3 Lessons You Can Learn From Failure

Doctor of Psychology By Danielle Dowling, Psy.D.
Doctor of Psychology
Danielle Dowling, Psy.D. is a doctor of psychology and life coach, helping ambitious, driven women achieve the financial, spiritual, and lifestyle abundance they desire and deserve. She holds a bachelor's in business from American University, and her master's and doctor of psychology degree from Ryokan College.

Gratitude gladiator, here’s the deal: Life will leave you heartbroken. It’s guaranteed. And just to make this a real downer—this heartbreak will probably happen more than once.

You will get hurt.

You’ll have regrets and wish you could do it over.

You’ll wince in shame and crouch beneath the weight of mediocrity.

You will fail.

This is a given.

You will be disinvited. Worse yet, you’ll be denied outright.

You’ll show up late and lose out with him or her or them.

You'll give up too soon and cry heavy, hot tears of frustration.

Misplaced anger and rage will fill your heart and you’ll say things you wish you hadn’t.

You’ll want to take it back, but it will be too late.

People will criticize you and judge you and compare you to your competition.

Doubt will paralyze you and an undeniably rich opportunity will pass by.

You’ll wish you had said:

I love you, don’t go. I didn’t see it before but I was wrong and I’m sorry.

There will be scars.

And they will be on display.

But instead of failure after failure, you will (finally) learn the lesson.

You will mine this heartbreaking experience for the gem of wisdom.

You’ll drink it with dear thirst and curiosity and rise to your rightful, magnificent glory.

You will rise again the way you most desire.

And this time pride will be your wingwoman.

You will never, ever, as long as you live, escape heartbreak, failure, or pain.

This is absolutely certain. It is the Universe’s benevolent way of helping us ascend to a higher consciousness. To grow.

Pain and failure is certain.

So this begs the question “Why spend any time trying to avoid the unavoidable?”

Peel the ancient armor from your skin, your protection is not as necessary as you think. Status quo is an illusion and you’ve been duped.

Shift your energy instead to getting the most out of life.

Really, failure can be an opportunity to learn + grow + s-t-r-e-t-c-h your beliefs and abilities.

Here are three heart-smartening ways you can make the most of your dust-ups:

1. (Finally) learn the lesson the Universe is trying to teach you.

When we make the same mistakes and fail in the same way over and over and over, it’s usually The Universe trying to teach us something. And it’ll keep trying until we get it. What lesson are you not learning? That you shouldn’t date married men? That you shouldn’t work in that industry? That you shouldn’t have more than two drinks at networking events? Take a clear-eyed look at your failures and learn the lesson you’re being taught.

2. Re-evaluate your desires.

Sometimes we fail because we don’t really want that thing we’re going after. We engage in self-sabotage because we’re chasing something for the wrong reason—we’ve been told it’s what we want, everybody else is chasing it, we’re good at this thing. If you’re failing again and again at something, check in with yourself. Do you really, actually want this? Maybe what you want is something different and it’s in a different direction.

3. Take a (mini) break and focus your efforts elsewhere for a minute.

If you just made a royal mess of your personal life, take a deep cleansing breath, close your Match.com account, and spent a month really focusing on networking and promoting your services. If you just lost a big client, take two weeks to drink green juice and run in the hills. Point your energy in another—equally important—direction for a little bit. You’ll regain your confidence while still building towards the life you want.

You’ll fail. It’s a given. But you can get back up and keep going.

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