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Turning Failures Into Opportunities

Updated on July 8, 2013
ladydeonne profile image

Deonne Anderson is a retired Child and Family Therapist, Free Lance Writer, and Motivational Speaker who lives in Florence, SC.

Thomas Edison Failed 10,000 Times


How To Turn Your Failures Into Opportunities Part II

If you are reading this article chances are you have experienced failures in your life and are looking for some solutions that will enable you to turn your failures into opportunities……to rise again from the ashes and soar like an eagle.

Those of us who are elderly have experienced many failures in all areas of our lives. Yet, we continue to live and to bare witness to the fact that there is life after failure....that you can rise again and lead successful and productive lives.

If you have lost your job, your home, your cars, your business, your relationship or marriage, etc, and are thinking about giving up because you don't have the will to go on, this article is for you.

Having failed many times in my personal life as well as in my career and business, I can assure you that you can turn your situation around if you are willing to persevere and to try to try again… to keep going and to recommit. If you are at a fork in the road and don’t know what to do, or if you have lost everything, don’t despair, success is still possible for you.

Failures are opportunities in disguise. If you are able to realize the up-side of your failures, you will soon see that you have been given the chance to discover and reinvent yourself. There are some things you can do to to accomplish this feat as well as to make your period of transition easier.

This is not to say that your transition will be easy, but if you are willing to take on the challenge and to learn a new and more effective way of thinking and acting, you will be able to turn your failures into opportunities.

The following are steps to turn your failures into opportunities


When you were in elementary school, you were encouraged by your teachers to “Stop,Think, and Listen” when you were off track or when you were experiencing difficulty in learning new things or staying on task. I find these words helpful when I am feeling overwhelmed or when I just can’t understand how to perform a complicated step or task.

When I lost my job, my home, my 401K, my cars, my everything.... my mind was going a mile a minute. I couldn’t control my thoughts. I was in a state of total inertia and unable to make decisions that were crucial to me and my disabled daughter’s survival.

One day during one of my lowest moments, I remembered the advice I would often give my therapy clients when they were in distress, “Take time out to get yourself together…. you’ve got to “Stop… Think… and Listen to your heart,” I would tell them.

One of the ways to listen to your heart is to “meditate”. To go to a quiet place, do deep breathing and whole body relaxation exercises in order to slow your breathing and to calm and soothe your body and your soul. Try visualizing yourself in a happier time and a more comfortable and beautiful place. See yourself coming out of the darkness…coming back into the light. See yourself as overcoming and SUCCEEDING!

Only after you have cleared away the clutter in your head, will you be able to control your thoughts and to focus on what needs to be done. Think about how you handled past and similar crisises in your life. What did you do? What worked or didn’t work? What was the outcome? What were your feelings? How did you deal with your feelings? What resources did you have available and use?

2) Have a deja vue moment.

If you have experienced this crisis before, GREAT! Great because you lived through it and this can serve as motivation for you to once again achieve your goal. Say to yourself, “I’ve been here before! I can do this! The last time this (name it) happened to me, I did (name it) and everything was just fine! Why all I need to do now is…(name it).”

If we keep on living, we will experience the same or similar things over and over again. You see it is human for us to make mistakes. Some mistakes can be avoided. Others we do not always have full control over. By remembering to REMEMBER how you were able to successfully maneuver during similar times of crisis, you will be empowered to deal successfully with this current situation.

3)Take inventory and ask yourself how did I come to this place?

It is important that you realize the role your actions or inactions played in your present delemma. You need to assess the behaviors that led to your current situation and take full responsibility for your failures. If you are unable or unwilling to objectively “see” your “SELF,” you will not be able to turn your situation around or avoid making the same mistakes again and again. It has been said that a wise man learns from his own as well as the mistakes of others. Learning from the mistakes of others is preferable to being forced to always learn from your own.

4) Make a plan and take action.

Now that you have identified the causes for your failure, it is imperative that you make a plan and take some action.

When I lost my job and my “EVERYTHING,” I knew that I had to find shelter for myself and my disabled daughter until we could find another home of our own. I had to have a plan so that we could survive, first outside and then in a shelter, followed by stints in various motels. If we were to sleep on the streets, it was necessary to locate a safe place. We had to choose motels that were not only economical and safe but also on a bus line. For over (6) months we lived in this way and finally, we were able to rent a home in the country.

