5 lessons we can learn from failure


Failing can be embarrassing, uncomfortable and a real confidence killer. Some people even consider it to be soul-destroying but it doesn't need to be any of these things. In fact, it's often precisely what we need to go through so that we can be successful.

Here are five reasons why failure can be good for you.

You realise that you can't everything alone
Sometimes we fail because we try to do so much and do it all ourselves. We can become so focused on our own capabilities when we're working towards achieving a goal, that we tend to neglect the necessity of other people's input.

Failure has the ability to bring us back down to reality and starkly remind us that we need other people and most of all, we need God if we're going to reach our full potential and get great things done. It also prompts us to check our motivations for success – are we seeking to gain glory for ourselves or give it to God?


You can identify where you're going wrong so that you can succeed in future
In some cases it's hard to know where you're going wrong until you fail. Take baking a cake for example, even with a recipe, it's only once you take the finished product (or unfinished as it might be) out of the oven and it sinks in the middle or tastes too dry or too sweet that you can begin to understand how to adapt to avoid those mistakes in the future.

Just as a culinary failure encourages us to go back to the recipe book, so a personal failure encourages us to return to the Bible and God. It might be that we were ignoring His instructions or trying to take shortcuts. Whatever the case, being bought back down to earth can put us in the perfect position to pursue a future in heaven.


You discover that winning isn't everything
If you've just failed at something those words might be hard to digest but they are the truth. Success can be defined in multiple ways and sometimes our biggest failures aren't those that can be characterised by crossing the finishing line last or having a red "F" marked on our paper but the ones where we fail to learn from our failures.

The lessons that we can take away from not winning are often of more consequence than what we find out about ourselves and how faith works when we do win. 


You learn the importance of intentions, not just outcomes
We'll find that throughout our lives there are times when we have the best of intentions but when it comes down to the execution, things just don't work out. But that doesn't mean our efforts have been wasted.

Remembering that God knows what's on our hearts and in our minds means that when we don't achieve success in worldly terms, we can still be on great terms with Him.


You come to understand that failing doesn't make you a failure
Despite the many positives that can arise out of us not quite hitting the mark, in the immediate aftermath, failing rarely feels good. We become not just disappointed in our performance but in ourselves.

But failures, whether two or 2000, don't have to define us. Discovering that our identity is in Christ and not in our past mistakes enables us to be empowered to continue after setbacks. God still loves you even when you mess up, He's made that crystal clear, so don't let your stumbles get in the way of serving Him.