How Failure Can Lead to Success

Loyd Mears

How you view failure determines how successful you can be. How failure can lead to success depends on how you respond when you experience failures.

It doesn’t matter how fantastic you are or how hard you work. If you’re trying to accomplish anything, you will fall short. The most successful people fall short more than everyone else since they aren’t afraid to try.

How can failure lead to success? By giving you new information you only have because you tried and failed.


Learn and Keep Trying

There is a proven method to handle failure: Learn from failures and keep trying.  Don’t take it personally.

When you observe successful people, you appreciate them. You understand the hard work they put into making them who they are. However, the success is all you see. You don’t see all of the mistakes and failures that led to their success. These people turn their failures into success by learning and persevering.

You don’t get to see behind the scenes when they fall short over and over again. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. The Steve Jobs and Oprahs of the world failed spectacularly before finally accomplishing success.

How failure can lead to success.

Accepting and learning from your shortfalls is the most challenging part of success, and it’s the one that most people avoid. Failure needs reflection. You need to review your failures and learn from what didn’t work. 

Individuals don’t like this bit since it’s uncomfortable. If you don’t do this, how will you prevent making the same error once again? Be completely candid with yourself– don’t resist it.

How to Transform Failure Into Opportunity

  • Forget how you view success and failure. Our understanding makes us classify failure as a bad thing and success as a good thing. But, failure is an essential step to achieving your dreams.
  • When you feel like you’re a failure because of a poor outcome or result, set yourself more goals right away, deciding how to continue your journey to success. The old but familiar saying of “climb back on your horse right away after you fall off” is based on this idea.
  • Take a look at failure from the viewpoint of the big picture, not the small one. Maybe you failed, but you did learn something that will help you next time. Make a list of your mistakes and from your experience and learn from those things. They are accomplishments, it is not one complete failure, but lots of little achievements that deserve to be commemorated.

Failure is about the opportunity. Embracing failure as an opportunity and eliminating it from your vocabulary helps you to stay optimistic and find success in everything you do.

Related: Why Failure is Good

Have Courage and Embrace the Lessons From Failing

If you want to prosper, then you will initially have to stride through hardship. The world has somehow convinced us that we need to have the ability to stroll through life without problems. When the first sign of difficulty brews, we panic that life has gone off-script. 

Our mind attempts to play tricks on us, to stir up unfavorable emotions and uncomfortable memories. These cause stress and anxiety that stops us cold and keeps us from acting.

You are overwhelmed by it, and you give up. How can you overcome this? By embracing failure and accepting it as inevitable.

Accept Failure as Inevitable

It belongs to the process of success, so accept that you’re going to experience it. Times will get hard, and you will be discouraged. Challenging times are when you need to be optimistic. It isn’t about enjoying whatever life throws at you. Nor is it about smiling through whatever. That’s not what optimism thinking is. It has to do with discovering, progressing, and growing as a person. An enormous part of that is failing. 

Keep in mind. Failure isn’t your final location. It’s merely a stepping stone or signpost on your journey. You may feel frustrated at failure, and you might get disturbed. Whatever you do, don’t let it keep you down.

When Things Go Wrong– Are They Failures or Opportunities?

Many people try new ideas, and when the plans don’t work out for them, they quit and feel like failures. Determined individuals try new ideas and fail, but refuse to give up. Many of them are successful, and all of them grow stronger and become more than they were.

Why do successful people maximize the experience no matter what the outcome and unsuccessful people quit? The answer is a positive attitude towards every experience in life. 

9 More Ways Failure Results In Success

When you think about failure, you see this big dark cloud behind it. That’s because, throughout your life, you have been taught that “failure is not an option,” but it is! How will you understand where you need to learn and grow if you haven’t failed at something?

“If at first, you don’t succeed, then try, try again. Then give up.”

W.C. Fields

Of course, the second part about giving up is the punch line of his humor. Follow the first part of his advice, but please ignore the second part. 

Many people let the fear of failure hold them back from their dreams. However, do not let it. Failure is an alternative. I have failed many times, and even when I felt like quitting, I didn’t. 

It’s only the end when you reach your objective, and even then, it’s still not over since you’ll have another goal you’ll want to achieve.

Adapting to What You Learn Breeds Success

So when it comes to achieving a goal, how will you know if it genuinely works if you haven’t tried and failed? You learn from the failures and improve your approach. 

Things don’t merely work overnight. It’s all about trial and error. When you attempt something that doesn’t work the first time, it supplies you with knowledge on how to perform the next time.

Nevertheless, if you don’t even try the first time, how will you understand your methods work? You don’t. You do not want to live your life with a load of remorse and what if’s. You wish to live your life knowing that you gave it your best shot, and when that wasn’t sufficient, you gave it another try.

