Look differently at year-end failure and disappointment
If I had a magic wand I would probably have used it many times to safeguard my children from failure and disappointment. I would act like the fairy godmother that makes all bad things go away and only the good and easy remain.
However, I would have withheld important life experiences and lessons from them as well. I know most parents feel like me and wish they had the ability to protect their children from failure and disappointment. But since we ourselves did not escape these situations, I guess it is rather unrealistic to expect that I can put my kids in cotton wool and make their lives easy.
I wish for my children to have courage: Not to falter or give way, not to despair in the face of hopeless odds, to have the strength and stamina to achieve whatever they set their minds and wills to do. I take refuge in the quote from Peter Marshall, “When we long for life without difficulty, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure”.
Dr John Demartini, American human behaviour specialist, says, “If you are successful, you are on your way down, if you are a failure, you are on your way up.” People feel that they have failed when you did not achieve what you wanted to. We get disappointed when our expectations are not met.
Both these emotions can be painful, and most people do their best to avoid them. Yet these very painful emotions and experiences can turn out to be great blessings; they can serve as the building blocks for cementing resilience and emotional intelligence.
Let’s look at the drawbacks of feeling like a success to better understand the benefits of feeling like a failure, and disappointed. When you feel successful, you can become cocky, arrogant and self righteous. You can lose focus, be less motivated, try fewer things and reach your self-made ceiling.
The benefits of feeling like you are a failure and the accompanying feeling of disappointment are that you stay humble and more centred. You get more motivated, work harder, try harder and learn not to give in and up so easily. When you are successful, you stop your emotional growth and when you are a failure, you kick start your emotional growth.
Humans need challenge to grow and become more resilient and empowered.