Learn to Fail: The Secret Ingredient to Success in Life

Discover how embracing failure is crucial for achieving success in every aspect of life, fostering innovation, resilience, and personal growth.

Learn to Fail: The Secret Ingredient to Success in Life
Photo by DJ Johnson / Unsplash

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You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. -Wayne Gretzky

Have you ever felt paralyzed by the fear of failure? You're not alone. I have tried every online business under the sun, such as Amazon, eBay, Drop-shipping, etc., and failed in all of them. But that never stopped me from trying the next venture. I learned from these failures and understood that there is nothing wrong with these businesses since so many people are making their fortune; it was my approach, mindset, readiness, perseverance, patience, investment, or something else that always failed me. With every failure, I kept growing and improving, and now I run a successful blog, and I am glad you are reading it.

One of the problems our society has long perpetuated is the idea that failure must be avoided at all costs, like an abnormality. But what if I told you that embracing failure is inevitable and essential for achieving success in various aspects of life? Most people do not succeed in their adventures because they are either too scared to fail, never start or give up too soon. 

In this article, we'll explore why learning to fail can actually set you up for success.

The Relationship Between Failure and Success

“To learn to succeed, you must first learn to fail.” ― Michael Jordan

When answers are not known in advance because the exact situation hasn't happened before, it's not a failure but a trial. That is how people discover new drugs, create a radically new business, design an innovative product, and test customer reactions in a brand-new market (source: hbr.org). So, trying something new and failing is completely normal.

Success and failure are events, not the person. However, from the perspective of personal & professional growth, we can define success and failure as a mindset that can be changed. Society often views failure as a negative event, leading to a fixed mindset where individuals believe their abilities are static. However, when we shift toward a growth mindset, we start believing our abilities can be developed through dedication and effort, allowing us to see failure as a stepping stone toward success - "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success - Carol S. Dweck." 

As renowned inventor Thomas Edison once said, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

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The Psychological Impact of Failure

Failure can have profound psychological effects, such as fear, disappointment, and even feelings of inadequacy. These emotional responses are often rooted in our upbringing or shaped by societal, cultural, and family influences. However, it's crucial not to let these negative associations keep us from learning and growing.

Adopting a growth mindset can transform our perspective on failure and harness its power for personal development. Research and books on mindsets, such as Carol Dweck's "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success," show that individuals with a growth mindset are more likely to view failure as a chance to learn and improve rather than reflect their inherent abilities.

Embracing failure also allows us to build emotional resilience and increase emotional intelligence. When we learn to bounce back from setbacks, we become better equipped to face new challenges confidently. This newfound resilience enables us to better understand ourselves and our capabilities, ultimately leading to greater self-awareness and personal & professional growth.

Must Read: "The Illusion of Perfection: Why Striving for Flawlessness is Holding You Back" explains the pitfalls of perfectionism and aligns perfectly with the theme of learning from failure.

a person standing in a cave with a light coming through
Photo by Ian Chen / Unsplash

Failure as a Stepping Stone to Success

“You can’t let your failures define you. You have to let your failures teach you.” ― Barack Obama.

History is filled with successful individuals who experienced numerous failures before achieving their goals. J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, was rejected by multiple publishers before finding success. Failure plays a crucial role in encouraging innovation, creativity, and problem-solving skills. It forces us to think outside the box, challenge conventional wisdom, and develop new strategies. Failure teaches valuable lessons that success cannot, such as humility, perseverance, and the importance of learning from our mistakes.

Strategies for Embracing Failure

“The one who falls and gets up is stronger than the one who never tried. Do not fear failure but rather fear not trying.” ― Roy T. Bennett.

To embrace failure and learn from it, consider adopting the following strategies:

  • Reflection and analysis: Take time to reflect on what went wrong and identify areas for improvement.
  • Goal adjustment: Set realistic and flexible goals for growth and learning.
  • Seeking feedback: Actively seek constructive criticism to help you grow and improve.
  • Building resilience: Develop emotional and mental toughness to bounce back from setbacks.
Create a personal "failure resume" to document your failures & the lessons learned from experiences. 

Creating a ‘failure resume"'' was a challenging but rewarding experience for me. Before starting my blog writing journey, I was disappointed in myself, the outcomes, and my efforts. However, as I began to write down all of my failures on paper, I realized that each mistake was a lesson learned. I felt proud of myself for persevering through difficult times and reflecting on my past experiences. This process taught me that nothing can stop me from achieving my goals. If I can make so many mistakes and never give up, then I can overcome any obstacle that comes my way.

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Creating a Supportive Environment for Failure

“One who fears failure limits his activities.” ― Henry Ford.

Enabling environments that promote taking risks and learning from failures is an indispensable aspect of education, the workplace, and even home. This support can be in the form of encouraging experimentation and innovation, recognizing efforts and progress, not solely focusing on outcomes, and providing constructive feedback and guidance to help others learn from their mistakes and improve their performance. 

By creating such a culture, individuals can develop a growth mindset, become more resilient, and learn to embrace challenges, ultimately leading to personal and professional growth. We should promote a culture where learning people should not be judged on the outcome but only on learning. Each failed attempt should be seen as a lesson on 'find out what will happen next' or 'how not to do it' instead of treating it like an anomaly.

Must Read: "Overcoming the Fear of Starting and Embracing Success" – Offers actionable advice on taking the first step despite the fear of failure, echoing the sentiments of embracing challenges for growth.

Overcoming the Fear of Failure

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” ― Elbert Hubbard.

To overcome the fear of failure, consider implementing the following techniques:

  • Mindfulness: Practice being present and non-judgmental about your thoughts and feelings surrounding failure.
  • Visualization: Imagine yourself successfully navigating a challenging situation.
  • Exposure: Gradually expose yourself to situations where failure is possible, building confidence and resilience.

Redefining failure as a learning opportunity rather than a threat can help shift your mindset and empower you to take risks and embrace new challenges.

Must Read: "10 Steps to Command Unwavering Confidence: Crafting The Invincible You". This piece reveals how embracing failure is part of building unshakeable confidence, making it a must-read for anyone looking to grow from setbacks.


Failure is often considered a negative outcome; however, it is an essential part of the journey toward personal and professional success. Embracing failure and recognizing its value as a learning experience helps us to develop strength, encourage innovation, and ultimately achieve our goals. Every failure provides an opportunity to learn and grow by analyzing the mistakes, identifying areas of improvement, and implementing the necessary changes. By doing so, we can enhance our skills, knowledge, and abilities and become better equipped to handle challenges and obstacles that come our way. So, it's important to overcome the fear of failure and see it as an opportunity to become the best version of ourselves.

Books That Have Guided My Path:

  • Atomic Habits by James Clear – A game-changer in understanding the power of small, consistent actions.
  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck – Taught me the importance of a growth mindset.
  • Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth – Reinforced the importance of resilience.
  • The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday – Showed me how

We'd love to hear your failure stories and how they led to success. Please share your experiences, comments, and questions in the comments section below, and let's promote a community of learning and growth together.

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