When Your Failure Is Your Best Mentor

Brad Bartlett
2 min readDec 22, 2023

We all fail — it’s how you react that determines your next step.

Failure. I totally get it. That moment when things just don’t go our way, no matter how hard we try.

Failure isn’t just a bump in the road — sometimes, it feels like the whole path has crumbled beneath us.

But what there’s a way to view these setbacks not just as mere obstacles, but as integral parts of a fulfilling journey?

Welcome to the Stoic way of navigating failure.

Your Failures Are Mentors

Stoicism, an ancient philosophy, doesn’t just tell us to ‘keep calm and carry on.’ It offers a robust, practical guide to flipping our perspective on failure.

The Stoics believed that it’s not the events themselves that disturb us, but the views we take of them.

So, when we face failure, it’s not the end of the story but a chance to rewrite the next chapter.

Rethinking Failure

Think about it this way: every failure is a lesson in disguise.

It’s an opportunity to practice virtues like patience, courage, and resilience.

Didn’t get that job? It’s a chance to reflect on what really matters in your career.

Messed up in a relationship? It’s a lesson in forgiveness and understanding, maybe even a nudge towards personal growth.

The Power of Amir Fati

The Stoics taught us about the concept of ‘Amor Fati’ — love of fate.

It means embracing everything that happens to us, including our failures, as necessary parts of our life’s narrative.

Imagine facing setbacks with a mindset that says, “This is exactly what I need right now to grow.”

Remember, while we can’t control what happens to us, we can control how we respond.

That’s where our real power lies.

Instead of asking, “Why did this happen to me?” we can ask, “What can this teach me?”

It’s about shifting from being a victim of circumstance to being an active participant in your own life.

I’ve been there, staring down the barrel of a big, fat failure and feeling like everything’s fallen apart.

But once I started seeing these moments as not just inevitable but essential, things began to change. I began to change. And you can too.

So, next time you’re faced with a setback, take a deep breath and think like a Stoic.

Embrace it, learn from it, and remember, you’re not just getting through it; you’re growing through it.



Brad Bartlett

Professional Freelance Copywriter. (www.bradleebartlett.co) Musings on #freelancing, #productivity, #self-development, and more!