Finding Joy In Failure: Overcoming Setbacks And Turning Them Into Success

by | Oct 10, 2023 | Mind

Failure is merely a state of mind. In fact, the most successful people in the world have also dealt with failure. Although failure, whether small or big, is difficult to deal with, you must learn to overcome the setbacks to live a healthy and joyful life. If you dwell on the positive aspects of a failure, you will be able to reevaluate what you did, both wrong and right, and embrace this learning process of failing.

Those who fear failure, often never try anything and remain restricted and unhappy. However, staying stressed out for long periods of time causes a lack of motivation, disinterest in activities, and mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. 

Gear up and prepare to open up your mind for the teachings you will learn from failure. Remember failure can be anything: a relationship failure, the downfall of your company, losing a job, or an exam failure. Here are some personality traits that can assist you in overcoming setbacks of failure and turn them into stepping stones for success.


Failure can play an important role in transforming humility into leadership. Humility is a virtue for personal and professional success as it gives way to self-improvement. Once humility creates an open mind, curiosity creeps in and drives the examination of thoughts. It makes people realize that they do not know everything and so they need to test their feelings and beliefs. This acceptance that nobody is perfect can stop the ego from rising out of control and your innovation will grow. You will remain humble and establish connections and good relationships both in the personal and professional spheres.

Humility was the key to the success of Abraham Lincoln, who had the ability to adjust his emotions created extraordinary levels of humility and made him the commander in chief during the Civil War as well as the greatest American president.


Many venture capitalists do not want to invest in a business unless the people heading the company have failed at least once. The reason behind this is the concept that failure can teach us the lesson that success never can. You will have a deeper understanding of your job and self. Therefore, you need to view failure as an opportunity as there isn’t just one way to do anything in this prosperous world. However, you are not foolish enough to make the same mistakes again and again. For instance, Edison took 1000 chances to invent the light bulb. This proves that failure can lead to doing better next time.


Failure teaches you resiliency. Adapting resilience can be hard in this uncertain world but if you’re determined, it will help you overcome failure. Resilience is the ability to bounce back or overcome setbacks and adapt to change. In today’s job market, many professionals need to acquire this quality to stay competitive. It may be dealing with a difficult boss, adapting to a new technology, or pursuing a career change. Now, pay attention to some of these strategies that can help you develop resilience.

  • Develop a growth mindset
  • Build a support network
  • Practice self-care

When you are feeling overwhelmed or flustered in any area of your life, you may need to be more mentally flexible to find success. Flexibility is the opposite of being set in your ways and thus, it is easy for you to roll with the punches and keep moving regardless of what happens. Such an individual will not fluster, complain, or give up in difficult times. 

It’s important to be flexible at home and at work. At work, it will be easier to deal with co-workers and customers and re-organize your schedule if something unexpected happens. On the other hand, you will have fewer conflicts and more understanding with your family members at home. Practice these ways to gain more flexibility in your life.

  • Leave your comfort zone
  • Think before you react
  • Make yourself heard

Sometimes you may be lacking a little push to go in a new and better direction. A failure can give you this kick. We all have encountered some people who weren’t doing well in their jobs or careers but are now enjoying more fulfilling careers after a layoff or restructuring. This is because they have been forced out of their comfort zone, which can often lead them to follow their passions and true interests. This teaches you to learn to embrace challenges and see them as a way to test your skills and build new goals.


Failing doesn’t define you as worthless or prove that you will never conquer success in the future. So, think of all the bad days you faced and how successfully you survived them. Just as you recovered in the past, you will overcome the present failure too. The faster you deal with failure, the faster you will be ready for success.  


Failure is a part of your success journey and it forces you to be better and more creative throughout this process. Failure may be a delay, but not defeat. It keeps your arrogance and egotism at bay and helps to reevaluate what’s important in life. Thus, a successful and joyful life is waiting for you when you overcome setbacks of failure.

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Dr. Bob Singhal

Professor Bhupendra 'Bob' Singhal, has taught creativity by joy and right-brain thinking, is a renowned international architect, won major design competitions, has over 70 awards, publications, and media mentions, and served as President of the American Institute of Architects South Bay. In 2011, in his book Joy in Health and Happiness: Your Optimal Path to Success, Professor Singhal wrote about the transformative power of joy and helped readers learn to enhance their daily experience of it.


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