We’ve all know the pain of failure.  Me too.  Lots of times.

Several days ago I was reflecting on how certain decisions took me down certain paths.  I was thinking about how, over the decades, better decisions would have produced better results.  I felt sad.  I felt disappointment.  I grieved.  I committed to learn and do better, as I always do.

And as I was feeling this sadness, I realized that had I not made these poor decisions, errors, detours, or failures, I would never have truly known . . .

. . . empathy as I do today.  I would have known greater successes, confidence, and accomplishments.  But I would not have appreciated how the experiences of defeat, loss, failure, and disappointment hold an amazing opportunity for connection and understanding others.  I would have never experientially understood guilt or shame.

So what are the benefits of failure?

Empathy.  We can say to someone else, “I know what you mean.” And it’s truthful.  We connect at a genuinely deep level.  It can bring healing and hope to someone else struggling in defeat.

Opportunity for change.  It’s seldom “one shot and you’re out.”  New opportunities will come.

Better road map for the future. We can use the past to help us see clearly where we are and chart a better course for the future.

Strengthened resilience.  As we grieve through failure, we are strengthened to continue on; to show up in a finer version of ourselves.

Renewed determination. You really want it?  Go for it – again from a better vantage point. You’re more street-smart now.

Energized creativity.  Reflection for the purpose of understanding and clarity can open up new ways of thinking; new ideas, strategies, or avenues of pursuit.

Opportunity to cultivate courage.  When you look up close at failure, fear lessens.  You gain perspective and clarity to move forward in a better way.

Increased freedom.  You face reality with clearer vision.  You choose to carry your responsibilities differently.  And in that intention, you are empowered.

Learning to be and do better.  You don’t have to carry failure like a heavy burden on your back.  You can put it down and use it as a stepping stone to a more satisfying and uplifting future.

If you really want a strategy to move beyond failure consider –