7 Things That Will Help You Rise Above Failure

How You Can Overcome Your Disappointments and Doubts as You Aim to Improve Your Results

We’ve all experienced disappointments and setbacks, therefore knowing how to rise above failure is a major advantage.

Failure is a part of life. How we deal with experiences we deem as failures can affect the results we create.

What Does it Mean to Rise Above Failure

To raise above failure means to:

  • Not give up on what’s important to us.
  • Continue taking action, while making necessary changes.
  • Not let an experience we define as a failure affect our identity.
  • Hold on to our beliefs or develop new beliefs to help us achieve what we want.
  • Use our failures to do better next time.

The Advantages of Knowing How to Rise Above Failure

If we know how to rise above failure, we can use it to:

  • Improve ourselves.
  • Learn better ways to reach the outcomes we want.
  • Refocus on our priorities.
  • Take responsibility for our part in experiencing a failure.
  • Make new choices or set new goals.

Even though we prefer not to experience failure, it can help us readjust what’s not working.

rise above failure

A few years ago, I experienced a falling out with a colleague because I was not mindful of the language I used. Words I considered funny and playful was not how it was received.

That resulted in no further communication, which I considered a failure because I had caused it. To rise above that failure, I had to look at the way I communicated with people, on a personal and professional level.

That made me realise I had not set clear boundaries. As a result of that failure, I had to focus on my communication skills, while being my true self.

That has made it easier to be mindful of how I present myself, while also ensuring I don’t take things too seriously.

7 Things That Will Help You Rise Above Failure

Here are seven things that will help you rise above failure and continue moving towards what’s important.

  1. Redefine what failure means to you. Developing a new mindset about failure can make a big difference. Instead of defining something as a failure, a better option is to see it as a temporary setback. Temporary does not mean permanent, which means things can change.
  2. Acknowledge and accept the failure. Beating ourselves up and reliving what we consider a failure will not help us. An alternate approach is to acknowledge the experience for what it was and accept our part in it. That will make it easier to pick ourselves up again and move on.
  3. Recommit to your outcomes. Failure is an indicator we have to change something in our approach. It’s also an opportunity to reconnect to why we want to achieve something and the payoffs we’ll have. Failure is one way to get a new perspective and higher levels of clarity.
  4. Aim to improve yourself. When we experience failure, it usually means there was something missing or we could have done something better. We should look at it as an opportunity to learn and take new actions.
  5. Create a contingency plan. An aspect of achieving anything significant is to know what challenges we may face. If we experience a failure, we can use it to identify challenges ahead and create strategies to mitigate them. This will also help us improve how we manage our projects.
  6. Let go of any residual negativity. Since failure can cause us to criticise or judge ourselves, we have to let it go. Knowing how to process unhealthy emotions through different releasing techniques will make a big difference.
  7. Focus only on what you can affect or control. Sometimes things will happen that can impact if we achieve something. We have to learn to not give energy to things beyond our control. Our job is to focus on what we can affect and control. This means paying attention to our thoughts, emotions and actions.


Failure is not a bad thing if we know how to rise above it. No matter how badly we failed, we can always find something good, if we’re willing to look for it.

As we develop the ability to rise above failure, we won’t allow setbacks or disappointments to stop us from reaching our goals.

Action Step: Reflect on the last experience you consider a failure. From the ideas suggested here, use them to redefine that failure so you can rise above it and recommit to what’s important.

Question: What are other things that will help you rise above failure?