Leadership Self Growth

Learning from failure

We have all failed before and this is a challenge to everyone. Failure can be a very powerful way to assess your performance and find meaningful ways to improving yourself. Ask yourself about the day’s failures and successes and what can be gleaned, then hold yourself accountable. Take note of those factors that contributed to your day’s failure they surely will not go away without you taking action. I like the saying by Bill Cosby “I don’t know the key to success but the key to failure is to try to please everyone”. This is a fact.

Many of us have not even tried to start up a business or indeed do something that we have always longed to do, for fear of failing. I know that failing is part of my daily life. The difference between successful people and the average guy is the way failure is handled. The successful guys always make it a point to learn from the mistakes and failures, were as most of us just stop at failure. If you make it point to sit down and analyse the causes of your failure you will succeed at whatever you do.

Learning from failure is therefore an important aspect to being successful so is taking time to analyse your daily failures (no matter how small). The following tips may help you learn from your daily failures and improve on them.

Ask yourself questions

I would encourage you to have time to review your day on a daily basis. This is a very helpful habit and it only takes about 15mins. If you can get a piece of paper and a pen and write down the points. You will realise that most or some of the important decisions are made in the serenity of your home or just about bedtime. When your mind is relaxed. Some useful questions to ask yourself would be:-

  • what failures did I experience today?
  • what are the lessons to be learned from them?
  • how do I change them or improve on them
  • is there any need for me to have external help?

At first it may seem cumbersome to review your day but you will agree with me that every time you have an important decision to make, you will usually sleep over it and in most cases decisions are made just before sleeping and reviewed in the morning. That’s just how my mind works. You may also want to take note of your successes made during the day.

Have a plan and be accountable

Draw a plan of action. Remember that those attributes that contributed to your failure will not go away until action is taken. If there one I believe in is making decisions. They have to be made wrong or right and action taken. By taking action you are moving a step closer to successfully achieving your intended goal or purpose. In your plan include what behaviours you think you need to improve on or change.

Secondly be accountable. If you are in business find a very responsible partner and be accountable to them. You can also be accountable to yourself but please be honest. One of the best ways to be accountable to yourself is to put yourself on the other side. Imagine that you are the leader and expect results from your subordinate. What quality of results do you want from your junior. How would you react if the results are not as you expected and what would you have done.

Let your plan guide you

Stick to your plan. Let your plan be the guide. Of you have a partner you are accountable to ensure that he is strict on you until you change your daily patterns that contribute to your failures.  It takes time patience and repetition to improve. One of the best ways to success is sticking to your plan. Ensure that you have a good plan and keep on improving on it.


We all fail a little every day. We can learn from those small failures as well as daily successes when we reflect. There can never be success without failure. I have personally not come across a successful person who has never failed. Do not feel discouraged when at first you fail after all success is synonymous with failure. Remember that we all have failed at some point in life and will keep failing everyday but always be accountable for your actions and above all “standout tall and be counted”.

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