A Guide To Failing And Learning From Failure

I was cooking up a storm the other day when I thought to myself just how much I enjoy cooking. And how, if I say so myself, I’m pretty good at it. I adore experimenting with flavours, trying new recipes or making dishes look pretty. I then contemplated how some people absolutely hate to cook. I then remembered that I used to be one of them – because I was really, really bad at it. I have burned water – fact!

Cooking, like most things in life, can be a chore when you first start to learn. And then, when your culinary skills improve, you get better at it and begin to enjoy it.

So the question is: how do you get over failing at something when you first begin to learn, in order to get good at it?

The answer is to try to become curious about failing. If you open your arms and welcome your inability to be awesome at something immediately, find curiosity about it, move closer to your failing – you can pick yourself up and learn a lot.

 A guide to for learning from failure / The Barefaced Chic | Uk blog for women over 40

Failing And Learning From Failure

When you first begin to learn something new, take note of the times you feel frustrated with your own inabilities. Now turn towards these feelings of frustration, or whatever feelings you’re struggling with: impatience, boredom, confusion, wanting to quit.

Turn towards each feeling and instead of trying to stop or avoid it, try embracing it. Sit down and ponder over it. Give your feeling space.

Now begin to get curious about it; what is it like? What is the sensation of each feeling? Where is it located in your body?

Tell yourself you don’t know much about it, and try to learn more. Don’t judge, don’t automatically think you know what it is, be open to whatever sensation you are feeling.

Our minds love comfort zones; many of the feelings you are experiencing could well be your body pushing you to give up. It doesn’t want to change, try new things, explore its own limitlessness. So it will throw negative feelings at you in the hope that you will, indeed, quit.

By exploring your feelings and allowing your mind to ‘do its thing’, by being open to failing and staying with it you will make progress. It takes time and practice, but eventually, you will get good at whatever it is you’re attempting and start to enjoy it.

Now, this is the secret sauce, when we become good at something and comfortable doing it, it becomes another comfort zone. Just think of the things you do every day, you didn’t learn how to do them by osmosis. You had to take the time to learn – and in many cases fail. The very things that used to challenge you have become second nature, they are within your comfort zone.

Then, one day, you will have to push your way out of your new comfort zone by finding a new way to fail. But that’s another challenge, for another day. Learning, failing and striving to succeed is what keeps our lives and brains from stagnating.

So join me in a life filled with spectacular failure and continuing pursuit of success.

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  1. January 29, 2018 / 1:30 pm

    I love this post. It is such a good reminder to us as grownups of what we tell our children every day… it doesn’t matter if you win, it matters if you try and experiment and experience. That should really never stop, should it? There’s a beautiful Joan Didion quote “I have already lost touch with a couple of people I used to be” that really inspires me. xxx

    • January 29, 2018 / 2:25 pm

      That’s a brilliant quote Lisa, I love it!

      I see failures are mere stepping stones to success. Looking back I have a whole heap of ‘stepping stones’ behind me, but they have forged my path through life and got me to the here and now. And I’m loving being right where I am in life xxx

  2. January 30, 2018 / 3:04 pm

    Oh wow MLD this is really food for thought… thank you for writing this!! Keith and I are planning so many projects this year and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed (especially considering the way the year started with my operation) – but as you say I need to push myself out of my comfort zone. So this is the year we’re planning to do it all: move house, start a new business and plan the holiday of a lifetime. But how boring would life be if we didn’t try, eh?!!!

    Catherine x

    • February 4, 2018 / 10:05 am

      Comfort zones, in my opinion, can be killers. I know women who never leave the house because they retired and didn’t try new things. I think there is zero chance of that happening with us!!!

      Here’s to new things and successes in 2018.


  3. January 31, 2018 / 12:31 pm

    What time’s dinner then love?
    Hahaha in all seriousness I’m one of those people who’d rather eat the food than cook the food. Although I really enjoy pushing myself to try new things, even when I may not be good at them. Like blogging for example! When I started I was total rubbish at all things related to a computer. I made a tonne of incredibly frustrating mistakes, yet I still loved it. Go figure? I think that’s what makes life interesting though. It’d be great if more people took the occasional risk in life, you know just for the thrill of adventure?

    • February 4, 2018 / 10:07 am

      I truly believe that life stagnates if we don’t take the occasional risk. If I didn’t push out of my own comfort zone I’d still be hiding away from life as ‘the woman in beige’ and then where would you lot be?! Hahahah xxxxx

  4. February 4, 2018 / 6:39 pm

    Hello Michelle. You are so right about our minds being lazy. We prefer to take the route of least resistance, the easy way out, the comfort zone. Have you ever seen the film ‘The Matrix’? It is so extremely well portrayed in that film how we most of the time prefer comfort over adventure, even if we know that the comfort zone isn’t the best choice for us in the end. Thanks for sharing. With all your new adventures and projects, you have every right to remind us to cross our own limits, to create our own life in stead of just living on the automatic pilot. Have a great and adventurous week, full of failures 🙂 Love, Lieske

    • February 5, 2018 / 9:28 am

      Yes The Matrix, good analogy Lieske! If I had stayed in my comfort zone I wouldn’t have met Andrew, built businesses, moved, lived in hotels, been on so many adventures and bought hotels. Wow, I’m knackered just writing the list xxxx

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