The measure of a person, it’s been said, has less to do with how one manages success, as it is how one deals with failure. Failure is an inevitable part of our journey through life and work. Unfortunately, most of us really don’t respond productively to it – we get depressed; we get angry; we go into denial – we get frightened of it.

Here are three reasons why you should get excited when things don’t work out the way you are hoping:

1. You’re closer to your destination

Failure sheds light on your path. It illuminates stumbling blocks, stepping stones and low hanging branches you hadn’t seen before. Armed with this vision, your likelihood of success is much greater the next time you try.

2. Failure means you’re trying

One of the most common strategies people use to avoid failure is to simply not try. The downside of this approach, of course, is that by not trying you guarantee you will never achieve anything.

3. Failure can be a wonderfully grounding experience

For those who have the courage to not wallow in denial, one of the by-products of failure is introspection. When we fail, we begin to question our assumptions. We start questioning our understanding of things, and the adequacy of our knowledge. It is in the answers to these questions that we often learn the most about ourselves and the world around us.

So the next time you encounter one of life’s little roadblocks, take heart. It could turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

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