The Transformative Power of Failure

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“We seem to gain wisdom more readily through our failures than through our successes. We always think of failure as the antithesis of success, but it isn’t. Success often lies just the other side of failure.”

~ Leo F. Buscaglia

A New Way to Look at Failure

When something seemingly goes wrong, I don’t use the word “failure” anymore. Instead, I like to call it what I’ve come to see it as: a honing or tempering experience. I believe that the specific language we use creates an internal framework which influences how we perceive and experience our world. Therefore, I try to eliminate words such as “mistake”, “failure” and “wrong” from my vocabulary, replacing them with phrases such as “a learning experience”, “just one step along my journey” or “a clarifying experience”. For me, this kind of mental shift and self-soothing increases the probability that I’ll be able to see the benefit of an experience. Whenever I blame myself (or anyone else), not only does it feel bad, it keeps me from being able to see the value of my experience.

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