Why does failure lead to success? Failing Up

You may ask “why does failure lead to success?” There are quite a few reasons. All of which seems counter intuitive at first.

At least, until you understand how everyone fails, but not everyone uses failure to succeed. So, how can some fail repeatedly and still just succeed on a massive scale?

Most of them simply forget about it and move on. Others account for their failed attempts and learn from them. What? How can it be so easy? Well, it’s not that simple.

Why do small failures lead to big success?

If you’re anything like me, you’re used to failing. Don’t beat yourself up just yet. Those failures can be put to good use. As you make mistakes you should observe and analyze what you’ve done wrong. Next time you’re in the same situation you’ll know exactly what not to do.

Do you think the first batch of cupcakes ever made was any good? Most likely not, but after some consistent trial and error experimenting, it’s now down to an exact science. Some are right out of a box, just add water. A lot of bakers along the way experimented and failed only to create something new and better by some metrics.

When you first start out doing anything, you’re a complete novice who needs time to stumble through the process until it becomes easier and easier. With practice, you make mistakes and corrections as you perfect your technique. This is how you can get better at just about anything. Consistent repeated trying and failing in countless ways

Why is it important to fail?

To put it quite bluntly, nobody is perfect and we all fail much more often than we realize. Here’s the catch. Even though you think you’re a complete failure there’s a chance that many successful entrepreneurs you know of or heard of have failed considerably more than you have. Here’s the catch to that. They used those mistakes and failures to propel themselves forward.

Another part is how we value our experiences. Especially, the negative ones because they can be quite upsetting, emotionally painful, or financially devastating. We don’t often think about what we learn from those types of situations. So, how do we gain from our mistakes and blunders?

Some of those reasons are as follows.

  • You will gain experience from introspective reflection from pain or loss
  • You will gain knowledge from accumulating experiences
  • You will develop resiliency from recognizing repeated experiences
  • You will develop your perspective from the previous bullet points
  • You will add value to yourself as you have multiple small failures
  • You can lose it all and gain back more than you had in less time

When does failure lead to success?

One of the few problems with it is the immense amount of time it takes to collect all those experiences and cross-reference them against each other. It could take a lifetime to master one thing. How could you learn everything you need to know to succeed? There’s a somewhat easy method.

Yes, you read that correctly. So what is the method? To put it bluntly, learning from experts in their field. This is possibly the best method of learning. Why is that so? Well, that’s easy to answer. They have done all the failing and know how not to now.

They can educate you on all of their mistakes and shortcomings more quickly than you can have all those experiences for yourself. However, they will normally charge for this. Sometimes an exorbitant amount. That’s not always a bad thing sometimes it’s for commitment reasons and others is because the information is so valuable to possess.

Examples of failure leading to success:

“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game-winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life…

And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

Arguably one of the greatest of the game and yet look what he says about his failings. He doesn’t look at them in an absolutely negative light. He knows that those statistics sting but people still hold him in the highest regard for his skills on the court. Throughout his career, as he accumulated them, he worked to perfect his shot and obviously that air.

“The best lessons are usually learned from failure. You mustn’t beat yourself up if you fail – just pick yourself up, learn as much as you can from the experience and get on with the next challenge…

The brave may not live forever, but the cautious never live at all.” – Richard Branson

Maybe not the richest or most powerful or famous but possibly the billionaire with the most range of successful businesses. He owns record labels, a line of hotels, a cruise line, an airline, a Space and Aeronautics company, a telecommunications company, and an organization that invests in technology-pushing energy companies that combat climate change.

How do you overcome failure and achieve success?

Overcoming failure isn’t impossible. Actually, it makes it easier if you understand how you failed and how you can move forward from there. There are a few fundamental ways to achieve your wildest dreams by learning and growing from all of your failures.

If we never fail, then we never have a reason to grow as a person. So, it’s only natural that it’s part of how we learn and develop. We don’t want to fail too big though. It is so damaging to our ego that we just give up because of the “if we can’t have it all we don’t want it” attitude.

So, fail. Fail often and learn from each one. Make your failures count toward a bigger picture but don’t lose yourself in the process. Here are a few tips to keep your chin up and hopes high.

