What did The Little Engine That Could, Hercules, Harry Potter, and Elle Woods all have in common? Well, yep, you guessed it, perseverance and persistence. When things became difficult, they braved their fear and conquered their obstacle, whether it was a mountain, Hades, Voldemort, or Law School. We are constantly being told these incredible stories of inspiration, and don’t get me wrong, I love a good hero, but could the levels be hindering us? These stories start with a regular person like us. First, the person faces a great challenge, and then they try to conquer the challenge before they are ready, they fail, they have inspired again, and then conquer the challenge—the end.

However, what about when we need more time to conquer the challenge? Are we not heroes, then? Are we unrealistically expecting to meet these challenges? Then when we do not, do we let it hurt our confidence? If this resonates with you, know you are not alone. It happens to so many of us. Now what? Should you give up? Is life meaningless? NOT!

Who is to say that was the right path, anyway? Have you considered that perhaps what was behind that door was harmful and life pointed you in a better direction for a reason? Plus, there are many lessons to be learned from mistakes. If we constantly conquer our challenges, we narrow our chances to learn. Sometimes enduring failure is part of the process. Understanding the lesson of failure is essential to a greater appreciation of winning. We like to believe we have our entire lives figured out “I will be a doctor, get married at 28, have three kids, and have one million dollars by 30.” If only we were able to predict the future that easily. John Lennon said it best, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans…”.

I’d be remiss if I told you I always succeeded. That is nearly impossible, but if you know the secret trick to guaranteed success, please let me know. However, I have learned not only how to accept failure but also to learn and grow from it. This is not to say you should always aim to fail, but when it happens, know there is value to it.

The truth is that no one has more insight into what tomorrow will bring than you. This gives us all a level playing field. Feeling sad or let down when you fail is okay, and you should let yourself think that. However, remember that the sun will rise again, and the next day is full of new opportunities. Dust off your clothes, get up, try again, or change your course. Whatever you choose to do, know that by moving on, you are persevering and persisting through it all. At this point, you have become your hero, and that, my friends, is beautiful. Channel inner that Mariah Carey!