past or current failures and sticky situations to make you stop taking risks.
My daughter didn’t allow falling and a few bruised knees and elbows to keep her from winning a championship. I didn’t allow a business flop to keep me from becoming an entrepreneur. I learned from my business mistakes and invested in a business coach the second time around.
Likewise, I didn’t allow a divorce to keep me from loving again or from getting remarried. I didn’t allow a bankruptcy or foreclosure to keep me from becoming a homeowner.
“You have to be willing to learn from all of your failures and challenges, apply the lesson, and keep it moving.”
Don’t allow your current failures or circumstances to change who you are and prevent you from being who you are meant to be. Stay open to opportunities and possibilities.
Remember, mistakes, failure, and challenges are inevitable and sometimes out of your complete control; but how you react, respond, and bounce back is all up to you.
You cannot change, erase, undo, or redo your mistakes and failures nor can you always avoid life’s challenges. But they are a part of your journey and can teach you valuable lessons that you can apply to various parts of your life. Embrace them, learn from them, and continue to move forward in your life despite what you have been through.
Celebrate your successes and wear your experiences proudly. Your past mistakes, failures, and even successes are meant to guide you, not define you. I encourage you to love yourself and embrace your complete journey.
I hope that you learned something that you can really use to make some positive changes in your life.
If you’ve enjoyed, please be sure share this with others who need help bouncing back from their past mistakes and failures. And don’t be afraid to share your journey with others. Allow others to borrow from your experiences and lessons learned.
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