  • Keep a positive attitude and don’t bother with people who don’t believe in your cause
  • Be mindful of your failures and accept that nobody is perfect, but you can work on improving where needed
  • Don’t quit your journey just because you may not be on the exact path you expected to follow

  • Accept your failures and grow from them to become more resilient and be able to bounce back quicker

  • Reassess your ultimate endgame and revisit your smaller goals to focus your effort

Don’t get me wrong, this is not easy. Nor is it a quick process. It sometimes takes people the entirety of their life to finally catch success only to die the next day, week, or month. So, obviously, it’s not like there’s an exact formula for success but the necessary ingredients are consistency, perseverance, and self-awareness, but most importantly the ability to accept failure, fix it (take note of it) and move on.

If this article helped you any, you notice an error (spelling or otherwise), or you have a question, feel free to hit me up in the comments section below. I’m all for healthy critiques and reviews of my work and I appreciate your time, so, if you do, I’ll do my best to respond ASAP.

6 thoughts on “Why does failure lead to success? Failing Up”

  1. A lot of people never get to this point. They give up after the first sign of failure which is wrong. I will be sure to share this article with friends and family, especially in this industry as it tends to be a difficult field with a lot of ups and downs. Thank you for this lovely review. It was a great read 

  2. This is article was awesome to read, you had me hooked in right at the start. When I don’t succeed, I take that failure as a lesson and move forward to do better. Don’t let failures keep you in bad mood, depressed, stay in bed do nothing. I see this lots of times. Great read and thank you. 

    • I sometimes have days where it’s hard to get anything done and I feel like I could just give up, but on the days I don’t I’m trying my best to make up for time lost and power through the current project.

      I think we all have it in us to do more and get more out of it, but a lot of us give up when it starts to get tough. So, we never really learn from the process.

      I’m glad you enjoyed this. It’s been rolling around in my noggin for quite a while because it’s kind of antithetical to what most people would think is the reason for success.

  3. This was a great read so thank you. What I came to understand about failing is that it makes you stronger and more likely to succeed the next time. However for one to not fail and to succeed one must NEVER give up. If you give up you will never learn. Those who are seen to learn never give up and they keep going. Thanks for a good read. 

  4. I am no stranger to failure. The saying goes, “Been there, done that has been following me like a magnet.” This post has been well written on the subject. The question I often asked myself, in light of the fact that successful people used failures to become successful, is beyond my imagination. What’s the secret?

    Your post has pretty much touched on the solution, successful people used to overcome and turned failure to success. Sound simple, but how? I ask the question due to my experiences with failure. 

    For over 35 plus years of trials and errors, it would’ve been easier for me to quit trying to succeed. Especially when it comes to financial success. I can recall numerous times dated back to 1985, I started looking into real estate investments. Every year, I went through doing everything I was taught to do to no avail.

    After years of trying, I was convinced, real estate is not for me. In 1996, I thought I’ll try my hands on franchises. Spend about six months looking and learning about the pro and con of investing in a franchise. After talking to some franchise owners and carefully weighing in on the on my experience with real estate investing, I back out of that investment.

    I tried my hands on some other projects like yard works, but I just didn’t have any idea, why I can’t get the wheels rolled forward. It just seemed like failure after failure regardless of what I tried. After going through your post, I am beginning to wonder, “Did my failed real estate investing played a part in my subsequent failure on my other investments?” These experiences have opened my eyes up to the possibility, I may have subconsciously carried the fear of failure with me.

    As recently as last August, I signed up as an affiliate marketer. The discovery of this platform has given me hope and excitement. Even with my past experiences, there is still reason for hope and expectation of good things to come. Your post has made me aware of the road to success and the difficulties that I should conquered in order to succeed.

    Great Post, but I am wondering, “Any suggestion as to how to keep going when I face difficulties?” Thanks so much!

    • Nobody wants to fail. I really hate failing, myself, but just like going back to the plate after striking out last time or getting up after falling down for the hundredth time, it is part of the process.

      I just continue to tell myself “look at how easy it is getting compared to how hard it was at first, or look at how much progress I’ve made, and that helps keep me focused and motivated.

      It’s definitely a positive mindset when there’s no real rational reason to be that way, but it appears you have it and didn’t even notice. You understand when to give up on certain ideas, but the goal of it all is to continue learning and put it all together until success is inevitable.

      Another huge part of it is having faith in yourself and your ability to grow as a person. Also, knowing when you’re out of your league and need to get more training or experience to continue on.

      None of that comes easy for anyone. So, keep working at it and you’ll eventually get where you want to be. Good luck and I wish you the best.


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