How to Successfully Learn from Failure!

in life •  last year

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I suffered paralysis of action from fear of failure for much of my life. I don't think I'm unique in this way, but looking back, I can see the contortion of behaviour and self that came from this fear. Although I of course still face fear from time to time, fear no longer prevents me from doing things that might result in a failure.

When failing actually means learning, then the fear disappears.

I wouldn't outright promote failure, because failure can be easy too. We have to fail in a useful way.

Plan projects such that your failure is a lesson for the future.
~ lesson from the Tim Ferriss Show

Failure hurts, and it is meant to! Learning also hurts, I'm not sure that is on purpose, but the process of learning can be so painful that people will outright avoid it.

The key is to differentiate between learning-failure and failure-failure. We have to ask ourselves the question, what can we learn from this failure?

What's Changed

I now look for the lessons in my failures. We have been conditioned in school to attribute mistakes or failure with failure-failure, this isn't a good thing, but it is something we have to deal with.

I now maintain objectivity as best I can about life events and outcomes, these helps alleviate both fear and stress. I now set up personal constraints on how long I will fail at something, so that I know to stop and take time to reflect.

From these methods, I've been able to take on new projects without the fear of failure, which has allowed me to pay attention to the lessons of failure. My entire SteemIt experience has been driven by these principles, this is not a project I could have taken on 5 years ago.

How I now approach failure

  • I be objective about the failure afterwards
  • I try to ensure that there are things to be learned from my actions even if they fail

A failure you learn from is not a true failure.

On being objective, it helps to hold an open and investigative mind. Self-pity is the enemy of learning from failure.

Life doesn't happen to us, it happens for us.
~ Tony Robbins

To learn is similar, but it is about looking for the signals.

Mistakes are simply signals from your environment, telling you: This is not the right way, you might want to try another one!
~ @sirwinchester

When failure is positioned as a lesson, there is nothing to fear because these lessons will drive our success.

failSuccess
Thank you again, BK

Thank you for reading.

@newandold and my Facebook page
Related articles I've written on Self-Love and Practicing Mindfulness

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Great post. I think modern society is failure-averse and that is a major problem with our current culture.

If you look at really successful people they are not afraid of making mistakes but as you state they learn from them and use them as an opportunity to get better. That combined with persistence is what eventually succeeds.

That's how I see Steemit too. If you keep working away you will eventually get noticed.

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It is indeed. I had another thought that seemed somewhat fruitful, but a bit too vast for a simple SteemIt blog. At least that's the case whilst I'm still not getting any votes.

We are all shoved through the system so quickly, and nothing repeats. We get into school at 3 or 4, then move to primary schooling, straight to secondary schooling, kept to strict timelines, then it is expected to go straight to college/uni where you DO NOT fail. Then by the end of this we are all broke as hell so we move as quick as possible into full-time work.

The vastness of human creativity and excellence didn't occur because people were shoved along a one speed conveyor belt.

Like everything in our culture, with some thought we will see that these attitudes between the expectation of non-failure and the conveyor belt are going to be tightly coupled, along with many of the other values of society. By the end of the thought process, when I do take the journey, I end up finding the fundamentals of modern economics being tightly coupled with these features of society.

I've come to realise that almost all of my regrets in life revolve around things I decided not to do. Those times that I have taken the plunge, I've ended up being glad I did, even if it didn't go as planned. It's always better to be going ahead and doing something rather than sitting still waiting for life to come to you.

I am terrified of failing, and been working on shifting my perspective to not see it as such a negative thing. I often look back at what I did and begin to criticize myself. Had I done this or that, I wouldn't have failed. I get so lost in the small details, I miss the big picture. I need to look for the lessons instead. Thank you for sharing your insights. 🙏🏽

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Thank you for sharing :)

I wrote an article on self-compassion the other day that may help with self-criticism. I'd be interested to hear what you think. If it doesn't help, other "self-love" articles might.

These things are all interlinked.

Good luck in your journey.

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Thank you. Will check them out!