You’ve probably heard that life is a journey or that you are on the road of life. Looking at life as a road is a useful analogy, especially when you consider the relationship between success and failure. Without experiencing failure, you can’t succeed. Lasting success is the result of the road of life being paved with failures.
Failures offer valuable lessons if you look at them as opportunities to learn and grow. Failures aren’t roadblocks. But they can be essential detours that allow you to take the time needed for personal growth.
Failures teach you how to succeed by:
• Highlighting your Abilities
• Motivation Strategies
• Relieving Fear
• Elevating your Resilience
Highlighting your Abilities
Are you capable of success? Failures cause you to reconsider your skills and abilities and determine what you need to learn to achieve your goals. Your dreams and goals require a solid foundation. Failures help you build a foundation because it ensures that you have the skills and abilities you need.
Remember when you played baseball for the first time? New players rarely understand all the rules of the game or have the skills to catch every ball or hit a home run every time. It’s impossible to be a professional baseball player, or even a good recreational player, without practice. You wouldn’t need to practice if you never missed a signal, dropped the ball, or struck out. The road to success in sports is paved with the need to practice overcoming failures. Life, like sports, requires failures to show you what you need to learn to lead you to success.
Psychologists use an experiment called the “Marshmallow Test” to highlight patience and motivation. I this test, a child is given a marshmallow or other treat but told if they don’t eat it for five minutes, they can have two treats. If the child eats the marshmallow before they five minutes are up, they don’t get a second treat.
Success doesn’t happen overnight. Life goals require patience and motivation to achieve. In the Marshmallow Test, if the child eats the treat right away and still is given a second treat, they don’t learn to understand the motivation of patience.
A crafty child might try eating part of the first treat, hoping for a second one too. When they don’t receive a second treat, their failure motivates them to stick with the plan and earn the next treat. Life, like the Marshmallow Test, requires failures to teach motivation and patience.
The fear of failure is often greater than the failure itself. By experiencing failures, your road to success is paved with a better understanding of the consequences of your actions. You learn how to correct your mistakes so you can reach your goals. If you’re afraid to try because you fear failure, you can’t possibly succeed.
Elevating your Resilience
Success is rarely easy. There are often obstacles in the road of life. Failures, by showing you your capabilities, and motivating you to reach your goals, improve your resilience when you face life’s problems. Resilience is the ability to overcome setbacks and still reach your goals.
To follow the road of life to success, you need to be able to overcome obstacles. Failures turn obstacles from roadblocks into detours by providing you the opportunity to find solutions. If the first explorers in a new land saw every mountain, river, or forest as a roadblock, most countries would never have grown and developed. Instead, early explorers accepted their failures and found ways to detour around natural roadblocks, foraging new paths for the road of success.
The road of life can be bumpy. The road is not always straight and easy to navigate. Failures pave the road of life with opportunities for success to help you achieve your goals along the path.