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Why Failure Is Good

 

I wonder how many of us remember the slogan of Campbells in the 70’s

Soup is good food
The slogan was all over the television channels and radio in New York and got so embedded in my then 4 year old psyche, that many decades later, I STILL drink soup. Personally I think Campbell should take royalty from other soup manufacturers for making me a Soupie (soup fan) but I digress from the topic of this post which is Why Failure Is Good.

In a world where success is everything and coaches guide their protégés to success, why would anyone in their right mind think that failure is good?

Well, some of the greatest inventions and achievements have been preceded by one or many failures until success smiled upon the person. Imagine a world without telephone or airplanes if their inventors had not pushed ahead one failure at a time towards the high way of success.

The most celebrated example in world history is Abraham Lincoln who had enough failures in life to be labelled a Loser and yet, he is an admired President of the USA.

 

The Key Differentiator in Life between a Winner and a Loser 

 

What ultimately separates the winners from the losers is their ability to bounce back after a setback or overcome a roadblock to achieve victory and success in whatever they had set out to do.

Of course, I am neither advocating that one has to have failures before one tastes success nor that failure is an essential precursor of success. The person who passes their driving test on the first attempt is as successful as the one who passes it after many failed attempts. What I admire about the latter person is their indomitable spirit and character that they don’t give up. Success is so much sweeter.

The point is, how do you react to failure? Sometimes we don’t get it right the first time. It all comes down to attitude. When the chips are down, how do you motivate yourself to stay the path? Do you quit out of fear of ridicule or do you introspect to get it right next time round?

 

Analyzing Failure for Ultimate Success

 

The next time you don’t succeed and achieving the completion of a task is important, indulge yourself with a spot of quiet meditation and introspection. Ask yourself

  • What have I learnt from this experience?
  • What went wrong?
  • Is this a complete failure or a partial success?
  • What can I do different next time?
  • Did I miss something?
  • Could I have prevented failure?
  • What contingency planning should I do now?
  • Is there a lesson to be learnt?
  • Can I take away a positive lesson from this experience?

 

The last question is important because you do not want the situation to result in any conscious or subconscious fear or negativity. Those who practice the law of attraction to achieve success know how our thoughts and feelings affect our success. For those who do not believe in the law of attraction, remember, maintaining a positive attitude will make sure that you will find the inner strength to try again.

There are so many inspirational quotes that one can refer to, whether Fire proves Gold, Adversity proves Men, or A Winner Never Quits and A Quitter Never Wins, but my favorite one is

 

Why Failure is Good

 

 

 

 

How do you deal with failure? Do you use the lessons learned as a stepping stone to success or course correct for a better goal? Please share your views in the comments box below.

 

Want to learn more about how failure can become a part of your Hero’s Journey? The teleclass that I held in October 2015 as part of my monthly free learning sessions is now available in Kindle format.  Click the image below to learn more about what we covered and how to acquire a copy of the book.

 

Follow your bliss quote

 

PS. You may want to also check out the post Build Your Positive Reflex for 2 techniques that will help you recondition your mindset.

Update: This post was originally written in December 2011 and has been updated for relevance and information.

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18 Responses to “Why Failure Is Good”

  1. Venkat says:

    So true. Knowing for ourselves is liberating and gives that huge confidence like no other ..

  2. There are some words I wish were removed from our vocabulary. Failure, lose, perfection are some of them. I love this post and like to view ‘failure’ as a breakdown, something that didn’t work. Your tips and your favorite quote are excellent examples of altering ones perspective to achieve desired result.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thank you Roslyn. I second you on proposing the removal of debilitating words that prevent us from seeing failure as an opportunity to do things better the next time round.

  3. Tamuria says:

    Love this post! It’s wonderful to put a positive spin on failure. I’m a big believer in the law of attraction (pinned your wonderful quote re automatic reflex from the Build Your Positive Reflex post). Even so I usually initially react to failure with anger and disappointment and have to walk away and remind myself to stay positive. It takes time – a work in progress.:)

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thanks for the pin Tamuria. I really appreciate your spreading my message.

