13 Critical Lessons When You Feel Like a Failure

Bounce Back When You're Feeling Down on Yourself

The human mind is a curious and sometimes awkward thing. Some of us have much better control over our emotions than others.

Our minds are all too often guilty of taking what we believe to be true and running with it rather than having a more honest understanding of what is happening on our part (or on others’)‚ÄĒthinking too much or too little.

In this post, I’m going to go through some of the things I think (and hope) you can learn from at least one or two errors you’ve made in your life ‚Äď at least one that has caused you lots of disappointment and frustration.

What is Failure?

Failure is defined as the lack of success, but what is success? Dictionary.com defines success as “the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.”

Dictionary.com also defines failure as “the state or condition of not achieving a desired end.”

So by these definitions, success would be defined as achieving a goal while failure would be defined as not achieving a goal. This is an overly simplistic way of looking at things though.

People often have a lot of things they wish they could do differently. Often, the ability to avoid failure is most important to them.

Of course, it’s easy to think about failure as a bad thing and try to avoid it.

But when you re-think about it, failures¬†are the reason so many of us achieve things we wouldn’t otherwise.

When I was starting business school and struggling with my first business ideas, I had a friend tell me this once. He said, “Failure isn’t failure if you learn from it.”

You don’t know how much better you could have done until you try again and again‚Ķand again‚Ķand again‚Ķuntil it finally becomes a second nature.


This is pretty much what we should be saying about failure. What happens when we fail? What lessons should we learn? When should we start again? What are the critical mistakes that will prevent us from succeeding?

The Importance of Learning from Failure

This is the first part of a two-part series. The other half deals with the part where you learn how to survive failure and thrive in the future.

If you’re going to fail, do it interestingly.

Failure is an inevitable part of life, and it doesn’t matter what path you take or what mistakes you make ‚ÄĒ so long as you make them with grace and humility and keep your head in the game.

Failure can be a good thing because it gives you a chance to learn from your mistakes and grow from them; also, failure can be a good thing because it helps shape our character (in my experience).

Critical Lesson #1: Don’t Be Afraid to Fail

People tend to enjoy success when they feel they have something to show. When you feel like a failure, you often have something valuable buried somewhere in the rubble of your failures.

There indeed is a dark side to failure, and when we experience failure, we often go through stages where we take things personally, lose perspective on the bigger picture, become defensive, and even blame others.

When you fail, you should not end up disillusioned or feeling bad about yourself; instead, you should realize that there are important lessons that can be learned from your experience as well as new approaches which may lead to more successful results down the road (or at least attempt a more thoughtful reflection on past mistakes).

The point here isn’t so much about avoiding failure but about taking the time to assess how much progress has been made since failing so miserably ‚Äď what value can we extract from our first few attempts?

Don’t get caught up in “what could have been?” Not all mistakes are caused by poor planning or execution; sometimes, mistakes occur because people make decisions based on incomplete or wrong information (not necessarily due to fault or lack of skill on their part).

Critical Lesson #2: Embrace Failure as a Learning Opportunity

Sometimes it is hard to admit that you failed because you didn’t do something you or your company were supposed to do. Failure is a wonderful developmental tool. It forces you to review assumptions, learn from past mistakes and create healthy learning environments for your team that can make any future failure less painful.

So please don’t shy away from failure and embrace it as an opportunity to grow.

Just remember, the failures are only failures if they prevent you from moving forward ‚ÄĒ they are failures if they hinder growth or productivity.

Critical Lesson #3: Don’t Take Failure Personally

Now I will be the first to say that there is no such thing as a 100% perfect experience; we will always have failures, and we will always have lessons to learn.

But we must go through our experiences, especially those that aren’t pleasant, with different eyes, and make sure that we don’t take them personally (yes, you still do!).

There are two lessons I would like everyone to learn from their own experiences.

Lesson #1:¬†You can’t control everything.

Lesson #2: Before starting something new, think of three things that are your most important priorities (just like any other).

Critical Lesson #4: Learn From Your Mistakes

No one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. The key to success is learning from your mistakes and not making the same ones twice. Here are some tips on how to learn from your mistakes:

  • Acknowledge that you made a mistake. Don’t try to brush it off or pretend like it didn’t happen. Accept responsibility for your actions, and learn from what you did wrong.
  • Analyze what went wrong. Figure out what caused the mistake and how you can prevent it from happening again.
  • Take steps to fix the problem. If you caused damage or hurt someone else, apologize and make amends. If you just made a mistake in your work, try to fix it as best as you can.
  • Learn from others who have made similar mistakes.

