Embracing the sting of failure may not sound enjoyable — but new research shows it’s the best way to learn from mistakes.
A study in the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making found that people who ruminated on their emotions about failure were likely to try harder to correct their mistakes than those who made excuses or didn’t let their failures bring them down.
This notion of feeling the pain in order to progress may be counterintuitive to those who believe in shaking off failures. But it’s actually motivating to learn how bad it feels to fail, according to study co-author Selin Malkoc, a marketing professor at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.
“All the advice tells you not to dwell on your mistakes, to not feel bad,” Malkoc said, according to a press release. “But we found the opposite. When faced with a failure, it is better to focus on one’s emotions — when people concentrate on how bad they feel and how they don’t want to experience these feelings again, they are more likely to try harder the next time.”