Pain & Failure Is Good For You – So go through it

Have you ever had a big dream or a goal – something that you were really super-excited about, and every time you thought about it, it just fired you up and made you feel like anything was possible?

So what happened? Why didn’t you go out there and do it? Was it maybe because the enormity of the vision in your mind scared you a little? Were you afraid that it was SO big, that you couldn’t possibly pull it off? Were you afraid that if you tried it and it didn’t work, that you’d just be devastated?

You see, for a lot of people, the fear that we might fail at something that is really important to us is enough to prevent us from ever even starting. We’re so afraid that it won’t work, that we don’t even try to make it work. We doom ourselves – and our biggest dreams – before we’ve even begun.

Now, why is this? Why are we so afraid of failure? Why do we think that failure is such a bad thing?

Obviously, failure can hurt. It bruises the ego a whole awful lot and this can make a lot of people want to shut down their dreams to avoid risking further pain.

The real truth, though, is that most of our mistakes cannot really be said to have such obvious redemptive power. Most of the time, we simply lose time. We retrace our steps. We let friends fall away; we hurt our families. We do idiotic things in our work. We make mistakes from which we learn and, more often, mistakes from which we fail to learn. Aware of our errors, but frequently unable to do better, we hang our heads.

Pain is one of the best teachers we can have when it comes to our body, mind, and work.

In fact, pain, failure and darkness serve a very useful purpose of helping us transform, given we know the steps to take.

In the end, our success in life depends on how we view pain, failure, and darkness because I believe they’re the best teachers of all.

Behind every success story is an embarrassing first effort, a stumble, a setback or a radical change of direction. It’s these first clumsy steps on the road to fame and fortune that fascinate writer Seth Fiegerman, who edits the blog OpeningLines.org, a collection of case studies on the origins of famous careers.

“When you see someone who’s very successful, you almost imagine that it was a foregone conclusion, that they’re a genius, that they were destined for great things,” says Fiegerman, who began the blog in 2009, after an early setback in his own career. “I think the big takeaway is failure and setbacks, far from being uncommon, are in many ways essential.”

First, Tell the truth and feel the pain

Is it hard to get started on experiencing all that truth and pain and humiliation? Do you find you’re haunted by a disappointment but not doing much about it? One of my favorite tricks is to sit down and write out the experience. Journal the whole story, what really happened, until you start to feel it, the real emotion underneath.

Does it really make a difference to write it out? Wouldn’t you get the same benefit from thinking about it or maybe just jotting down some lessons for the future? Nope. 

In the end, it’s not about the failure; it’s about how you react. So go ahead, write it out, imagine yourself as a big loser, can you possibly tolerate what it would feel like to be that person? Try on the feeling of giving up the dream. See how angry that makes you. Will you close the curtains and turn off the light, curling up in the fetal position and giving up? Or will you get so fucking angry that you turn your failure into fresh determination and desire?

Accept how you feel.

When you’ve just failed it will most likely hurt. Sometimes a bit. Sometimes a lot.

That’s OK. Don’t try to push it away by distracting yourself or by trying to push the responsibility onto the rest of the world (if you deep down know that this one’s on you partly or fully). And don’t try to paint it over with a smile.

I’ve found that it works better to not let yourself be lead away by those options or impulses.

But to just be with what I’m thinking and feeling. To try to accept it, to let it in and to hurt for a while instead of trying to reject it all and to keep it away.

Because when you let it in and accept it then it will go faster and in the long run be less painful to process what has happened.

If you reject how you really feel then those emotions will pop up at unexpected times later on and can make you moody, pessimistic, angry or sad.

Remember: you’re not a failure just because you had a setback.

When you’ve had a setback it’s very easy to start thinking that you will always keep failing in this area of your life. It’s easy to start thinking that YOU are indeed a failure.

Don’t fall for such a destructive and sometimes seductive self-fulfilling prophecy.

Instead, remind yourself that:

  • Just because you failed today or yesterday doesn’t mean that you’ll fail the next time.
  • The truth is that this won’t last for the rest of your life if you keep moving forward, if you take action and you keep learning and it doesn’t label you as some kind of failure (except if you decide to create that label in your own head).

Seeing what’s negative as a temporary thing instead of something permanent is an essential key to an optimistic attitude and to keep going forward in life.

Success is a process (that includes failure)

We need to start thinking of failure as a normal part of the process that is success. What if, for example, multiple failures are actually stepping stones to that big dream that we’re after? What if it’s getting through those failures that provide us with the building blocks that we need to create our path to success?

In Failure & Pain We Grow

In the struggles and the hard times that we are faced with and go through in life when we come out of them in the end, Do we remain the same? No, we learn from the experience and we grow as individuals who have been battle-tested. We ultimately become a stronger version of ourselves because we have faced such adversities, such trials that life has given to us.

When we fail at something do we come back from it the same as before we failed at it? No we come back stronger and having learned from our mistakes, so keep on failing to learn and become wiser, pain is your ally because without pain we cannot grow. 


Look at it as a chance to face down your fears

Sometimes, it isn’t even the failure itself that scares people; it’s the fear of failing that holds them back from doing something. But, overcoming failure is also a chance to face down your fears. It’s a chance to overcome that innate desire to run far away and cower in some corner.

The pain-pleasure paradigm is very real. We will always do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure. But, when we can leverage that knowledge and overcome our fears to achieve our goals, a transformational shift occurs. There’s an incredible feeling that goes along with it, and it’s an invaluable experience to pave the way for a lifetime of achieving goals.

Use failure as a learning experience

When we fail, it should be a chance to learn from our mistakes. When we can use that knowledge, put it behind our belts, and push forward, some tremendous things can happen. There are a number of ways we can actually learn from the failure, but in order to do so, we need to look at the failure objectively, like an outsider looking in.

Ask yourself why you failed. Where did you go wrong? What could you have done differently? Was it your plan? Was it because you failed to see something you should have seen? Did a bad habit do you in? Really look at it objectively and learn from it. Use that knowledge to improve yourself and try again. As long as you don’t give up, you can always overcome failure to achieve your goals.

Allowing yourself to fail

Also remember that if you never try anything new, you’ll never do anything new, either. It takes a certain amount of risk and a certain amount of fear to build the extraordinary; big dreams never get built in people’s comfort zones, and if you want to achieve great things in your life, you have to realize that you’re not going to be great at it right out of the gate. No one is. You learn by doing, as you go along, and as you make mistakes and fail.

Give yourself that gift. Allow yourself to try new things, and be prepared to embrace your inevitable failures. Celebrate them, even. Because they mean that you are on your way to creating your own magnificent thing – they’re a measure of your willingness to do what it takes to build your biggest dreams.

And if you’re willing to learn from them, your failures will only serve to help you on your quest to create a life that really means something to you. Failure is a good thing. Shift your perspective on this one, and it will change your life.

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Final Take

So allow yourself to fail, don’t be afraid to fail and don’t be afraid to go through a little pain, life revolves around both change and pain and nothing is meant to last forever, yes that means your pain and through our pain we grow and become stronger versions of ourselves. So don’t be afraid to take risks and fail once or twice and it’s all a part of life. 

Remember that…

“Pain is only temporary, Pride is forever”

So don’t be afraid of a little pain okay?

Did you take anything from this Article? Did it help you in any kind of way? If you found and took something away from this Article i would love to know your opinions in the comment section below and remember – Don’t be afraid to feel a little pain. 

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