How Setbacks Can Help You Succeed in the Future

A reporter once asked Thomas Edison how he felt failing one thousand times. He replied:

“I didn’t fail one thousand times. The light bulb is an invention that requires 1000 steps. I have learned 1000 ways how not to make a light bulb.”

When you fail, it’s the lessons you learn that should be celebrated, not the failure itself. Failure is a failure if no lessons are learned. When you fail forward, you learn from your mistakes, which means you’ll eventually get closer to success.

Failure is not a laughing matter; it can be costly, humiliating, or heartbreaking. People who fear failure, on the other hand, deny themselves the chance to reinvent and create.

We all fail at some point in our lives, but we have the option of staying down or failing forward.

Can Setbacks Fuel Future Success?

Failure can be a great driver of success. Here are some of the main reasons why.

Failure Teaches Better Than the Best Teacher

Every failure teaches you life lessons that you may never have learned at the best university on the planet. Failure assists you in prioritising what you would ordinarily overlook[1].

Maybe you’ve been neglecting certain harmful habits because they aren’t yet major red flags. You will be able to tackle your fears and proclivities in a way that you would not have been able to if you had not failed.

If you’ve never failed before, you’ve probably lost out on valuable opportunities to analyse and identify your sources of drive. To learn why failure is the key to success, watch the video below:

Related: Successful entrepreneurs know things that you don’t.

Failure Makes You Strong and Wise

I’m referring to the wisdom and strength you emanate when you share what life has taught you. The teachings become an important component of your success and journey.

Consider performers getting ready for a film. You might miss a line while playing out the script, so you rehearse. Every rehearsal provides an opportunity to improve.

Similarly, each setback provides an opportunity to hone the bravery to move forward in the face of adversity.

Failure Makes Your Story Compelling

Your trials give birth to the most spectacular stories ever told—stories about how you overcome hurdles and achieve the achievement you desire. These types of stories have an impact and provide hope to others. 

It’d be uninteresting to look back on your life and realise you’d never failed. It would most likely portray a mediocre and complacent life. You can’t make captivating stories or record notable achievements if you don’t fail. 

Failure Makes You Fit to Pursue Your Goals

Failing forward despite setbacks means you believe you can. It means you can move on despite obstacles.

This resolution helps you always stay fit to pursue your goals. The judgment and opinions of others can no longer sway you. You are more resolute and committed to seeing your goals come to reality.

Related: Qualities of Wildly Successful People

9 Tips to Fail Forward

You can leverage failure to start learning and growing in any aspect of your life. Here are 9 proven tips to fail forward.

1. Determine the Possible Challenges

Begin by identifying the specific stumbling hurdles to your achievement. Negativity becomes a hurdle when you think about your accomplishments, and it can attack your thoughts.

Make a list of everything that could lead you to fail. Make a list of them in your journal. When you’re through, you’ll have a list of possible roadblocks to your success.

Take each one one at a time and consider the best approaches to conquer them. Activate your action plan and go after each stumbling block until you’ve overcome them all and reached the next level of success.

2. Develop a Strategy

When you keep aiming for a goal and failing, don’t give in to self-deprecating ideas. Rather, evaluate and alter your plan. You don’t have to change your goals if they’re SMART goals; all you have to do is adjust your strategy. 

Determine what you’re lacking and create a system to prevent future errors. Find a mentor or accountability partner with whom you can share your strategy’s input and ideas.

Spend at least 10-15 hours honing your plan, and surround yourself with positive individuals to assist you avoid negativity.

3. Educate Yourself

It would be great if you could research about what lies ahead of you. Find out if someone has passed through it and learn from their experience.

Thomas Edison made 1000 attempts; how did he manage to fail forward? What can I do to overcome anxiety and depression that comes with failing?

Equip yourself to surmount challenges when they arise.

Related: Ways To Change Your Perspective During a Crisis

4. Seek Advice

Isolation is a stumbling block to success. Avoid isolating yourself from individuals who can assist you. Speak with someone about the situation.

What questions would you ask Abraham Lincoln or Thomas Edison if you had the chance to meet them? Perhaps how, despite his personal problems, Lincoln guided the country through one of the most pivotal events in American history.

How Edison persevered until his idea of a universal light bulb became a reality.

Inquire of your acquaintances about their limitations and faults. Make use of this knowledge to accelerate your learning. You can also enrol in classes that will assist you in overcoming hurdles.

5. Reflect on Your Why

Someone once stated that if you have a big enough why, the how will appear. Spend some time writing and reflecting on why you want to overcome barriers and reach the next level of accomplishment.

Consider the new feelings, self-esteem, and lifestyle you desire. This is known as visualisation, and it may be a powerful tool for moving forward when you fail.

6. Live Life With No Regrets

Value each day and refuse to live your life by accident; instead, live it by designs.[2]
Manage your time wisely and make the most of every moment of your life.

Pursue your objectives, take measured chances, and be aware that every risk entails the possibility of failure. Take advantage of any opportunity to fail forward since it will mean one less regret afterwards. 

Related: Ways to Increase Your Willpower

7. Celebrate Your Small Wins

Every accomplishment brings you one step closer to your goal. Take time to appreciate those modest triumphs while you wait for the big day.

Maybe you’ve finished your weekly to-do list; now it’s time to treat yourself. You may go to the movies, join a yoga class, or relax at a spa.

You will gain momentum in this manner, allowing you to overcome the next round of challenges. 

8. Learn From Each Day

Every day is an opportunity to attend life’s school. Arrive prepared to learn from life’s teacher—failure. Allow yourself to be open to events and experiences that provide you with opportunities to learn. 

Failure is the best instructor you’ll ever have. The more you fail forward, the less terrified of failing you get, because you will have overcome your obstacles and emerged stronger. 

Related: Is People Management a Good Fit for You?

9. Accept Reality

When you fail, admit it, and accept that life must continue. That’s what failing forward is all about.

Acceptance helps you to make progress. It helps you to gain liberty so you can figure out the next step to take.

The Bottom Line

Above all, maintain a positive attitude. Your attitude is fundamental to your outcome. Always preempt obstacles, and don’t let life happen to you without taking the time to fail forward.

Don’t stop, and celebrate every little achievement.


  1. Entrepreneur: Why Failure Is Your Best Teacher

2. HuffPost: 10 Ways to Live Life With No Regrets

Discover more from Pak Option

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Leave a Comment

Discover more from Pak Option

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading