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8 Lessons Learned from Failed Relationships That No One Will Tell You, so I Will

8 Lessons Learned from Failed Relationships That No One Will Tell You, so I Will

When relationships end with significant others or friends, we are often left wondering how to pick up the pieces. We turn to friends and family who offer kind messages and sage advice on how to move on with our lives, but there are overlooked lessons we forget about as we process our breakups. Below are key lessons about failed relationships that no one will tell you about.

1. Over analysis is the enemy of progress.

When a relationship ends, we may spend countless hours dissecting countless situations in an attempt to discover what went wrong. Our minds act like detectives, revisiting scenes and hypothetical situations to find clues and witnesses that attest to what caused the relationship’s end. We recruit friends to become therapists, as we relentlessly analyze our feelings about the one who is no longer a part of our lives. The hours we spend examining and re-examining the past are part of the healing process, but overdoing it can prevent us from living in the present and moving toward the future. Instead of spending hours trying to understand why a relationship ended, we can spend some of that time better understanding who we are without that person in our lives.

2. Treat yourself how you want others to treat you.

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    If we leave a failed relationship feeling demoralized, disheartened and undervalued, we may also question if anyone will ever love and value our qualities, quirks and specialness (of course the answer to that is yes, someone will). Rather than looking to others to validate what makes us lovable and unique, we have to look in the mirror and start with ourselves. Treating ourselves the way we want others treat us means that we give ourselves compassion, love, patience and care. It also means that we create moments and experiences where we are able to shine and be our best selves.

    3. Don’t fall into the blame game trap.

    When we end a relationship with someone, we may try to assign blame by pointing fingers at ourselves or the other person involved. When we blame the other person, we can find ourselves getting angry or feeling justified for our own mistakes and transgressions. When the finger is pointed at ourselves, we feel guilt and shame, wondering if it was our own doing that caused the breakup. Yet, each perspective prevents us from understanding the key factors that contributed to a relationship ending, and from learning important lesson that can be used to strengthen current and future relationships.

    4. Healing is not a linear process.

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      The end of a relationship brings with it a spectrum of feelings where our emotions go from grief to relief, sadness to joy, and anger to excitement. As we travel along those spectrums, we may find that one day we feel like we’re on top of the world, to then feel instantly distressed when we see reminders of a past relationship. In that moment, we feel as if all of the progress we’ve made has gone down the drain, which is further from the truth. The healing process does not follow a straight line. Instead, it is more like a roller coaster where we can experience a multitude of feelings all at once.

      5. You may relapse, and that is okay.

      After we break off a relationship, we may vow to never see the other person again, and throw away mementos and keepsakes that remind us of him or her. However, a situation may occur within our lives that only that person will understand, or a holiday arrives where we feel compelled to see how he or she is doing. Infrequent text messages turn into phone calls, which become coffee dates, which lead to hanging out on a regular basis. Then old harmful issues arise, which cause us to feel so naïve, guilty, and ashamed for trying to rekindle something that should’ve remained in the past. When beat ourselves up over our relapses into old relationships, we should remind ourselves that each step back teaches us about recovery, as they give us the opportunity to know better in case there is a next time.

      6. Remember the good, and not just the bad and ugly.

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        Thinking about a failed relationship often causes us to recall how it ended and not how it began, or we focus on the other person’s negative qualities rather than appreciating the good ones. Sometimes, even if we have something more positive to say about our former friend or partner, we add a qualifier to our statement—“Marsha is a so creative, but was a horrible listener.” Focusing on someone’s negative qualities shows that we are still holding onto the anger and hurt that the relationship caused. Remembering the good allows us to keep a healthier perspective about the relationship. It also indicates that we’ve truly moved on from our failed relationship because we are no longer holding on to those negative feelings.

        7. Forgiveness is the greatest gift to give yourself.

        True forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts that we can give to ourselves because it means that we can let go of past hurts that impact the potential for present happiness. In forgiving ourselves for our mistakes or perceived transgressions, we give ourselves permission to recognize our humanity. We realize that life goes on, and that tomorrow is another day to learn a brand new lesson. In forgiving others we are able to release the power they have within our hearts and minds. That is not to say that we should try to be best friends with someone that’s done something hurtful to us. However, it means that we should let the anger, hurt, and disappointment be transformed into something brighter, lighter, and more meaningful so we do not carry that pain within us.

        8. Happy diversions are great, until they are not.

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          When a relationship ends, we may immerse ourselves in work, household projects, or hobbies. We become more social, trying to find new experiences, activities and people to fill the space in our lives left empty by the person we lost. In those moments we feel happy and excited to explore our interests and undertake new ventures. However, if we have not coped with the pain of a failed relationship, these happy diversions can bury feelings of hurt and sadness, until the day comes when they rise to the surface, putting us in a place of despair. Therefore, we should do those things that make us feel good about ourselves, while also processing the pain of a failed relationship.

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          Last Updated on September 28, 2020

          30 Powerful Success and Failure Quotes That Will Lead You to Success

          30 Powerful Success and Failure Quotes That Will Lead You to Success

          No one can live a positive life without failing. However, many people experience a fear of failure, despite its inevitability in life. Failure, as you will see from these 30 success and failure quotes, is the key ingredient for the recipe of success!

          Today’s society is obsessed with success and achievement, and failure is definitely NOT part of the equation. Failure and making mistakes is hidden away or seen as a human weakness.

          However, if you avoid making mistakes in life, struggle to do everything right, and are obsessed with perfection and order, then living and experiencing a successful and happy life is going to be impossible.

          Embrace your failure, whether it is one failure or many failures, because with the right attitude and a willingness to learn from your mistakes, you are guaranteed a lifetime of success. Here are some uplifting quotes about failure and success to help you get started.

          1. “Never let success get to your head; never let failure get to your heart.” -Anonymous

          This quote is important for those of us who feel downtrodden after every failure, heartbroken, if you will. If you let failure get you down for more than a couple of days, you’re wasting away your chance to bounce back from it.

          On the other hand, if you allow yourself to build an inflated ego after every success, future failures may be even harder to cope with. Maintain a sense of humility and gratitude for each success and failure you find.

          2. “Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie?” -Marilyn Monroe

          Marilyn Monroe is spot on with this one. The first person who should be there to catch you when you fall is you. You have to be your own best advocate, the person to build you up when it feels like everything is going wrong. The others in your support system are just icing on the cake.

          3. “You always pass failure on your way to success.” -Mickey Rooney

          In today’s competitive world, it’s hard to understand that almost no one experiences failure before they experience genuine, lasting success. Failure is what forces you to learn in order to achieve that goal you’ve been working up to.

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          4. “Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up.” -Chinese proverb

          Everyone falls. Those who refuse to pick themselves back up, no matter if it’s after two days or two years, are the true failures.

          5. “Successful people don’t fear failure but understand that it’s necessary to learn and grow from.” -Robert Kiyosaki

          There are many success and failure quotes on this idea, and that’s because it’s so very important. Learning doesn’t happen when things are easy. It happens when things get tough and you have to find a way through challenges.

          6. “The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.” -Barack Obama

          No one can escape failure. If you let it keep you down and shying away from achieving your goals, you’ve failed again. If you learn from it and continue on your path toward greatness, it wasn’t a true failure but a lesson.

          7. “Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough.” -Og Mandion

          Determination is one of the best antidotes to failure. Even if you take two steps forward and one step back, you’re still moving forward with grit and determination. Keep going!

          8. “Fear regret more than failure.” -Taryn Rose

          At the end of your life, what do you think you’ll feel worst about, failing or never trying?

          9. “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” -Nelson Mandela

          If anyone has enough insight to offer us success and failure quotes, it’s Nelson Mandela. He learned that that path to success (and freedom) is full of setbacks. His determination, however, led him to make amazing changes in the world around him. Now that’s success.

          10. “The secret of life is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.” -Paulo Coelho

          Each time you get back up, it will get easier and easier, and you’ll realize each time that those failures are the greatest lessons life will ever give you.

          11. “Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.” -Napoleon Hill

          Unfortunately, many people stop trying after a large failure comes their way. They lose their confidence, determination, and will. However, success usually follows quickly behind these huge failures because you’ve inevitably learned what not to do.

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          Don’t stop with the huge failure. Take a few more steps and see if it gets you where you wanted to go.

          12. I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” -Thomas Alva Edison

          Through his success and failure quotes, Thomas Edison shows us that failures are only truly failures if you don’t learn the lesson they offer.

          13. “It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” -Bill Gates

          Celebrating success feels good, but learning the lessons of failure is where growth occurs[1], which can lead you to even greater successes.

          14. “The only thing that separates success from failure is one last attempt. Try one more time and you will get lucky.” -Apoorve Dubey

          Every success comes from an attempt. If you don’t try one more time, you’ll never know if it could’ve been your big chance at big success.

          15. “Failure is a detour; not a dead-end street.” -Zig Ziglar

          Many people get impatient with failure. They feel that it’s a stopping point, or a road that’s too long to walk. However, the patience to take that new road is exactly what’s necessary to find success. If success is easy to find, it likely won’t last very long.

          16. “In the real world, very smart people fail, and mediocre people rise. Part of what makes people fail or succeed are skills that have nothing to do with IQ. Also, the idea that intelligence can be gauged by an IQ test is erroneous.” -Camille Paglia

          Failure is not a sign of a lack of intelligence, as Paglia suggests. Failure is a sign of great intelligence and great courage. She also points out the important point that intelligence takes many forms, and it’s often the grit and maturity to accept failure for the temporary setback that it is.

          17. “Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another stepping stone to greatness.” -Oprah Winfrey

          Queens will always be queens, no matter if they experience success or failure. And you will always be you, so use that to your advantage, and take the risk of failure in order to reach success.

          18. “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” -J.K. Rowling

          Living a life free of failure generally means you have lived a boring, uneventful life. Is it really worth it?

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          19. “You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.” -Richard Branson

          If you’ve ever watched a child learn to walk, you know that Branson’s success and failure quotes are true. Children are determined. They fall, and they get back up. And then they learn, and soon they’re running.

          20. “Success or failure is caused more by mental attitude than by mental capacity.” -Walter Scott

          Scott knows that intelligence is less of a determining factor in success than determination or ruthless optimism. Set yourself up for success by cultivating both.

          21. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again. That is why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan

          Michael Jordan knows failure, and yet we know him as an incredibly successful person. Why? Because he never let the failures stop him from moving on.

          22. “There comes a time in your life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Forget the bad, and focus on the good. Love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living.” -José N. Harris

          The secrets to success are pretty simple, and living a full life is only possible once you learn that getting up after a failure will bring a great sense of satisfaction and joy.

          23. “All people fail at certain instances in their lives, the only thing that makes them different is how they manage to stand up or how they choose to fail again.” -Unknown

          If you fail, you’re like the vast majority of the world. What makes you different is how you choose to respond.

          24. “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” -Robert Kennedy

          If you aim high, even if you fall short you’ll still likely be ahead of the majority of people. Take the time in life to fail greatly because that’s where you’ll find your true self.

          25. “Failure is good as long as it doesn’t become a habit.” -Michael Eisner

          If you continue to make the same mistakes, you’re not learning from your failures. This is when it becomes a destructive habit instead of a moment to propel you toward success.

          26. “If you are afraid of failure, you don’t deserve to be successful.” -Charles Barkley

          Only those who are willing to accept the hard emotions that come along with failure will be those who will enjoy the good feelings of genuine success.

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          27. “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. It is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead-end street.” -William A. Ward

          In his success and failure quotes, Ward points out something important. Failure is often seen as a death stroke, something that stops our success. If we shift our perspective and look upon failure as a teacher instead, we will likely feel very differently about those moments in our life and see that failure is delay, not death.

          28. “Courage allows the successful woman to fail and learn powerful lessons from the failure. So that in the end, she didn’t fail at all.” -Maya Angelou

          We’ve been here before. Failure is only failure if you don’t learn from it. Let yourself get a bad grade on the test; you’ll study differently next time. Let yourself fail at a relationship; you know how to build a healthier relationship next time.

          Every failure brings a lesson. Learn it and move on.

          29. “Good people are good because they’ve come to wisdom through failure. We get very little wisdom from success, you know.” -William Saroyan

          If you think of the moments you learned and grew the most, were they easy times or hard times? Challenges make us better, smarter people[2]. You don’t get wise through an easy life.

          30. “Don’t fear failure—not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.” -Bruce Lee

          If you try to achieve something great, even a failure feels like a success. At least you had the courage to try. That’s more than most can say.

          More Inspirational Quotes

          Featured photo credit: Gabrielle Henderson via unsplash.com

          Reference

          [1] Harvard Business Review: Strategies for Learning from Failure
          [2] Psychology Today: How Greater Challenges Help You Grow

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