“Failure leads to success.” By now you’ve heard this phrase so many times that it’s probably become a cliche. Even so, it can be a bit misleading. While it’s true that learning from setbacks can put us on the path towards accomplishing our current goal, sometimes failure can be so devastating that old dreams have to be scrapped and new ones instated to take their place. When confronted with this harsh reality, even acknowledging that we’ve failed can be painfully difficult. But it’s not for nothing. Learning how to properly acknowledge, reflect on, and grow from our failures is invaluable in helping us achieve our current goals or whatever goals we choose to set next.
The Difficulty of Acknowledging Failure
The process of growing from our failures begins with acknowledging that we’ve failed at all. This sounds easy enough on paper. After all, if we’ve invested countless hours into achieving a goal, shouldn’t it be obvious when we’ve fallen short?
Well, not always. Keep in mind that we experience failure to varying degrees, and failing to achieve an especially large goal can be harder to accept than failing to achieve a smaller one. For instance, if a business misses the mark on a profitable third quarter, recovering can be as simple as acknowledging what went wrong, applying what was learned, and returning for a stronger fourth quarter.
But imagine that the business goes under and its owners go bankrupt. A sweeping amount of time, effort, resources, and passion went into that business. Its owners may have skipped out on potential relationships, experiences, and even entirely different dreams. Such an instance of failure is extremely painful, and trying to reframe the experience as a stepping stone to success does little to soften the blow.
Then there’s the matter of how we think our failures will be perceived by others. We’ve been conditioned to compare ourselves to others in order to build self-esteem (even though there are better, healthier ways of doing it). So when we fail, we naturally feel compelled to avoid the pain of scrutiny by refusing to acknowledge what’s occurred. This is often the toughest aspect of failure for people to deal with, which makes it all the more important to be aware of and confront.
The Importance of Acknowledging Failure
A reality in which we’ve failed is a difficult one to accept, but that’s precisely what makes acknowledging our failures so important: it sets us on the path towards reflecting on and growing from the experience. If we continue to deny that we’ve failed—or, just as bad, pin our failures on someone or something else—we’re only prolonging our pain and robbing ourselves of the chance to grow and become stronger. Once the recovery process has begun, we can get back on track toward accomplishing the same goal or entirely new ones. In either case, we’ll be approaching our dreams with the increased wisdom, resilience, and motivation that comes from leaning into the learning.
Growing Stronger Every Day
At Oats Overnight, we believe that leaning into learning is the recipe for personal growth and success. Embracing setbacks and growing from our mistakes is how we got started and how we desire to move forward each day. We invite you to do the same and pursue your own goals as the strongest version of yourself, fueled by a premium breakfast and backed by a community whose members help one another overcome the challenges of daily life.
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