Failures Reveal New Opportunities

I’ve always thought everything occurs for a reason. You may not know what the reason is at the time.

However, there’s still a reason. Since you failed at something, it doesn’t mean life is over.

Failure frequently draws out brand-new opportunities. Just think of it, when one door closes, another one opens, and if it does not, you just bust through the wall.

Failure isn’t the end; it’s just the beginning of wisdom.

Opportunity from failure open door

You Get Another Shot

The very best part about failure is you always get another shot and another one if you like. It’s up to you to choose how many times you’re willing to fail to accomplish your goals in life. 

I say if you want it, you’ll never give up. Sure sometimes you may think, “this isn’t working,” however it is. It’s working because you’re continuously discovering what you did wrong the last time, so the next time you make a mistake, it will not be the same one. 

If there’s ever a time where you have the opportunity to give it another go, you have to take it, especially when it concerns your life’s objective.

Overcoming Failure Boosts Your Courage to Succeed Even More

Failure does not imply that your life is over, and you should toss all your dreams in the garbage. At least you dared to try. Because they lacked courage, many people spend a lifetime questioning what would have happened had they tried. 

But they’ll never know because they didn’t have the courage that comes from overcoming failures. They let the fear of failure get in the way of their success. 

Whenever you fail and then learn and succeed the next time, you become a different person. You are more confident, feel more powerful, and you have more courage.

Overcoming Failure Makes You Grow

I know of someone who declared she has never failed at anything. How can that be possible? How could anyone have succeeded at everything they ever did? You must have overcome hardships and challenges to become this terrific person. 

Life is all about growth and getting out of that comfortable box you love so much. So, if she’s never failed at anything, it’s just because she never got out of her comfort zone. And what fun is that to continuously live your life one specific way. 

resting with feet up on table

Individuals who typically prosper in life failed numerous times before getting it right. These are the people who understood failure is not a bad thing. It’s a stepping stone to help you reach your end game. 

So do not view failure as misfortune. Instead, view it as an opportunity to learn and try again. You’ll become someone you never believed you might become in the past, all since you never gave up. 

Failure Keeps You Humble.

Humility is an important attribute you need to be successful. Research shows that humble leaders are the best leaders. Failure facilitates humility, which is necessary for both leadership and self-improvement. Intellectual humility means seeing that we don’t know everything. It permits us to see our limitations, pursue answers, and embrace new ideas.

Failure Encourages Positive Change.

You can view a layoff as a bad situation or as an opportunity to go in a better direction. There is a long list of people who weren’t enjoying their jobs or learning anything new. Yet, they advanced to better jobs after a layoff. 

They were pushed out of their comfort zone to follow their passion and make a significant contribution to society. Sometimes all we need to find success is a little shove.

Failure Gives You a New Outlook.

Ellen DeGeneres said, “It’s failure that gives you the proper perspective on success.” Success has rejections, blunders, and losses, which may be more important than achievements. No success story happens overnight. What we tend to see are the wins, not the failures. 

rejected stamp

To prove this point, Johannes Haushofer, of Princeton University, published a CV of his career failures. He wanted to give perspective to discouraged.

It includes academic programs he didn’t get into, funding he didn’t receive, and journals’ rejections. What did he call his greatest failure?

He wrote, “This darn CV of Failures has received way more attention than my entire body of academic work.”

Overcoming Failure Teaches Resilience.

Success is impossible without resilience. If you can’t bring yourself to get up when you’re knocked down, you can’t succeed at any significant goal. It’s not the act of failing that leads to career success. It’s failing, learning, and then trying again. Bouncing back from failure teaches resilience, one quality all successful people share.

“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

I agree. In the end, failure doesn’t define us. The determination to keep moving forward despite failure defines us.

How many times did Edison make a lightbulb that didn’t work? Thousands!

How many business failures and election failures did Lincoln have before being elected President of the United States? Eight!

Final Word on How Failure Can Lead to Success

Maybe this article should be titled ” Success is Impossible Without Failure.” View failure and success as a package that you can’t split apart. Because that’s what it is! 

“Those who have walked the scientific path long enough have learned that failure is just part of success and that overcoming failure is an essential part of your training.” (The Science of Overcoming Failure)

Here is what you can do to benefit from this advice:

  • Immediately change your view of failure as a bad thing. It’s not!
  • Be optimistic that you will learn and find a way if you keep trying. If someone else did it, so can you.

I wish you great success in adapting your challenges to outstanding achievements.


Loscalzo, J. (2014). A Celebration of Failure. Circulation, 129(9), 953-955. doi: 10.1161/circulationaha.114.009220

Research: The Science of Overcoming Failure – International Society for Experimental Hematology. (2020). Retrieved 6 October 2020, from

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