I recently started rock climbing or, to be more specific, bouldering. There are a number of different reasons for it, but chief among them is the desire to try something new in order to challenge myself.
Bouldering differs from traditional rock climbing in that there are no ropes. It is just you and the wall. There is something deeply symbolic in the simplicity of this challenge. While others may be able to give me advice from the ground, but ultimately there are really only two combatants.
The aspect of climbing that I really want to focus on right now is failure. When I climb, I fail. Not only do I fail, but I fail "epically" and constantly. This fact stands as one of the primary characteristics of bouldering.
This shadows our everyday lives directly because our lives are made up of all of our failures, both small and large, and our response to these disappointments. Every day we fail - it is inescapable! But I do not want to avoid failure for one main reason - our growth comes from our failure. In order to improve, we need these moments. We have to be shown our faults in order to overcome them because if we do not know the areas in which we need to improve, it will never happen.
When I fall while bouldering, I never see it as a sign that I am not good enough or that I do not know enough or even that everyone else is better than me. I just try again. And keep trying. Sometimes it is weeks before I can figure out one single climb out of hundreds.
The ability to fail and fail spectacularly is characteristic all humans share. Don't be discouraged if you fail at something because it only happens when you are trying. Instead of seeing it as a failure, look at it as an opportunity to learn. Otherwise, you will never grow or improve.
No matter what, don' quit on yourself. This can apply to your personal growth, your physical well-being, and/or your spiritual life. No part of our lives is perfect and we are all in this struggle together. You are the challenger in your own life so go out and climb and fall (maybe repeatedly in the same place), but never give up.