Make a decision as to what you should do and how. You will need to be decisive and take some action to correct or change your situation. If you have lost your job or your business, you will need to figure out how you will get money to pay for your and your family’s necessities. You will need to figure out how to keep your business afloat. It may be necessary for you to change your job, get a different job, or get into another business opportunity. It may be necessary for you to change course entirely.

5) Change your circumstances or situation by thinking the right thoughts.

No matter the circumstance or situation, know that it is important for you to control your thoughts because your thoughts become the things and circumstances in your life. Your thoughts create your life circumstances and it is with your thoughts that you will be able to CHANGE your circumstances. The right thoughts are positive and motivating thoughts.

If you are not earning the income you desire despite the time and efforts you expend on your job or business, you may need to change the way you are thinking about yourself and/or your job or business.

It is with your THOUGHTS that you will turn your failures into opportunities.

If you perceive that your failures defines who you are as a person or that you will never “get back up” and make something of your self, you are not thinking in the right way. You are setting yourself up for more and more failure. In taking responsibility for where you are, assessing the mistakes or errors you have made, making a plan to turn your situation around, and thinking about your circumstance in a different way, you are assuredly on the right path to turn your failure into an opportunity.

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Failure/Success Cross Roads

At a cross road?  Make the right decision.
At a cross road? Make the right decision. | Source

Winston Churchill on FAILURE and Success

Success is not final. Failure is not final. It is the courage to continue that counts.                                                Winston Churchill
Success is not final. Failure is not final. It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill | Source

Opportunity and Hope

Opportunity rises
Opportunity rises | Source

Opportunity Knocks After Failure

Listen for your opportunity.
Listen for your opportunity. | Source

Turning Your Failures Into Opportunities Part II

In part I, we explored (5) steps that are necessary for us to turn our failures into opportunities.

Those steps were:
1) Stop, Think, Listen
2) Have a deja vue moment.
3) Take inventory and ask the question, "How did I come to this place?"
4) Make a plan and take action.
5) Change your circumstance by changing the way you think about your situation and thinking the right thoughts.

After completing these steps, you will be in a position to move forward and to begin the transition from the failure mode to the opportunity mode. Your head is clear. You have an understanding as to what happened and why you failed. You have taken responsibility for your role in your failure.

You no longer see yourself as the "VICTIM". You realize that your circumstance has nothing to do with fate or bad luck. You are affirming your intentions to change your circumstance on a daily basis and focusing on the right or positive thoughts. Now you are ready to move on and take these next steps.

6) Realize that your situation is not unique and that you are not alone

Exploring your options is crucial to making your plans to change your situation. This requires that you learn about the resources that are available to you and that you seek HELP. Realize that you are not alone. There are individuals out there who are able and willing to help you. Your circumstance is not unique.

There are millions of individuals who have been and are where you are at this time. Many of these individuals have overcome and turned their failures into opportunities

They are a testimony that it can be done and you need to emulate their success. If at all possible, surround yourself with individuals who are positive thinkers... individuals who have learned the power of thoughts in creating and changing their life circumstances.

7) Look for the lessons to be learned

Though you are unhappy with your current circumstance, it is imperative that you look for the lessons to be learned. If you are not able to identify and implement what you have learned, your chances of turning your failures into opportunities will be jeopardized.

The lesson I learned in my career failure was that I had not been true to myself. I had tried to fit into a mold that other individuals had developed for me and insisted that I obey and follow. When I listened to my heart, I knew that change was inevitable. I had to be ME. This reality led to my changing directions as well as making the decision to work for and to be in control of myself and my destiny.

I learned that I could not depend upon others to secure my future or to always do what was in my best interest. These realizations led me to become self employed; to change the way I think about money and living my life, and paved the way for me to lead the abundant and carefree life I enjoy today.

8) Find the opportunity in your failure.

The awareness that there are opportunities in every failure will motivate you to be on the look out for your silver lining. Perhaps you failed because you chose the wrong job or product to market and sell. Perhaps you did not thoroughly research the career or job that you chose or the need for your service or product. Perhaps you put your trust in individuals who were undeserving of your trust. Perhaps you did not manage your finances in a careful and rational manner. Perhaps.......(you fill in the words).

Whatever your failures, you can learn from them and change your course. In answering the question, "How did I come to this place?" you will become more aware of what you were thinking and the actions you undertook to cause you to fail. Your quest for TRUTH will prove to be liberating.

Ask yourself, "What are the positives or good things that can come out of this?" Where is my heart leading me?" "How can I turn this failure into a wonderful opportunity?"

