Failure can be disappointing, no question about it. When you don’t meet your own expectations, you might feel like dejectedly letting go of your aspirations and settling in. But there is one specific reason why trying out something and failing at it is highly valuable.
Short Answer: Experience.
Long Answer: When you are trying out something new, without even realizing you are picking up pieces of knowledge and skills that you might be taking for granted at the moment.
And then things fall apart. You realize that maybe your plans weren’t realistic enough. Maybe you didn’t have enough strength or the right strategies on the playing field.
You might be tempted to fall into feelings of disappointment.
However, the passage of time serves a purpose almost magical. Things that fell apart before now turn into offerings of building blocks for the next goals in your life.
Years later dots start to connect and you figure out how to use the small skills or tools you picked up along the way to build something bigger and stronger now. And this is all because of the renewed perspective on your old attempts that you would not have gained without trying.
This may be too abstract so I’ll give a small example, although this principle can be applied just as well to other areas of the human life. A few years ago I tried to pick up the habit of blogging regularly. I was inspired by other people I saw who were able to write and produce content each week.
However, after a while, I fell off the writing wagon. I couldn’t push myself to write anymore. There were many reasons why this writing habit wasn’t working for me that I didn’t understand back then.
For example, I didn’t understand about myself that more than producing weekly content, I was much more interested in writing off-schedule about things that I found valuable.
Back then I also didn’t understand well that if I am to do something creative, I should not depend on external validation to keep going. Just because you create something, doesn’t mean other people are obliged to give the creator their time and enjoy it too.
In fact, if you have to cater your creativity to people, then you must be willing to sacrifice your own desire of sharing what you want in favour of what people want to hear from you.
There were a lot of things about creativity, habit formation, and my own desires and intentions that I needed to learn about and understand before being able to successfully maintain a writing habit.
That process of trying out blogging helped me understand what things I liked or didn’t like, and what my priorities were exactly- why exactly I wanted to give importance to writing rather than just being inspired by other people to do it.
Years later, when I once again had the desire to start writing again, I had a much clearer vision for myself, and I also had a better idea of what strategies I needed to use to keep up with my hobby, and what I wanted my approach to a creative pursuit to look like.
A similar process occurred in my pursuit of many other goals. Back then it seemed like my efforts wouldn’t go anywhere. However, somewhere down the road, the pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place beyond all that you could have imagined in the past.
I believe that as long as you keep moving forward in life and reflect on your experiences, why certain things worked or didn’t work, then no matter how many times you fail in the goals you set for yourself, the journey would bring value sometime in the future- perhaps even unexpectedly so.
And if things don’t work out, after all, then that’s okay. That’s how life is sometimes and it only reminds you of your humanity. I believe that it is okay to sometimes hop on and off of these little side adventures that go nowhere but make for a more interesting life story.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”Steve Jobs
A key aspect of having “grit,” not being afraid to try new things and possibly fail. This has been one of the hardest things I’ve tried teaching my kids—because some people have this a little more naturally than others.
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Thank you for your comment, Danielle!
I guess some things just come to make sense with more life experience.
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I really enjoyed this! Lately as I reflect more on becoming a “blogger” I had to take notice about the things around me. That it wasn’t hard or difficult to become a blogger but that I did not have the experience that others had. Also, I had to recognize that I wasn’t willing to do some of the things others were doing in their attempts to make their life seem plausible. I know now that it will mold itself together when it does but for right now. I am going to work on the mediocre things so then I can learn and understand. I’ve been attempting to blog since 2017 and it’s been hard. But I don’t want to give up. I just want to get better at it. This is great!
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Wow, thank you for such a lovely comment Taylor! I appreciate it 🙂
I relate to your sentiment of settling to work on “mediocre things” for now. At one point I started daydreaming about what my ideal posts would look like and it slowed down my momentum, which wasn’t worth it. Good luck on your blogging journey!
By the way, if you feel comfortable, please do share your website! And thanks again for your very kind comment 🙂