Learn From Failure


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No one truly likes to fail. But we all do. One of the best things everyone can realize is it’s possible to learn from failure.

In order to learn from failure, we have to be able to seek out and find those teachable moments that may be hidden in what we perceive as failure. By finding these moments and seeing how they can improve our lives, we learn from failure.

What are some of the steps in finding the gems for improvement so we can learn from failure? First, check your planning. Did you plan enough for the best way or ways to achieve the goal you set for yourself? Did this planning include figuring out all the possible obstacles to reaching that goal? Sadly, most people don’t plan enough. They get in mind something global like earning a black belt, but don’t think about the effort required or the possible ways they can get derailed from that goal. To learn from failure is to plan sufficiently.

Another step toward being able to learn from failure is to be prepared. What alternative ways do you have to get to your gym or dojo if your babysitter fails to show up? If you get injured during sparring, how will you continue training as much as you can until you heal up? Being prepared is another step toward your ability to learn from failure.

Checking to see if you were consistent in your training for the next step toward your goal is another way to learn from failure. Did you make your time practicing as productive as possible, or did you coast at times? If you did coast, look at why. Did you lose sight of your goal and stop being as motivated as usual? Did you get lazy for a period of time? Figuring out why you were inconsistent is a way to learn from failure.

Looking at what you can control is another way to learn from failure. Too often, failing at a major step toward our goals can demoralize us, lead us to think we’re not good enough, or others have it in for us for some reason. Step back from the emotion of the failure and assess what you can control. You’re probably going to find you have control over more aspects of your failure than you thought. Find what you can control and learn from failure through it.

Shifu Raymond Ahles at Blue Dragon School of Martial Arts is ready and able to help you in learning to take responsibility and learn from failure in martial arts. He will monitor your training and sparring and make suggestions when he sees some area in which you may be lacking. Contact him at 201-385-3130 today and get started or started again!


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