How to Learn from Failure

Posted on Thursday, April 21, 2022 by The Career GuideNo comments

“Failure is not the opposite of success; it’s part of success.” — Willian Ritter

 

Speak to any successful person and you’ll discover that their past is chequered with failures. In fact, it is the ability to take risks, fail, and learn from the experience that can determine success. If you don’t want to risk failure, it is only possible to coast through life. If you want to succeed, you need to learn to embrace failure and grow as a result.

However, knowing that failure is important for success doesn’t necessarily make us any less afraid of it. So, how can you learn from failure, especially at work, so that you can realise the successes that everyone talks about?

1. Failure is not a permanent state of affairs

Even if your failure looks as catastrophic as losing your job, missing out on a promotion, or failing to win new work for the business, it’s not permanent. Reminding yourself that this is just the state of play today and isn’t reflective of who you are as a person overall can be really helpful and open you up to the lessons it presents.

2. Know that risks may lead to failure

Taking risks is important—after all, nothing ventured, nothing gained. However, with every risk you take there is a chance of failure. Remember this as you take risks and any failure will feel less painful. You win some, you lose some—but only if you take risks. Indeed, failure is a sign that you did, and that’s valuable.

3. You get experience that helps you in the future

Just as a child won’t learn from a parent’s mistakes, there’s nothing like your own experience to help you develop. This attempt may have failed in its outcome, but you’ve learned vital lessons along the way. Next time, you’ll have the knowledge and experience to do things differently.

4. Accept that it really is ok to fail

Failure is normal and common. It’s ok to fail and that isn’t just a platitude. It can be uncomfortable, but it doesn’t need to be attached to feelings of shame or embarrassment. Separate the failure from these feelings and you can learn the lessons you need to.

5. Reframe it

We don’t really like the word “failure”; it implies you’re at the end point. The term setback is more apt. Progression in your career is rarely linear. There will be setbacks and it’s how you use them that can propel you to success. So, use different terminology and it’ll help you learn from your experience.

6. Fear of failure can drive success

Recognising that you are scared of failure can help drive you to succeed. Don’t let the fear paralyse you, but instead let it spur you onto success.

 

For those in office support jobs in London, there are a mix of business cultures. When you find an employer that has shaken off a blame culture and values setbacks as a route to success, then you’ll thrive. We can help you find your next step following failure or somewhere you’ll be confident enough to take risks.

 

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