Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill

Here are five (5) things you can learn from failure:

1. What caused you to fail?

Sometimes we are afraid to ask ourselves this question. Perhaps you fear you will discover something unpleasant about yourself. This fear may be completely unfounded. Your failure may have been caused by circumstances that were beyond your control, or an event that couldn’t have been predicted. If you discover that you failed due to no fault of your own, you may quickly regain your enthusiasm to try again.

If you DID cause the failure in some way, determining what you did wrong may be the only way to figure out how to do it right. If you avoid examining your failure, you will be far more likely to repeat it. So even if it’s uncomfortable, take some time to look at exactly what happened, and why.

2. What’s the one thing that could make a difference?

Sometimes a simple change in your approach can make the difference between failure and success. Often I realize that I am guilty of Lone Ranger syndrome, implementing plans without asking anyone else for input. When I begin asking others for advice about business, I quickly discovered what had been missing from my business plan, and begin to see some response.

3. Failure teaches you what doesn’t work.

This is no small thing. Trying to make a business succeed is often like arriving at a crossroads with a dozen different paths in front of you and no road signs. The only way to choose the correct path may be to travel down several wrong ones first. It may seem like these are false steps, but actually they represent progress.

Every time you take action and don’t get the results you want, you learn more about which actions to avoid. Eliminating the unsuitable choices makes it much easier to identify the appropriate course. It may seem inefficient, but taking steps in the wrong direction is much more productive than just standing at the crossroads wondering which way to go.

4. Failure also teaches you what makes you unhappy.

It’s a curious aspect of human nature that we often find stronger motivation in negative emotions than in positive ones. If your failure makes you sad, angry, or frustrated, this can be just the kick in the pants you need to head in the opposite direction.

5. How much do you want to succeed?

Setbacks can make you realize how strong your desire for success is, and what you’re willing to do to get it.

We all fail at times. The key to success is not avoiding failure; it’s grasping how to learn as much as you can from it so you can try again. It may seem as if successful people are just lucky, but more often, they are just persistent. The real failure is when you give up because your first attempt  or your second, or your third  doesn’t succeed.