How you respond to failure says a lot about who you are as a person, and ultimately, what your chances for success will be.

What kind of person are you? Are you the sort who gets frustrated at the first roadblock or hurdle that you’re confronted by? Do you throw your hands up in disgust and walk away the moment something goes from smooth sailing to hard?

If you are, then chances are good that you’re only going to find limited success in life, because the reality is that life is complicated. Life is chaotic and unpredictable, and often, something that seems like it should be easy is unexpectedly difficult. If you’re not comfortable enough in your own skin to deal with the aftermath of failure in a constructive manner, then the problem isn’t the world – it’s not going to change. The problem is you.

Learning to deal with failure and learning how to allow it to become a motivating influence in your life isn’t hard. It takes practice, which, by definition, means that it takes exposing yourself to failure in order to get the practice you need to get better at using it.

Even if you’re not a sports fan, think for a moment about the game of baseball.

Did you know that Ty Cobb holds the record as having the best batting average in the entire history of the sport? It’s true. His batting average is .366. Think about what that number means for just a moment.

When Ty Cobb, the undisputed rock star of the baseball world, the heavyweight champion of batting averages stepped up to the plate, he hit the ball about one time in three. Which means he failed about two thirds of the time. We’re talking about the guy who holds the record failing two thirds of the time.

With that kind of failure rate, why even bother to try, right? And if he’s the best, what does that say about the rest of those guys who aren’t as good?

In reality, that’s not at all how we see the rest of the professional baseball players of the world. They’re considered the best of the best, and that’s significant, because what it means is that success is hard. Success is rare, and the only time you see it is if you get back up when failure knocks you down and try again.

It’s a numbers game. Nothing more.

If you give up, then you are guaranteed to fail. It’s 100 percent likely.
But if you get up, dust yourself off, learn about why you failed and try again, that moves you one step closer to succeeding.

Keep that image in your mind the next time you’re thinking about giving up. Use it. Draw strength and encouragement from it, then get back up and try again. That’s the only way to succeed, whatever you’re trying to do. You can do it!