Find Growth in Failure

Because of the way many of us view personal development, we often find ourselves faced with the challenges of growth. If you’ve set goals for yourself and have felt the sting of disappointment, how do you move forward? Is falling on the journey failure? 

First, let’s define failure. One dictionary defines failure as a lack of success. Another definition is ‘the state of not meeting a certain intended objective’. In either case, the definitions seem to suggest an ending has occurred; a finality of some path that ends in an incomplete. 

When it comes to personal development, there is no ending. It’s a continuous path, with peaks, valleys, and plateaus. Hence, any falls along the way, any mishaps or pauses cannot be considered failures as long as you still believe that you are a work in progress.

With that in mind, what’s the best way to handle those moments when we feel like we’ve failed? First, think about the journey. How far have you come? How much have you changed? What goals have you already achieved? Every fall is an opportunity to reflect on the path behind you. Falling also means that you are in motion, and that’s always good. 

Celebrate your motion and take a moment to recalibrate and gather your thoughts. Get up and keep going. You are not a failure, you are functioning in flow. Falling forward is not failure; it’s growth.

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View Comments(2)
  • Cassi
    4 April, 2024at 12:29 pm

    The word “fail” was repeatedly used recently as an attempt to “encourage”. That I can keep going and “fail” and it’s “no big deal”. Ever since, the sound of that word has been ringing in my mind and heart. Your post helped me to round out the helpful part of that recent advice. As a runner, I appreciate the value of falling as long as you catch yourself. Because that is all running is…. Catching one quick fall after another…. And I want to keep running

    1. Brett Torrey Haynes Author
      Brett Torrey Haynes
      4 April, 2024at 4:30 pm

      Comparing running to controlled falling is brilliant, Cassi. I find that those who are quick to dismiss the struggles that naturally come with growth are those who have not yet discovered how rewarding growing can be. If you don’t understand the reward, how can you appreciate the journey?

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