Embracing Failure: Benefits of Learning from Setbacks

Embracing Failure: Benefits of Learning from Setbacks


“Our Most Profitable Lessons are learned from failure, not success.” – Frank Davidson.

I think we can all agree to it.

With failures, we either take it as our weakness, or we take it as self-judgment or self-evaluation. This is where we go wrong.

Here’s an interesting note:

Ashley Good, CEO of Fail Forward (a failure consultancy firm), has a different provoking perspective about the failures we face in life.

Ashley says talking about “embracing or celebrating failures” can become an in-appropriate response when someone is facing a distressing failure in life.

She further adds that we have to avoid defensive responses like try to move on as quickly as possible, fix before people notice your failure, blame games, etc.

Then what is the best way to deal with a failure?

Ashley says the best way is to look into the failure directly, see what it says and learn from it.

Learning from failure and correcting the mistakes gives productive outputs compared to worrying, denying, or unwilling to accept failure.

This article about ‘Benefits of Learning from Failure’ is not about encouraging you all to fail so you can learn valuable lessons.

It is to bring the practical point that “the best alternative to a failure is learning from that failure and moving on.”

On that note, here are the top 11 benefits of learning from failure.

11 Benefits of Learning from Failure are

1. Kintsukuori – The Art of Mending Broken Things

Failure is like Kintsukuori.

Like mending broken things with gold, failure gives us chances and possibilities to mend ourselves stronger and wiser.

If you’re facing a setback or a failure, you don’t have to stay there.

Remember the Kintsukuori.

Remember that it is always possible to become wiser and emotionally stronger after being broken. All you need to do is to be open and look for possibilities. Things will improve in time.

2. Navigating Failure strengthens you.

“Failures make you stronger; welcome them. If you put the lessons to action, it makes you powerful.” - Unknown.

Navigating tough times, failures or embarrassments makes us mentally and emotionally strong. We become resilient. We become spirited. The next time when something bothers us, our mind will handle the situation with high assertiveness and grit.

Failures strengthen you. As cliché as it sounds, this truth is unbeatable.

3. Helps you avoid Predictable/Avoidable Mistakes

After our failures, we focus on improving the five key things. They are:

◆ Making fresh changes. And correcting mistakes, we learned from our previous failures.

◆ Make sure we don’t repeat our previous mistakes.

◆ Adapt best-working practices, i.e., realizing what works best for us instead of what others say is best.

◆ Question our judgments and decisions to see if we are heading in the right direction.

◆ Identify the right track to take up our work.

When we do these five things right, our ability to identify “predictable/possible/avoidable” mistakes becomes excellent.

We will tread carefully. We avoid as many mistakes as we can. That is why learning from our failures is essential.

Don’t worry if there is a failure. See it as a chance to redefine your working framework.

4. Identify your Blindspots & Vulnerabilities

Failures help us identify our blind spots and vulnerabilities. And if you are looking for an actual benefit of learning from failure, I would say this is it.

There is a famous saying, “The most common blind spot is, believing others have them, but you don’t.”

It is true.

There could be a lot of reasons for our failures. But what’s important is making sure that our blind spots and vulnerabilities are not the major contributors.

Here’s a simple understanding of what a blind spot is and what vulnerability is.

For instance, if we cannot take any criticisms, it becomes our vulnerability.


A blind spot is when we judge others and not ourselves.

A blind spot is when we point out biases in other people’s judgments but cannot see our biased judgment. This is a common ‘bias blind spot psychology’ in all of us.

There are other blind spots like unproductive habits, practices, and traits that we show but aren’t aware of.

And then we have emotional blind spots. Traits like running away from our emotions, being in denial, lack of self-awareness, picking emotions over values, and ethics are common examples. These emotional blind spots become a psychological vulnerability.

Failure helps us see to see our blind spots and vulnerabilities personally and professionally.

Once we overcome them, we grow stronger every day.

5. Brings Flexibility

Being flexible is not about compromising who you are, what you stand for, or what you work for. Nor is it about compromising your ideas and goals.

Flexibility is different.

Flexibility takes different forms like welcoming changes, reconsidering your methods, softening your attitude, listening to others, willing to take feedbacks/criticisms, opening up to people, etc.

While processing our failures in life, we can see flexibility accompanying us naturally.

6. You will choose to align with your core values.

“Values are like fingerprints…you leave them all over everything you do.” – Elvis Presley.

Our core beliefs and values shape us. That is why, when we try to do things that don’t sink with us, we fail.

Whereas, if what we do aligns with our mind and heart, we end up feeling gratified and contented irrespective of the results.

This realization is a significant benefit of learning from our failures.

7. You bring productive routines in your life.

Failure can also be a sign to recheck ourselves and see if we are doing okay.

Therefore, it becomes a natural reflex in us to reset and rethink everything.

We look into our habits, daily routines, and functionalities.

We see if we can change our everyday activities. We try to inculcate productive habits, healthy lifestyle practices, dynamic routines, and such.

We look into changes and improvements that we can do to make ourselves prolific.

8. Improved Financial insights

Another benefit of learning from our failure is we appreciate and respect our money than before.

Personally or professionally, after a setback, we become careful with our finances. We think twice before bringing our money out. We find smart ways to secure our hard-earned money.

Financial failures can become a major setback for us in life. This is the one area in life where we have to learn from other financial setbacks around us and set ourselves straight.

9. You learn to update, evolve, and adopt

Our past failures made us come this far. It strengthened us.

Our failures taught us to be wiser and gritty.

We become tough than whom we were before. We change, grow, adapt, and update ourselves.

Setbacks push us to update our skills, learn new things, adapt to changes, and grow mentally/emotionally stronger.

The hardest time in life is when you transform into a better version of yourself than before.

As Gandhi said, continue to grow and evolve.

10. Not one way. Success takes many routes.

The best lesson we learn from a failure is, “If plan A didn’t work, you have Plan B to Plan Z.”

Failure doesn’t mean someone/something blundered. It also means you tried something new; it didn’t work out so well. And you learned that changes didn’t help. So you try another way. You try another approach.

11. Take failure as a redirection.

“Don’t bury your failures. Let them inspire you.”–Robert Kiyosaki.

Failure doesn’t mean your idea is bad. Or what you are doing is not good enough.

Failure simply means there is something new to learn or take another direction to walk.

Failure is a chance to see where you shouldn’t be and see where you should be.

A single failure will teach us more lessons than our success.

In work, failure can be feedback. It can be a sign to perfect your skills and refine your craft.

Our endpoint here is, you don’t have to pull down your fort after a failure. Try to collect all the bits and pieces and build something better out of it. Learn from your failures. It’s a great alternate for worrying/suffering from a failure.

As a closure,

Here is a wonderful quote for us to keep in our thoughts:

“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is a delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end.” – Dennis Waitley.

No one is foolproof. Nothing is perfect. It binds everyone to make mistakes or, unfortunately, repeat the mistakes in the walks of life.

What’s important is our ability to learn from our failures and mistakes. And take our steps carefully the next time.

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