      Experiencing anger and disappointment is a natural first response unless one is completely detached from the world. It is what we do next that matters. I often compare it to rearranging the room. First we need to do the dusting and then move the furniture around to our liking. 🙂

  4. Lisa says:

    How do I deal with failure…well..there has been a lot..but from it I have learned. I never look at it as a failure, I look at it as a learning opportunity
    Great post !

  5. Deb Nelson says:

    There are always valuable lessons learned when things don’t go quite according to plan. Reviewing what went awry with the focus to improve/pivot lets us realize that while the short-term situation might be labeled failure, we can set ourselves up for success with minor or major adjustments. Thanks for this post Vatsala – and for including the questions to get us in the appropriate mindset to analyze the situation.

  6. As a recovering self directed perfectionist, in the past, I generally would have blamed myself for any perceived “failures” in my life. I’ve learned over the years, that all experiences have something to teach us and life is as cut and dry as “success” or “failure”. Both of these become subjective terms. In someone else’s eyes I might appear to be a success, and yet I still do not view it that way. Thanks for the great post Vatsala, as it reminds me to reframe what is so without attaching words to it that are more a judgement than the reality. And as a huge admirer of Abraham LIncoln, I see him as the ultimate inspiration of continuing on his path and trusting himself without letting failure or defeat, stop him.

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thank you for sharing your insights gleaned from experience for the younger readers, Beverley. No experience is ever wasted and who knows, someone who is on their Hero’s Journey might just read your observation and find the motivation to get on with their journey. Abraham Lincoln is one of the best role models that I can think of when things look dismal and we need that spark of inspiration to continue towards ultimate success.

  7. Oh, I used to think that failures were the end of the world. Now I know better. I may get upset a little bit but most of the time I deal really well with them, looking at the lesson to be learned and the improvement needed next time.

    So great to see that many people now embrace failure as something necessary to advance to the next step. Thanks, Vatsala!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Getting a little upset with a failure is human, Delia. It is how one handles the failure and uses it to ‘get it right the next time’ or course correct that sets the real achievers apart from the ones who give up. It can be very painful to fail in achieving our goal but when we get up, brush the dust off and go back in the arena to succeed, that is wonderful.

  8. Really enjoyed your post this week Vatsala! If we did not have failures in our life, then we would not learn……and since having failures and learning from them is a step in the RIGHT direction for any kind of change, then I say “BRING THEM ON”!! For me, going through failures is what brings positive change and also makes me stronger in the long run!

    Thanks for sharing your awesome post 🙂

    • Karmic Ally says:

      I love your attitude of “BRING THEM ON”, Joan. When we are willing to face our fear of failure and use the experience to achieve more meaningful or important goals, then we empower ourselves and become unstoppable. 🙂

  9. I love this! I just finished as a keynote speaker where I highlighted failure as a step en route to success
    The most successful people have failed numerous times but they allowed that failure to fuel them. Thank you for sharing this invaluable information!

    • Karmic Ally says:

      Thank you for making my day by validating the message of my post, Sharise. It is human to want to succeed and that too at the first attempt and when it doesn’t happen, the clouds of disappointment and despair rain on us. A better way is to analyse where we went wrong and use it to achieve bigger and better goals and ‘get it right next time’. That is when the rainbow manifests when the sun comes out again. 🙂

  10. […] Do not be afraid to fail, but instead see failures as stepping stones to success. (Great article on why failure is good for you at The Karmic Ally Coaching Experience.) […]

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Meet your coach
I believe the world would be a better place if high achieving professionals accepted setbacks and challenges to their careers as Wake Up Calls to embark on a Journey where their empowered course correcting actions create a New World Order that encompasses achieving their career aspirations & potential with authentic life balance.   

 Using a combination of intuition and analytical skills, I help my clients identify their real issues with exercises to still their mind and allow their inner feeling to emerge in a place of confidentiality and trust. 

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who've hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with  customized strategies and tactics that work.

When my clients first come to me, they are not in a very happy place and need clarity about themselves and their chosen vocation. Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know that they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

 

I really get it, because at one point, I also experienced getting lost in my work rationalizing decisions that were detrimental to the other aspects of my life. I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

 
I adhere to the Certified Coaches Alliance Code of Ethics and Standards. A copy is available on request.
1st place BCB 2012
Email: Vatsala(at)karmicallycoaching(dot)com Phone:91 9818517664
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