Critical Lesson #5: Persevere Through Failure

Feeling like a failure is one of the worst feelings imaginable. It can make you feel like you’re not good enough and that you’ll never be successful.

However, it’s important to remember that everyone fails sometimes. It’s how you deal with failure that determines your success.

The key to persevering through failure is having a positive attitude and moving forward. Don’t dwell on your mistakes; learn from them and move on. Remember that success is not a destination; it’s a journey. So don’t give up just because you failed once.

Keep your goals in mind, and don’t let anyone or anything discourage you. Persevere through the tough times, and eventually, you will reach your goals.

Failure is part of life, but it doesn’t have to define you.

Critical Lesson #6: Have Faith in Yourself

You have to believe in yourself. Having faith in yourself is what makes all the difference in the world.

You never know when you will feel like a failure, so if you don’t feel like you are getting anywhere always be ready to change your goals or plans.

The hard part is always doing it, but the easy part is understanding why it happened, which helps make it easier to deal with afterward.

Sometimes things will work out for the best even if they don’t seem like they should at first glance.

Things happen for a reason, even if we don’t see it yet. Take some time to look at things from another point of view, even if you think you’re right!

Sometimes life sucks, and that’s OK – instead of dwelling on how terrible life has been today, look at how much better life could be tomorrow! Remember this as much as possible!

Critical Lesson #7: Be Willing to Start Over

In the course of my career, I have made several mistakes.

I’m not talking about every time I fail at something; what I am talking about is the moment where we feel we have failed and want to take it back and re-do it all over again.

Sometimes, this happens because we get caught up in our own ego and don’t see things from a different perspective.

The reason this happens is because each time we fail, we feel like we have outgrown our previous attempts at doing something new ‚ÄĒ and that feeling is correct; we have outgrown them!

We should not feel like they were failures because they were simply trying new things; they should be seen as stepping stones along our path towards a better future (which will hopefully be better than what came before).

It takes courage to start over.

Critical Lesson #8: Don’t Beat Yourself Up

We have all been there. You had a great idea but it failed. You put in all this effort, but you didn’t get the results you wanted. You try your best but somebody else still manages to do it better. All of these things can make us feel like failures.

It’s easy to beat yourself up when you feel like a failure, but that only makes things worse.

Dwelling on your mistakes will not help you learn from them and move on. What will help is forgiving yourself, picking yourself up, and trying again.

Every failure is an opportunity to learn and grow. So don’t be too hard on yourself – be proud that you are trying your best and keep moving forward!

Critical Lesson #9: Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

When you feel like a failure, comparing yourself to others is easy. You might see people on social media who seem to have it all together and wonder why you can’t be like them.

But the truth is, nobody is perfect. Everyone has their own set of challenges and struggles.

So don’t waste your time comparing yourself to others. Instead, focus on your journey and strive to be the best version of yourself.

Remember that success is not a destination; it’s a journey. And as long as you keep moving forward, you’ll eventually get where you want to go.

So don’t give up on yourself just because you’re not perfect. Remember that you are capable of great things, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

You are unique and special, and there is nobody else like you.

Critical Lesson #10: Don’t Give Up on Yourself

Everyone feels like a failure at some point in their life. Maybe you didn’t get the job you wanted or got into a fight with your best friend. Whatever it is, don’t give up on yourself.

There are plenty of things to make you feel good about yourself. Maybe you’re a great listener or always willing to help a friend in need. No matter what your strengths are, remember that they are something to be proud of.

When you’re feeling down, take some time for yourself. Relax with a good book or take a walk in nature. These small moments can help calm you and make you feel better prepared to face the world again.

Critical Lesson #11: Don’t Forget Your Worth

You may feel like you are not good enough, smart enough, or pretty enough. You may feel like you are not worth anything at all.

Remember that you are worth something. You are valuable and have a lot to offer. You are important and matter to someone.

You are not a failure because something went wrong or made a mistake. You are only a failure if you give up.

Keep going, even when it feels hard. Remember that you are worth it and that you can do this.

Critical Lesson #12: Don’t Stop Trying

Feeling like a failure is never a good feeling. It can make you feel like giving up on everything, including yourself.

Remember that you are not the only one who has ever felt this way, and you will get through it.

The key is to keep moving forward, even when you don’t feel like it. Don’t give up on yourself or your dreams. They are worth fighting for.

