Successful people fail over and over until they succeed. It's a common story of life. Here are some of the most familiar examples of people who failed and then succeeded:
- Henry Ford failed to produce a car after getting money from his first investors. He also had the misfortune going bankrupt. All of this happened before he eventually built one of the most successful car companies in history.
- Teachers said Thomas Edison was too stupid to learn things. He was also fired from his first two jobs and had 1,000 failed attempts at making the light bulb. But because of his persistence, we can just flip a switch instead of lighting gas lanterns.
- Walt Disney's first cartoon business went bankrupt. Bankers also rejected funding his Mickey Mouse cartoon 300 times before he found one to say yes. But now, Disney is a name that's recognized for some of the greatest entertainment ever produced.
As you can see from these examples, every successful person has encountered failure at some point. Failure is one of the best teachers because it gives us lessons to learn and use to keep persisting until we succeed. Here are a few important things you can takeaway from your missteps in life.
1. See failure as a perseverance teacher
It's easy to keep going on your path when things are going well. It's harder to do it when it seems like everything's going wrong. Through failure, you start learning to find ways to keep moving forward in life when the going gets tough.
When you fail, you can respond to it in two ways. One option is you can choose to feel down and defeated. But another option is you can choose to get up and find the motivation to try again.
Deciding to approach failure in this way is what can make success potentially happen. And through persevering through failure, you develop the ability to withstand adversity in the future.
2. Failure can teach you to think outside the box
When one way of doing something fails, it forces you to be more creative. You try finding another way to make something work. It could be taking a different path or it could be trying a different method.
Just because one way failed doesn't mean there's no way to succeed. See failure as something that helps you to be more open-minded to different possibilities. Let it motivate you to be more innovative in your approach.
3. Failure helps you to grow
It's in the moments of failure that we really take a deep look at ourselves. We think about our flaws and think about how we can improve.
If we didn't fail much in life, who knows how much we'd ponder those things. We'd maybe walk around thinking we're perfect and never do anything to enhance our character.
Use failure as an opportunity to do some self-reflection. See if your missteps show you any flaws in yourself that you need to improve to be better in life.
Final thoughts on failing
It's in my moments of failure I've discovered where I can do better. Failing has helped me to be more open-minded about my path in life.
That open-mindedness allowed me to succeed in ways I didn't expect. See failure more as a lesson and you might find yourself eventually achieving more success. Feel free to share any failures that taught you something valuable and made you a better person.
Inspirational quotes on failure being a teacher
- Failure is a greater teacher than success - Clarrisa Pinkola Estes
- Failure is a much more faithful teacher than immediate success. - David Duchemin
- Failure is a great teacher, and if you are open to it, every mistake has a lesson to offer - Oprah Winfrey