How a setback pushed us forward

Our instinct (and a lot of the time our culture) tells us that we should be ashamed of failure. However, this is not an approach that will result in a change for the better, and it certainly will not improve your well-being, so today we will focus on what failures are, how to understand them and what we can do to make the best of it.

Since childhood, we have lived in a culture that glorifies success and disparages stumbling blocks – as if the two elements function separately. Such a close-minded perspective ignores the most important part of any plans, which is the process. The state between the beginning and the end of our path is the where we can learn the most and grow the most as a human being.

Sources such as tabloids or other media should never be a determinant of our well-being, and it is no different in this case. If we all lived according to their commandments from infancy, most of us would never learn to walk or hit the mouth with a spoon – after all, a fall or a stain is a failure, and after failure, we should hide in the shadows and surrender. Meanwhile, each of us has made dozens of attempts, each of which contributed to our ultimate success.

Fear of failure

The key to success is accepting the lapses we experience along the way. Understanding that the “failure” you have experienced is not a, permanent state, but an opportunity to learn and draw conclusions. Why i it so difficult to recognize it as useful? The main reason is the fear of failure that grows in us from childhood. Over time, our environment becomes less and less forgiving of mistakes, and the requirements they make grow. Competition and competition occur on many different levels, especially in school and work, where only one person becomes the “winner” and the rest are referred to as the losers. Unfortunately, not all of us are taught that someone else’s success should not be classified as our failure. This is the main factor preventing fear from taking action – none of us want to feel inferior, so it is safer to give up.

The catch is that being stuck in this state, which tempts with security, we take away the opportunity to develop and achieve satisfaction or happiness. Therefore, instead of being afraid of the science that awaits us when trying something new or unfavorable opinions from third parties, let’s try to look at it from a broader perspective.

Understanding failure

Above all, it’s important to remember that failure doesn’t define us. It may be severe or unpleasant, but it is only a small part of our whole journey, the end of which we do not know yet. Let’s allow ourselves to make every mistake become a positive stimulus for learning, which will only ignite our curiosity and motivation. Let us try to work on our thinking about failure until we stop seeing it as something negative and definitive. The moment when we understand that each of the obstacles is actually another level of self-improvement, is the moment when we will be able to implement our plans with the greatest calm and confidence.

If these arguments are not enough for you – we encourage you to read the biographies of people who are now considered successful. The biggest names in the world of business, culture and art. The vast majority of them eagerly talk about overcome adversities and moments of doubt, describe the bumpy road of their development. And we look at their experiences with admiration, because they have often shown exceptional determination and acceptance. Then why not take an example from them?

Random events and wrong conclusions

The situations discussed earlier concerned the state in which we are aware of a mistake made by us or insufficient knowledge at a given moment. However, in our lives there are also situations that could not be predicted and prevented in advance – random events. As human beings, we tend to see dependencies even where they don’t actually exist – this phenomenon is called the representativeness heuristic. Drawing conclusions about a topic or a person based on just a few observations or a few attributes, and omitting statistical data – it can give you a completely skewed picture of yourself as well.

The use of the representativeness heuristic may be the reason for misperceiving patterns in everyday life. When events are determined by chance, such as in a series of coin tosses, people expect the resulting order of heads and tails to be representative of what they consider random. Unfortunately, people don’t have an exact perception of what a random sequence looks like. When they see the result of a random process, they often discover patterns that they think are of great importance but are actually caused by chance. You can toss the coin three times and throw tails each time and you will conclude that there is something strange about this coin. In fact, if you were to flip the coin multiple times, it would not be unusual for tails to appear three times in a row.

Random events cannot be fully predicted in order to be fully prepared for their course and consequences. For some of our activities, we can consider the risks associated with the task and prepare contingency plans. But if this event was unpredictable, then all we have to do is re-accept, draw conclusions, and learn from the situation. These three steps, interspersed with failures and lapses, are the way to success.

Overcoming adversity

All your failures – look at them with love. Especially self-love, if the failure was a result of our action. Our intentions were good, but something along the way did not allow us to finish smoothly. With the new knowledge we have gained, we will make even better decisions or develop a completely new method that would go undiscovered without failure. And although this vision seems utopian, it is quite possible, but it requires work and experience, including unpleasant ones.

At the same time, it does not mean that we cannot get angry or cry, and all blows should be borne with a smile. The only thing is to become stronger and more hungry for knowledge in our field after a crisis. Where to start?

The first step is unpleasant but necessary: admitting (to ourselves and / or others) that it was our mistake, we made it, and we are responsible for it. Of course, it is inconvenient and it would be better to find the cause in someone else, but not taking responsibility for our actions, we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to develop – by fully engaging in the mistakes we make, we will understand them better and fix them. The next step is to determine exactly where the mistake was made, what it consisted of, and what new solution could prevent further stumbles. A learner’s approach with a high degree of interest and understanding will be helpful. Other qualities that improve the ability to correct one’s mistakes are humility and courage – we remember that we are not perfect, but still make another attempt. We are aware that failures are an integral part of self-development.

We have failed, too

An impulse to create this article was a recent event that we had to deal with here at Purnama Rituals. As some of you know, in mid-March there was a fire in a server room, as a result of which our website did not work to its full extent. It was a random event, that is, one that was beyond our direct control. Even so, as we are all human beings, we have experienced resentment, stress and insecurity. We had to act fast and learn new skills just as quickly to solve all the problems that the fire caused. In addition to these new abilities, it also opened our eyes to aspects we hadn’t seen before. We now know that the Purnama Rituals team consists of many more people than we used to think, that these people are capable of doing things previously considered impossible, and that we are able to survive much more than we suspected.

And most of all – it showed us that we managed to create an amazing community that surrounded us with support and care in the most difficult moment so far. We thank you for that. Therefore, we hope that this experience and his compassion will not be wasted and will give strength not only to us as a company, but also to our entire community.


full of gratitude,
Purnama Rituals team