I played a lot of baseball as a teen. Hundreds of games and almost zero spring breaks without a game. Baseball was a big part of my life for a long time, and so was failure.
If you don’t know already, baseball is all about failure. Professionals get paid millions of dollars to hit a baseball three out of ten times. That's a 30% success rate, unheard-of in other sports. But, there's a secret sauce to the madness, and you need a baseball lover’s eye to see it.
Failure is what makes the game enlightening.
At bat after bat, pitch after pitch, every action influences the next, and every failed move triggers a reaction. If you're paying attention, you can use these rapid changes to win the game.
You see, when you realize that failure is an asset, not a liability, you focus your energy on a growth mindset.
Growth means learning, learning means listening, and listening means adapting. Over time you create a treasure chest of experience and knowledge that didn’t exist before. You learn to make better decisions, and in the long run you live a better life.
The secret is to embrace failure, bearing in mind that your experience may lead you to a better path forward.
Here are 5 ways to make use of failure in your life:
#1 All things heal in time if you let them.
Time can be a precious gift when you need to heal. By creating space, you allow yourself to digest emotions, reflect on your experience and move toward insight and balance, with one caveat. In order to succeed, you must be a willing participant in the process, accepting what you learn and integrating that learning into your life.
#2 Failure gives you a new lens to look at your life.
Every time you "fail" – every time a door closes - another door opens. New lenses and pathways appear, and they help you see the big picture more clearly. When you learn that the deeper nature of failure is progress, distress turns to calm.
#3 Discouragement cramps your creativity.
Lower vibrational thoughts and emotions throw your energy out of balance and disrupt your creativity. Give yourself permission to feel your feelings safely, no matter whether they're negative or positive. At the same time, it’s important not to dwell on negative feelings.
#4 Don't leave road-kill.
In anyone’s life, failure will happen, big and small. Failure is a great teacher. However, be careful. It’s important to clear away remnants of failure that can sabotage progress. When you fail in a relationship or a project, become aware of the pieces that may need to be put aside. The last thing you want is a residue of anger or disappointment that will affect other parts of your life.
#5 Be okay with life’s imperfection.
Take a moment to imagine a beautiful scene in nature. Do you see perfection? How do you define perfection, or for that matter beauty? You attempt to create the ideal, but in the end you have to let it go in order to achieve the best result. Like plants and trees that reach for the sun, you reach for your ideal, but you’ll never be able to fully touch it.