Failure can be life’s feedback that tells us many things: We’re on the wrong path, we’re not ready, or we’re doing something wrong, among others. While failures can be difficult to stomach, they give us an opportunity to examine and readjust ourselves and what we’re doing until we are able to succeed. Failures are a healthy and normal part of life, and while some take it harder than others, they are stepping stones to success, which can build character if we are able to learn from them.

It may not feel good, but to learn from our failures we need to look at them wholly and without judgment

1. Be Open to Analyzing Failures

It’s hard to look too deeply at our mistakes. Failure can hurt and we may want to distance or distract ourselves from them. However, it is hard to learn anything without proper and attentive examination. It may not feel good, but to learn from our failures we need to look at them wholly and without judgment. With enough studying, we may be able to prevent future failures.

2. Identify the Causes

Especially in cases of repeated or similar failures, we may be able to identify a common element, whether an outside cause or an inner flaw that may be the culprit behind failure. It isn’t easy and requires much self-awareness and honesty, but this can go a long way to preventing future mistakes.

3. Try Another Way

One way to test to see if you’re identifying the proper cause is to do what’s called a split-test: Try again with just a small difference in how you went about trying in the first place. If you alter one facet that you thought may be the cause of failure, and it goes differently, then you know you have isolated and identified the cause.

4. See It Objectively

Try asking yourself, if this had been a failure of a friend, what advice would you have given them? Seeing your failure through fresh eyes can be a great thing. Try looking at it from different angles, as well.

Failures are difficult for everyone, but if you can learn from them you may even end up steps ahead of yourself.