Critical Lesson #13: Don’t Lose hope

Maybe you didn’t get the promotion you wanted, or your family is going through a tough time. Whatever the reason may be, it’s important not to lose hope.

When you’re feeling down, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But remember that things will get better. You have to keep moving forward and believe in yourself.

There will be times when you feel like giving up, but don’t let those negative thoughts take control. You are capable of anything you put your mind to.

So don’t give up on yourself. Remember that you are not alone, and there is always someone who cares about you. If you need someone to talk to, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.



It is important to remember that failure is a part of life. It is how we learn and grow. When we feel like a failure, we must take a step back and reflect on what went wrong. Then, we can learn from our mistakes and move on.

We should also remember that there is no such thing as a perfect person. Everyone makes mistakes. So, don’t be too hard on yourself.

Finally, don’t give up. Persevere, and you will eventually succeed.

FAQs | Feeling of Failure

What is the true meaning of failure?

The definition of failure varies based on a person’s specific circumstances. In general, failure may be described as falling short of a desired end or objective. It may be tragic, especially if time, money, or other resources are lost. Nonetheless, it is feasible to gain insight from failures and apply them to strengthen future initiatives.¬†

Can a person be called a failure?

No, an individual cannot be termed a failure. Failure is not a person but an occurrence. A person may only be said to have failed if they have encountered an incident that qualifies as such. 

Why is failure important in life?

Failure is important because it is through failure that we learn and develop. If we’re constantly successful, we can’t learn and progress since we don’t know what we need to better. Failure teaches us humility and resiliency, which are crucial qualities to possess.¬†

Why failure is good for success?

Failure is good for success since it teaches what does not work. If you never fail, you will never learn how to improve for the future. Failure makes you more tough and robust, leading to greater success. 

How does failure affect a person?

A person can be profoundly affected by the failure. It can make them feel discouraged and like they are not good enough. It can also make them feel like they are not worthy of success. Failure might also make people feel incapable of reaching their objectives.

Is fear of failure a personality trait?

Some individuals have the personality characteristic of fear of failure, whereas others do not. Some individuals may be more risk-averse than others and more likely to experience dread while confronting new situations. This does not indicate that the individuals in question are “evil” or “weak,” but that they may handle situations differently.¬†

Is it OK to fail in life?

It is acceptable to fail in life. In reality, failure is frequently important for growth and learning. After a failure, picking yourself up and continuing forward is essential. Remember that failure is not irreversible; you can always attain your objectives if you continue striving. 

What has failure taught you?

Failure is a normal part of the learning process, I’ve realized. It is how we develop and become better. Every time I fail, I attempt to get as much insight as possible from experience to do better the following time.¬†

How do you deal with failure?

Everyone suffers failure at some time, and coping with it may not be easy. The goal is to learn from one’s mistakes and move on. Don’t allow them to prevent you from reaching your objectives.¬†

Is it better to fail or not try?

This choice is contingent on the individual and the circumstances at hand. In certain instances, it may be preferable to attempt despite the possibility of failure. In other situations, it may be prudent to avoid taking risks and avoid trying. Each individual is ultimately responsible for determining what is best for them in any given circumstance. 

Is failure part of success?

Failure may be an essential step toward achievement in some circumstances. However, it is also possible to attain success without ever failing. In the end, it depends on the person and the circumstances. 

Is failure a bad thing?

No, failure is not a bad thing. Failure is a chance to learn and develop. Every time you fail, you get new insight that enables you to improve as a person. 

Why do i feel like a failure?

There can be many reasons why someone might feel like a failure. Maybe you’ve had some major setbacks in your life and it’s led to you feeling down about yourself. Or maybe you’re just not happy with the way things are going in your life and you feel like you’re not achieving what you want to.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that everyone has failures and setbacks at some point in their lives. It’s how you deal with them that matters.

How to not feel like a failure?

There are a few things that you can do to help yourself feel less like a failure. First, try to set realistic goals for yourself and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to succeed. Second, give yourself credit for your accomplishments, even if they are small. Third, don’t compare yourself to others, and remember that everyone makes mistakes. Finally, focus on the positive aspects of your life and try to find something to be happy about each day.

Derrick Wilson

Derrick Wilson

Derrick is a 55-year-old veteran life and wellness coach who specializes in helping people achieve success and happiness in their lives. Derrick is based in Bay Area and has extensive experience spanning around 30 years in helping people from all walks of life. His unique approach combines the latest scientific research with tried-and-true techniques that have helped millions of people change their lives for the better. If you're looking for help in any area of your life, he is here to help.