How to Make Failure a Tool for Success

We all flee from failure. After all, failure is not a good thing; implies not having achieved what was wanted, and is, in any case, a pitiful, unexpected and unfortunate event, negative, in any case, but inevitable. As Truman Capote said, “failure is the condiment that gives flavor to success”. There is not a great achievement that is not accompanied by dozens of failures.

Knowing how to take advantage of our mistakes is the key to success. Unfortunately, many people do not know how to overcome their mistakes. Instead of taking advantage of them to insist on their objective, their influence pushes them to abandon the undertaking they have undertaken, and this is the worst thing that can be done in the face of failure. The ability to take advantage of the opportunities that failures give us is the great difference that distinguishes successful people from the mediocre. There is something that must be very clear, and that is only through failure; the great success can be achieved. Taking advantage of failure is the key to success. These are some tips, enlightened by great minds of business, science, and culture, to take advantage of everything that failure can offer us.

Do not regret; you have spent your time wisely

When we fail, we may be tempted to think that we have wasted our time on something we have not accomplished, and we regret having even started trying. This is a mistake. The reality is that doing something, even if it is wrong, is always better than doing nothing. Inactivity is the worst of failures, and often the people who criticize us are the same ones who prefer not to try anything at all. Do not listen to them. What is unfortunate is to do nothing, not try and fail. As the philosopher and theologian Paul Tillich aptly explained, “he who climbs and falls can be forgotten. He who never climbs and never falls is a failure in his whole being.” 

Failure exists to offer wisdom

Errors have the meaning we want to give them. If we consider it as an apprenticeship, our failures will have a different meaning how they will serve us to the wisdom we need to achieve success. And every little failure will be a step towards triumph. If you change the point of view you will see .” in a different way: it will be an opportunity to learn. Like some of his manly quotes, Henry Ford said that “Failure is simply the opportunity to start again more intelligently.

Learn as much as you can from each failure

“I have not failed the test; I have only found a hundred ways to not do it wrong.” This is how Benjamin Franklin explained how mistakes could be seen as a success. And, both in science and in life, failure teaches us what we should not do to achieve success. Our ability to identify why we have failed is essential in this regard. We must reflect to find the way in which we do not repeat the same mistakes. Something that is essential so as not to fall into the same mistake again and again.

Do not give up; maybe you’re just one step away from success

No one could explain this better than Thomas A. Edison:  “Many of the vital failures are of people who did not realize how close they were to success when they decided to surrender.” Throwing the towel is very tempting, especially when failures are repeated. But it is precisely the concatenation of failed attempts that can lead to success.  If you really believe in what you’re doing, keep trying. At some point, you will achieve your goal. Otherwise, at least you will have the satisfaction that you tried until the end.

Keep your enthusiasm

It is not enough to keep trying, and you also have to do it with the same level of enthusiasm with which you started. Otherwise, the attempts will be less and less powerful. The key lies in ensuring that the emotion does not disappear. A way to achieve this is to put the progress made on paper, to be clear that you are one step closer to success. Failure can be a great motivation. The playwright Tennessee Williams said he always found momentum in the negative reviews: “The apparent failure of a play took me straight to the typewriter, even before the critics came out. I felt more obligated to work than the times when the premiere was a success.”

Keep pointing high

“All of us have failed to achieve our dreams of perfection,” said William Faulkner, “so we make a note based on our splendid failure in trying to achieve the impossible.” Always be clear about the purpose of your efforts; Keep pointing high and do not lower the level of demand. Explained how to achieve success, it is not necessary to avoid daydreams, these can serve to give you the strength you need. Passion and enthusiasm are the keys. If you lower your expectations you will lose energy and embrace mediocrity.


As Napoleon Bonaparte said, “we can stop when we go up, but never when we descend”. Maintaining self-confidence, despite failures, is essential to overcome obstacles. Of course, it is necessary to strive not to repeat the mistakes and learn as much as possible of them, but also, you must have the ability to make your dream come true. Many of the people who have made great discoveries or achievements did not have a special talent, they were just ordinary people with an extraordinary attitude. 

Charlotte Giver

Charlotte is the founder and editor-in-chief at Your Coffee Break magazine. With a background in PR working in Los Angeles and Barcelona, Charlotte has been running Your Coffee Break from the YCB HQ in London’s Covent Garden for the past 8 years. She is a mother, an avid reader, runner and puts a little too much time into her morning brew.

No Comments Yet

Comments are closed