– by Wes Colton, Introvert Unbound
Are you trying to date or make friends but keep failing miserably in the process? If so, congrats!
No, I’m not making fun of you. I’m actually dead serious when I say those mini-disasters are some of the best things that can happen to you.
Of course, the frustration, humiliation, and isolation that often comes along with screwing up socially feels pretty awful in the moment. But if you succeeded at everything in life without trying, you’d never grow as a person.
Think about it this way: If you’d been great at dating since you were a teenager, you would’ve had no reason to evolve beyond the selfish, immature kid you likely were at the time. These rejections were—and still are—the perfect opportunity to work on your conversation skills, your exercise/diet/grooming, and your mindset.
Same thing with friends. If you could get along with anyone, you’d never have had to put in the effort to figure out who you truly are and the kind of people you actually click with. If you haven’t found those people yet, no big deal, it just means you’re in the process of figuring that out.
Or, say, at work you got promoted over and over again without putting in the time and effort to learn new skills. If that had happened, you’d still suck at your job and already have driven your company into the ground.
It’s these rough patches that force us to work on ourselves to get past them. It’s those last few reps at the gym when your arms are quivering that build the muscle.
Of course, failing over and over again can take its toll. If you feel sorry for yourself or spend all your time cursing the world, you’ll just descend deeper into the rabbit hole of anxiety and depression.
But if you look at these failures as welcome challenges to try to overcome and keep persevering towards your final goal, you’ll grow tremendously as a person, outpacing the vast majority of people alive today.
So the next time you don’t hear back from that text from a potential date, or your friends don’t invite you to that party, or you don’t get that raise at work, look at it as an opportunity to improve yourself, to make yourself stronger—and get that much closer to becoming the best version of yourself.
Wes Colton, founder and CEO of Introvert Unbound, is a master of failure. He encourages you to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org