Can Failure Be Your Friend?

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As a young man growing up, I understood failure, in general, to be bad. I never thought of it as a learning opportunity.

It wasn’t until I started diving into personal development that my mindset in regards to failure changed.

I began to see the positives of failure.

I failed a lot growing up. Maybe you did as well.

There were lots of lessons for me along the way. Some of which helped me out. I learned how to have conversations and eventually met my wife. Others flew completely over my head, and I would wait to learn those lessons another day.

How “Not” to do things

I can still remember my Gram threatening to cut my junk off. Seriously.

I failed to lift the toilet seat on one occasion, which was bad. Guys, you know you have done that before.  To make matters worse, I had failed to put back down the toilet seat later the same day.

There was no escaping her wrath. She was pissed!

That bit of failure taught me how “Not” to pee on a toilet seat. It taught me that women prefer for us guys to put the toilet seat back down when we are finished.

That lesson I learned as a young boy may not be the most important lesson. However, it has pleased a lot of women in my life with little effort on my part. It reminds me of how I have the ability to learn from failure and use it to my advantage later on.

Winning the first time out is awesome. Who doesn’t like it? However, by winning right away, you may not be learning the lessons that will help you out later in life.

I’ve learned failure is my friend and an important component of my growth. With failure, I’m learning how “Not” to do things. One can argue those are lessons that aren’t available from winning alone.

If you’re interested in approaching failure differently, then your training begins with your thoughts.

  • Stop thinking of failure as a bad thing.
  • Instead, embrace the concept that failure is an opportunity to learn and grow.

Failure can be your friend if you learn how to manage your thoughts about it.

What have you failed at which taught you a lesson and then turned out to be a good thing? Please leave me a comment and let me know.



Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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15 thoughts on “Can Failure Be Your Friend?

  1. Agreed! I love winning first 😉 but have learned so much from failure… both big and small. Then, the wining later on feels that much sweeter!

  2. I use to be a ski instructor and say “no spills, no thrills” but what I really meant was that if you didn’t fall (fail), you weren’t pushing your skill set and learning. Falling and failing is key to learning in tangible ways. Nice one!!

  3. All successful people failed. Often one cannot see it as a good thing but each time I failed, I realized it was the best thing which could have happened to me, in hindsight

  4. Oh my…. Don’t mess with Gram!!

    I refuse to even consider the idea of “mistakes” — I’ve learned far more from all of those, um, “growth opportunities” than from any of my right-off-the-bat successes.

    Our failures may be painful, but they can also be our greatest teachers. I learned more about myself from a decision to put another family member’s needs ahead of my own a few years ago — very big mistake. Er, I mean, “growth experience.” I learned about boundaries, the consequences of not speaking my truth…. Very painful; very effective. I’m a different — and far better, I think — person for that lesson. Good thing, considering how much it cost me….

  5. Failure is a stepping stone towards success! My husband had two older sisters, so the toilet seat is always down. I am literally shocked if I see it up.

  6. This is such a hard thing to learn for us Type “A”s, who are not comfortable with failing ourselves, or others, but so much healthier to look at failure as an opportunity to become even better!

  7. your gram sounds bad ass!
    Failure teaches us how resilient we really are!

    thanks for highlighting that.