Failures - and how we can learn from them


Every one of us has probably faced failures several times in their lives. Whether in private life, in everyday work or in sports, failure can be very uncomfortable. Most people always see failure as bad. But it is not in all cases. Professionals and experts very often emphasize the importance of learning not only from successes but also from failures.

"Fail often in order to succeed sooner." - IDEO


You have to be aware that there is no such thing as perfection. You cannot expect to be successful in everything. Everyone will have times when they fail. Therefore it is important to adjust your expectations accordingly.


  1. Calm down knowing that all athletes fail, even the best in the world.

Even the best golfers don't win every tournament, and even the best football or basketball teams don't win every game they play. But still they are seen as very successful athletes. Many athletes have become so successful because of their many defeats. They learn from their mistakes and failures.

  1. Set a time frame for how long you will react negatively to your failure.

For example, you can give yourself 20 minutes to think about your mistakes and be angry, but then that's it. After these 20 minutes, write down everything that went well so you can remember it. Don't let your thoughts go back to the bad experiences and memories, just think about the positive moments you wrote down. (You have to practice that, it's often difficult not to think about the negative things, so be patient.)

  1. Failures give you the chance to reflect and adjust your expectations and goals.

Successful athletes work very long to achieve their goals and even with professional athletes, all this training effort is still not sufficient to achieve the desired result. If this is the case, this situation offers the possibility to analyze the preparations and training sessions and to make adjustments. This can either be a change in diet, a change of coach or the focus on working on weaknesses. Often, however, you have to change your goals to be able to reflect better.


Bad mistakes that can be made after defeats include the following:

  • Mangle yourself
  • Assign blame
  • Find excuses
  • Sink into self-pity
  • Run away

It is important not to give up, to stay positive, to believe in yourself and to use your failure as a drive to get better.

One should be able to learn from his failures, because:


"Behind every successful man there are a lot of unsuccessful years" Bob Brown

"Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall” Confucius

"Only those who are to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly" Robert F. Kennedy


As mentioned above, self-reflection is very helpful to learn from failure. There are four steps to do this:


Step 1: what worked well?

Step 2: what could I have done differently?

Step 3: what do I have to work on / what do I have to change to get better?

Step 4: what would I like to do better next time? (set new goals)


How can I help my child deal with failures?

The terms "failure" and "fault" very often go hand in hand. Not only in companies, but also in households. Every child learns at some point that admitting failure also means taking the blame. So how can I make it clear to my child that experiencing failures is not always a bad thing and that I can even learn from them by dealing well with defeats?







  • Help your child respond positively to failures and pay attention to how your child treats himself after defeats.
  • Help your child find ways to transform these failures into solutions for the next time.
  • Be a role model for your child and show how to cope with failures.
  • Help your child manage their expectations and be reasonable.
  • Encourage your child to take risks and put their efforts above their success.
  • Help your child question unnecessary thoughts and think rationally.
  • Help your child see failures as learning experiences.
  • Make it clear to your child that success can result from defeat.
  • If your child makes mistakes, talk about it and tell your child what they can learn from it.




When losing, it is important to remember:

My action was a failure, but it doesn't change my value as a person.

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