This post was published on The Huffington Post
Failure is all too often seen as a weakness in our society and as something you should be embarrassed of. Failure technically means the exact opposite of winning, but they are two sides of a coin — one wouldn’t exist without the other.
How can you possibly define your own success if you’ve never failed? The countless “failures” I’ve had over the course of my life have shaped me into the person who I am today and contributed to my successes.
It was Henry Ford who said: “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” It means that every time you fail at something, you’ve learnt a specific way how not to complete your goal, which in turn will bring you closer to that goal.
Every time you fail it can feel like a blockade which slows you down or even stops you from moving into the future you want for yourself. Emotions usually get the best of us and we will feel disappointment, anger, sadness and defeat when we fail at something. This is often because we don’t have the patience to wait for success in this 21st century life of instant gratification.
How would you feel if you’d try something relatively simple every single day for more than a year and fail every single time? I bet most of us would give up and admit defeat. Now think all the way back to when you were a baby. How many tries did it take you to start walking — the numerous amount of times you would have stumbled and fell within that year would be enough for most adults to give up completely. But because you persisted as a baby — with no concept of success or failure — you will walk through life all the way until the end of your days (barring unforeseen circumstances, of course).
My method to overcome the feelings of despair and defeat is to create a point of reference, within myself. A viewpoint which allows me to put failures into perspective. It’s important to have this point of reference created from your own experiences in your life and never compare your situation with other people. No two stories are the same so do not use those of others to compare yourself against.
Stay inside of your own reality because we all have different skills, talents, surroundings, interests, opportunities and beliefs. Do not compare yourself to anyone, measure your own progress by counting your failures and realising how they’ve all contributed to your successes, big and small.