Failures: Stumbling Blocks or Stepping Stones?


Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something. — Morihei Ueshiba

The kind of self- protective mindset that dictates that we only undertake things that we know we won’t fail at is a barrier to moving forward. Holding onto that  prevents us from taking risks and failing.  That’s unfortunate because failing is a lesson in learning how to succeed.

All in all, it comes down to how you take failure. Either you can make it a step to success or a retreat from it. It’s all within you. Remember: you are what you make of yourself – someone who failed and gave up or a failure to success story, the choice is yours. — Ritu B. Pant

The difference between successful people (risk takers) and others is that when they experience failure, they do not allow it to keep them down.  Successful people have a mindset that distinguishes them from others.   Successful  people don’t give their power away by choosing to be overly sensitive to what others think of them. They don’t give their power away by choosing to be “set in their ways” and resistant to change. Instead they are flexible, resilient and adept at making changes.

Successful people understand failure to be a valuable lesson that they learn and benefit from.  Rather  seeing criticism or failure as stumbling blocks they see them as stepping stones that bring them closer to achieving their goals. They accept every failure as a lesson in how to succeed in the future and then they make the adjustments required to achieve success.

Next time you think about quitting your online ventures after a failure, think again! It just might be the thing you needed to give yourself a boost.  — Ritu B. Pant

Quiz: How powerful are you?


  1. […] The kind of self- protective mindset that dictates that we only undertake things that we know we won’t fail at is a barrier to moving forward. Holding onto that prevents us from taking risks and failing. That’s unfortunate because failing is a lesson in learning how to succeed. – Failures: Stumbling Blocks or Stepping Stones? […]

  2. Timethief:

    This is the first time I visit your blog and I must say I love all your posts. This one in particular though, I believe we all take failure rather harshly and the grand majority refuse to even act and the thought of failing.

    Good stuff

    Teresa Cuervo

  3. @Claryn
    Hello there. I’m so glad you like my post and I do apologize for not replying to it sooner. I do tend to be my own worst critic and I’m trying to remember to give myself a break now and then. If we don’t take risks we never fail but then again we don’t mover forward either. So as I considered that I came up with the stepping stones metaphor.

    I hope you are happy and well.

    Love and peace,

  4. Great post. People shouldn’t be too critical of their personal failures–Unless you can remember, or even believe in a past life, this is your first go round at living life. Brilliant.

  5. @Everyone,
    Thank you all so much for taking the time to share your responses to my post. It does seem that the metaphor is a good one.

    My your pathway be paved with smooth stones.

    Love and peace,

  6. Love the metaphor you use! I don’t like to word the use failure myself. It implies finality and permanent state. Rather, they are learning experiences because we recognize we have to adjust our course. It is only a true failure if we haven’t evolved more from the experience.

  7. This is a good one for me… how do I judge what I do? Is any given thing that I do a failure because it does not make money, or a success because I learned in the process of doing and got pleasure from a job well done? And how confusing when something I privately may consider botched becomes popular and sells! I often feel like giving up on my chosen path, exhausted by what seems like failure. But when I do, my friends patiently point out to me that it’s because I’ve fallen into a trap, I’m judging things in conventional ways and not by what their true value may be. There is a saying that goes something like “Fail well, fail better”, and when I am feeling poverty stricken and down I try to remember that :D

  8. I like that…failure as stepping stones! Sometimes we slip and fall off…and the best thing we can do is to pull ourselves back up, and continue walking along the ‘stepping stones’ of life. Thank you for this!

  9. Like the article. I have been talking about this a lot lately. Don’t be afraid to fail, fail your way to success and other examples. We are taught to fear failure rather than seeing it as the growth needed to achieve success.

    I’ve learned from every mistake. I have some times had to repeat a mistake before I understood the lesson.

    Celebrate the failures and soon you will celebrate success.

    the SunShine Guy

  10. Hi Timethief,

    I think it helps if we can frame our failures as looking at them as learning experiences. A wise Native American shaman told me once, “There is no such thing as bad experiences–just learning experiences.”

    I definitely believe there is truth to this statement.

    Great post, btw–


  11. My brother said something to me, when I was a teenager, that has remained in my mind ever since:

    “This isn’t a problem. This is an opportunity….”

    Even tho my brother and I agreed on very little, we did agree on that.

    Good article, Time Thief…thanks for sharing it. :)

  12. Really inspiring post.As lvs has said, it becomes sometime really tough to hold yourself not to be frustated away from failure once it happens but if you have faith and believe in yourlsef, you will definitely become successful.

  13. It all depends on how you react to your failures. I have known people who were never able to recover from a significant failure in their life and it was disheartening. I believe that I always am better from my failures. I try to not let them get me down, at least not for that long.


    Jakes last blog post..BMW M3

  14. We all stumble, and sometimes we fall down. Having what it takes to get back up is something we all have access to. The awareness of It is the key… then the choice to actually get back up.

    At the same time, leaning into any risk will increase our strength to withstand the normal pitfalls of life as well as the “opportunities” that Life offers.

    Good to see you TT. A most excellent post.

    Love and Peace. — jeff

    Jeff Bakers last blog post..Life Is Good

  15. @Lana
    I don’t like the word “failure”. It’s a learning curve, if something doesn’t work, it’s just another lesson. There’s no point in beating yourself up about it.

    And, I love your paintings. Your use of color is breathtaking. Every painting is fascinating. You have an immense amount of talent that’s being exposed to those who are appreciative.

    Love and peace

  16. In life we’ll not fail because of a stumbling block but you & I will fail only if we try to stop there. Interesting take.
    I’m adding up my thing :D
    “Don’t ever give up if you can do it, and if you cannot then please give up all the things that fails you. This is the only shortcut to success.”

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