A relieved Brett Ratten said past finals failures inspired Carlton to their thumping of Essendon in Sunday's elimination final at the MCG.
The Blues, who suffered narrow losses to Sydney and Brisbane in the past two finals series, thrashed the Bombers by 62 points to win their first final since 2001.
"I suppose it's mixed emotions," Ratten said after the match.
"Relief and very excited about what I've seen today and it was a great way to respond."
"Sometimes you have to taste disappointment to realise how far and how deep you have to push to get success."
"Our club's been through that, in '93 we lost a grand final, '94 out in straight sets and then '95 we had some real joy."
"Sometimes you've got to taste defeat to really know how much it hurts and I think the last couple of years have really helped our playing group."
Ratten said he used those past failures as motivation for his side and hopes they will now play with freedom having released the pressure.
"We didn't shy from it, we spoke about what they had to play for and what we had to play for and how desperate we had to be to try and win the game," he said.
"We spoke about it, we didn't overplay it, we didn't say 'this is make or break if we lose this final' or anything like that, but we just said 'just remember how much it did hurt and those."
"We thought if we could get over the first final it would relieve a bit of pressure from the group and this I certainly think will."
"Now the boys can play with some real freedom and that'll allow them to play more on instinct and go for it."
Ratten acknowledged the impressive games of Bret Thornton and Robert Warnock, but was most pleased with the evenness of his side's performance.
"I thought today we had 22 contributors across the board and we didn't have to carry anyone and that's what makes a team," he said.
"It's not about is Chris Judd best or Marc Murphy or (Michael) Jamison or these fellas it's the 22 and you can't depend on one and today I thought we depended on no one."
With the game all but wrapped up during the third term, Ratten admitted he already had one eye on next week's clash against West Coast at Patersons Stadium.
Key defender Jamison, who was under an injury cloud heading into the clash, was substituted and Ratten was pleased to give him a rest.
"To give him the rest was great, just with his preparation not to tax him too much and six-day turnaround to keep him nice and fresh," he said, after laughing at suggestions that he was going to be a late withdrawal.
The only downside to the victory was the shoulder injury to Bryce Gibbs with further scans to determine the extent on Monday.
"He's got a knock to the shoulder and we'll get that assessed tonight or tomorrow morning so I think we'll find out then what's going on with his shoulder," he said.
Ratten said ruckman Matthew Kreuzer was almost certain to play next week, while they are back to the drawing board with Jarrad Waite, who didn't play in the VFL.