How to Learn From Failure

In an encouraging TED-Ed lesson written by Dan Kwartler with assistance from Lauren Eskreis-Winkler, and animated by Luiz Stockler, narrator Alexandra Panzer explains how humans have an opportunity to learn and grow from failure despite the paralyzing demoralization that comes with not achieving a goal.

People often describe failure as a teachable moment— a necessary stumble on our way to improvement. But learning from our mistakes isn’t always easy, especially when those failures are demoralizing, overwhelming, or just downright confusing.

Additionally, there may not be any clear answers as to why a task wasn’t successful, making it that much more difficult to become friends with failure.

For example, imagine getting your grade back on an exam. …if you failed, it could be for any number of reasons…In cases like this, it’s unclear exactly what went wrong, making it difficult to learn how to improve. Wanting to learn from our failures is completely natural, and there’s a lot to gain by being resilient and cultivating a growth mindset. But fixating on your failures can make it easy to forget all your successes.