Everyone aspires to be successful in life, but despite our best efforts to achieve our goals, sometimes we stumble and fail. No one likes this feeling – it’s humiliating, demeaning and heartbreaking. We take it as proof of our inadequacy and believe that we are just not good enough. Afraid that we might experience it all over again, sometimes we choose not to try again at the expense of our dreams. It can break us down, make us feel more vulnerable than ever, and maybe even lead us down the rabbit hole of depression.
In 2018, a Forbes article mentioned the results of psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky’s study of why we are so averse to failure. In their work, they explained that “… the effect of the loss is twice as large as the gain of a victory.” It affects us very negatively, even more than the positive impact we gain from success. From our childhood we have been trained to do good. Anything that deviates from this standard is a failure. That’s why we don’t even entertain the idea of failure.
However, we will inevitably suffer setbacks from time to time, and we have to learn that all is well. Depending on how you deal with failure, you may come out of it as an improved version of yourself. What we don’t realize is that setbacks are valuable experiences that can teach us things that other experiences can’t. We need to practice examining the silver lining of every failure because the only alternative may cost us too much.
Here are a few reasons why chess is really good for us:
1. It gives you directions.
Sometimes we make decisions based only on what we want, not what is good for us. When we fail, we have the opportunity to reconsider our decisions. Perhaps, we stumbled because we took the wrong path. Ask yourself the following questions: What went wrong? Where did I make a mistake? How can I change the result next time? By asking these questions, we gain a sense of clarity. We learn and we have the opportunity to redirect our attention because we realize that this is not our path.
2. It teaches you a lot of things.
When was the last time you failed? What did you learn from this? When you take on a new activity, you give it your all and enjoy it, right? Whatever we do, win or lose, we always end with a new learning experience. Chess cannot take these lessons away. It can be a better understanding of how things work or what went wrong on the first attempt.
Always remember that you never really lose out when trying new things. You always get something out of it. Realize that trying and failing are two of the best teachers you can have. Take every chance to learn from these experiences.
READ ALSO: 10 Helpful Ways To Recover From Failure
3. It builds your character.
Chess is tough, but Kelly Clarkson knew what she was saying when she sang “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger.” It can pull you apart and make you feel really sad and disappointed. But there is nothing that can build your character better than moments of humble failure.
When we fail, we learn to be responsible for our actions. We take responsibility for our decisions and have enough knowledge to work smarter next time. The next time we fail, we will collapse a little less because we have become stronger. Success doesn’t teach you that.
4. It can make you more courageous.
It’s hard to bounce back from setbacks, but it can become less intimidating once we learn how to deal with it. This is really important because failure feeds our fears. And, when we’re afraid of things, we become less likely to take significant risks in moving forward.
If you can handle failures well, you will feel more confident the next time you try again. Just knowing that you have been able to overcome your previous setbacks is a powerful experience.
READ ALSO: 12 Motivational Ways To Overcome Fear Of Failure
5. It’s so much better than not trying.
Do you know what is really bad? Regrets. Not knowing what might have happened if you tried is more than learning from failure. It will be so much easier for you to move forward, knowing that you have tried and given the best of yourself. Failure can teach you things, while regrets leave you with unanswered questions.
6. It makes your success sweeter.
Vera Wang, Thomas Edison, Oprah Winfrey and Sir Isaac Newton – do you know what these people have in common? They have failed at least once in their life, as students or professionals, before regaining their current status in life and after death. Walt Disney was fired once because he had “no good ideas” and failed in a handful of businesses before successfully releasing his movie “Snow White”. Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks, has been rejected by over 200 investors; Elvis Presley was told he couldn’t sing; and Albert Einstein almost failed school.
Your head might be spinning because these names are all household names. Do you know what else they all have in common? They all kept trying. To hear from a person who has tried once and succeeded right away is amazing, but to hear the story of a person who has tried several times before achieving success? Now that’s inspiring.
Success is not easy for most people, and most people think that failure is a shameful thing to experience. However, literally everyone experiences it. Even those who are very successful have had setbacks in the past. It’s okay – it’s okay to fail. It is naturally difficult to go through, and sometimes it can seem like the end of our professional or personal endeavors. But we hope you’ve realized by now that failure is a skill. If you’re good at it, the payouts are really great. So let yourself fail gracefully. Go take risks. Allow yourself to stumble and embrace the new things you learn. Keep in mind that success is only a few more failures away – just be smart.