Existential Psychology

Courting Failure

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If you fail on your first twenty endeavors and find great success on your twenty-first then down the road you will probably end up considering yourself a success and so will everyone else. This is the power of the narratives we tell ourselves and others, where we have the opportunity to pick isolated data points and apply them globally, ignoring the data points that don’t fit our story.

This is why if you can take a step back and not let yourself get caught up in the moment, the prospect of failure will hold little power over you and you’ll feel more free to just go for it, come what may. You will have countless more opportunities to redeem yourself and your temporary failure will just be a distant point in time that recedes to the background of your life narrative.

Our culture is obsessed with outward success. Many people miss the fact that you can learn just as much if not more from failure. Knowing what not to do is every bit as potent for your future success as knowing what to do. As long as you have the mindful intention to look honestly at what went wrong and are willing to take a different route on the next go around, failure will be your ally.

There is no reason to fear failure because it’s only permanent if you allow it to be, staying down instead of getting back up and trying again. Don’t let yourself or anyone else convince you that a failed endeavor means you are a failure as a person. Use the experience as fuel to propel you forward and help you find success on the next go around.

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