Success is defined as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. Societal standards define clearly what the dream or goal should be. You should go to school (god forbid you to fail a class), find a job, be married by 25, and have children. This timeline does not leave room for error, thus condemning those who “fail” at any point. However, what if your aim or purpose was to grow as a person?
Personal growth can be maximized when you fail at something. Failing to meet your goals improves your critical thinking and problem-solving skills and gives insight into your ability to improve yourself.
We are all human. We have all failed from time to time. Recognizing that you cannot change what has happened but can change what you do with it will redefine your perception of failure.
There are two options:
- Internalize your failure, question your capabilities and possibly your value. You are creating a cycle of self-degradation and low self-esteem.
2. Accept that you have failed, reflect on the experience and learn critical lessons.
You are creating a habit of showing yourself compassion allowing you to analyze the situation and develop from it.
To choose option 2, you need to allow yourself to recognize your personal power. It is straightforward to get caught up in day-to-day life, feeling like you are going through the motions with no control over what happens. And you don’t have control over the outcome. But perception is reality, and you can control your perception. You are in control of your life, values, and thought patterns.
Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly
-John F. Kennedy
Going through life with the purpose of self-growth enables failures to be a catalyst toward success. Failure is inevitable, so use it to your advantage; to empower yourself to develop your insight, resilience, and character. Although society tells us otherwise, failure is not something to be feared. Failure shows that you dared to try something and that you are not afraid to be vulnerable. Reflect on some of your “failures,” evaluate if you chose option 1 or 2, and evaluate how they shaped you as a person. Do not fear failure or let it hold you back in the future. Go through life seizing every opportunity with confidence in yourself and the reassurance that you can succeed, even while experiencing “failure.”