Excerpted from: If Success Is a Game, These are the Rules,
And written by: Cherie Carter-Scott, Ph.D.
Success and failure are inextricably entwined as the moon and the tide, the mountains and the valleys, and the sunshine and the rain. Just as nature provides a sense of balance in the natural world, the universe provides equilibrium in the human realm through the experiences of highs and lows.
There is sound reason behind the adage that claims you cannot know the sweetness of success unless you have tasted the bitterness of failure. You cannot fully appreciate the joy of fulfillment unless you have traveled through the eye of adversity, been seriously defeated by setbacks, or had the crushing wave of disappointment knock you down so that you actually considered not getting up again.
Nearly every person who has ever succeeded has experienced setbacks. Perhaps they witnessed their dreams shattered, their aspirations scorned and ridiculed, or their goals dashed against the bricks of financial institutions. They have had to deal with frustrations, rejection, and disappointment and learn ways to rebound from their setbacks.
Most of us would prefer an obstacle-free, totally supportive, no-limit life. Who would not rather succeed brilliantly each and every time? But, as most of us are all too aware, life is simply not like that. There are hurdles to cross, roadblocks around which to maneuver, and, at times, setbacks from which to recover.
There will be times as you travel your path that you encounter obstacles. As you make your way, there is always the potential that you will fall, scrape your knees, and perhaps even careen off the embankment. Most likely you will experience moments that look like failure, that feel too overwhelming to face.
The challenge in those moments is to tap your source of determination so that you can pick yourself up, dust off the grit of embarrassment, wounded pride, or shaken confidence, and move forward. Of course, you will need to take the time to process your experience first, so that you may heal properly, and so that you can gain perspective and learn from what happened.
If you are going to succeed in life and consequently be fulfilled, then you must face the disappointments and failures that life deals you and discover the value inherent in them. No one likes disappointments, and no one likes to miss their mark. The wise ones, however, are not the ones who never falter. They are the ones who do and who use those setbacks as opportunities to grow so that they may venture forward toward future success.