The trouble with progress is that we feel like it should only have one direction: up. The problem with this thought process is that the moment we plateau or – heaven forbid – go backwards, we believe we are a failure. We need to remind ourselves that progress is a layered and multifaceted experience; it is filled with peaks and valleys, rapid updrafts and even the occasional landslide. But these setbacks do not stop us from progressing. In fact, these moments are actually beneficial to our growth and our journey. Challenges and failures provide us with opportunity to develop our skills, problem solve and reflect on our performance. Rarely do we reflect on our success with the same introspection or depth that we do our failures.
Failure also provides wonderful perspective. Though it might be cliche, the assertion that there cannot be light without darkness rings true. Those moments of adversity intensify our appreciation of success when we achieve it. To fail also implies that you are challenging yourself and working outside of your comfort zone. This is the zone in which you will develop and improve your skills; in other words, if you’re not failing then you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough.
Success leaves clues; so does failure. So in those moments when you feel as though you are sliding backwards, remember: the view from the top of the canyon is ultimately more rewarding than from the plain.