Failure is a fact of life. When we try something that is particularly difficult or new to us, whether it is learning how to paint or landing a big client at work, sometimes we are not going to succeed in the way that we had hoped. Failing is difficult and generally viewed in a negative light, but in the big picture, and according to recent literature 1, it actually helps to strengthen mental wellness and resilience. Here are some of the reasons why failure can be positive if we learn to embrace it.
It Promotes the Development of Coping Skills
When someone fails, they learn how to fail. Failure is an inevitability in life, no matter how highly skilled a person may be. It is important to fail so that we can learn how to handle failure and not allow these setbacks to leave us feeling crushed or lead us to give up.
It Prevents Stagnation
Failure is a catalyst for change. It is easy to get set in our ways when everything is going smoothly, and we can stagnate, which can leave us feeling empty or unsatisfied, but when we fail at something, we are forced to step back and recalibrate, whether we are doing so in order to try again and be successful at the same thing, or are searching out a different way forward. Failure pushes us to rethink where we are and make positive changes.
It Increases Empathy
Experiencing failure or loss allows us to better relate to others’ struggles, increasing our capacity for empathy and compassion. This helps us to feel more connected to the world, and improves mental wellbeing and our ability to support our patients and loved ones. 2
It Proves that Failing is not the End of the World
There are lessons to be learned once we have experienced failure and come out the other side. The teachings may be unpleasant and difficult, may delay goals or force a change in paths, but failure is not, by any means, the end of anything. Rather, failure is an opportunity for growth and a new start.
Mental health is an integral part of our overall health, and can be strengthened through positive practices like mindfulness, acceptance of failure, and positive self-talk.3 Nutrition and lifestyle also play a major role in mental wellness. If you are interested in promoting mental health through natural methods, you may want to learn more about naturopathic medicine.