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 through their fear and conquered their obstacle whether it was a mountain, Hades, Voldemort, or Law School. We are constantly being told these great stories of inspiration, and don’t get me wrong we love a good hero, but could the stories actually be hindering us? These stories start with a regular person, like us. First they are met with a great challenge, then they try to conquer the challenge before they are ready, they fail, they are inspired again, and then conquer the challenge. The end.

However, what about when we don’t conquer the challenge right away … or at all? 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? Absolutely NOT!

Who is to say that was the right path, anyway? Have you considered the fact that perhaps what was behind that door was harmful and you were steered 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. It is important to understand the lesson of failure to greater appreciate the lesson of winning. We like to believe we have our entire lives figured out “I will be a doctor, get married at 28, have 3 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…”.

We’d be remiss if we told you, we never failed. That is nearly impossible and if you know the secret trick to guaranteed success, then please let us know. However, we 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 either, but when it happens know there is value to it.

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