Losing my last career position was a blessing in disguise for me. Though I was devastated on one hand, I was relieved and happy on the other. I was forced to see and admit that I did not want to work for someone else. I needed total autonomy and control over my career. I needed a work environment that would suit my personality and life style. I needed to be <strong>ME</strong><em>.

9) Express gratitude for what you have left.

It may be that all you have left is your health and sound mind. Think about how blessed you are! You have the strength and ability to think the right thoughts and to take the right actions to turn your situation around. You have all of your five senses at your command. Use what you've got and keep affirming, "I can and will do this!"

If you think you can, You CAN!
If you think You CAN'T,
You're Right!....Henry Ford

The more you feel and express gratitude, the more things the Universe will give you to be grateful for.

See more on the power of gratitude here: <a href=""></a>

10) Trust that the Universe is always with you.

The Universe is always with you, conferring and supporting you in all that you do. Know that all will be well and that your success is imminent. Believe in your SELF and the power that lies within you. Know that you are a spiritual being and that your problems can be resolved in a spiritual manner.

Living in a state of perennial joy and GRATITUDE as you take action and focus your thoughts on turning your failure into opportunity will be a most wonderful and rewarding time and experience for you. So, let's get to it! Enjoy the journey! Start turning your failures into opportunities right now by following the directives provided in these articles.

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    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      8 years ago from North Dallas, Texas

      Such powerful words and a compelling story to emphasize your points. I admire your courage and stamina and your recovery speaks loudly of the truth of your words. Nicely told. We "become what we think about".

    • xypherfarrell profile image

      Fairlane Raymundo 

      8 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      for every successful game winning shot Michael Jordan has ever thrown, he missed 5. enough said.

    • ladydeonne profile imageAUTHOR

      Deonne Anderson 

      8 years ago from Florence, SC


      I am sorry that your life at this time is so hectic. As the mother of a daughter and having worked for many years with teens and their parents, I know about the struggle and the many emotions that surface when life is not good for our children. The first thing I would recommend is that you consider encouraging your daughter to see a Substance Abuse Therapist and/or enrolling in a SA program, preferably in house for a number of days. If you and your daughter do not have a loving and trusting relationship, it is imperative that you make an attempt to bond with her and to show your unconditional love and support. Be careful that you don't enable her by giving her money and set firm boundaries. Al anon is available for you, other family members and friends as all of you are affected by her addiction.

      If money is a consideration I suggest that you contact your Community Service Board or community resourece available in your community. These services are either free or based on a sliding scale. I wish you and your daughter much success!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love these suggestions and your attitude. I was there in 2002...lost virtually 1989 I was homeless. I never gave up. We must keep moving forward until that tiny light at the end of the tunnel appears brighter and brighter. Bravo for this hub.

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 

      8 years ago

      You give wonderful advice and you talk from experience.I want to know more.Keep up the awesome work.Voted up.

    • wildove5 profile image


      8 years ago from Cumberland, R.I.

      Great advice, I have a daughter who is struggling with overcoming addiction, this is a great read for anyone feeling hopeless. I will definitely be sharing it with her! Thank you for sharing your difficult journey with us. Hope all is well!

    • ladydeonne profile imageAUTHOR

      Deonne Anderson 

      8 years ago from Florence, SC

      Thanks for your comments. It's never too late to change your life circumstances or your life. My golden years are my best years!

    • easylearningweb profile image

      Amelia Griggs 

      8 years ago from U.S.

      You offer practical and inspirational advice, ladydeonne. I agree with your thinking, keep it positive and think good thoughts to a pathway to success!

      Welcome to HubPages! Glad you joined our community. :-)



      Team Welcome Wagon

    • SidKemp profile image

      Sid Kemp 

      8 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

      This is a great article. It is one of the best introductions to genuine self-evaluation and transformation I have ever seen. Voted up, useful, and awesome, and I'll share it soon!

    • ladydeonne profile imageAUTHOR

      Deonne Anderson 

      8 years ago from Florence, SC


      Thanks for your comments! This is my first post. There is a Part II that I will be posting momentarily. It was rejected because I used an inappropriate link. I thought that once I deleted the link, it would automatically be approved. Now I know that once I get an "unpub" I have to resubmit the article. Lesson learned. I am excited to becomea part of this group of talented writers and know that I will hone my skills and learn much.

    • torrilynn profile image


      8 years ago

      Hi LadyDeonne,

      thanks for this very inspirational hub about

      changing your situation and thinking with a positive mindset

      Voted up


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