The road to success is paved with failure, and the most successful people have usually failed multiple times in their climb to the top. It could be argued that achieving a high level of success is virtually impossible without some form of failure.

Sometimes the most important lessons in life are learned from failure. A successful college coach once told me his athletes learn more when they lose an important game than when they win it. It is important to learn from failure, to stay motivated and not let failure define who you are.

Failure can teach us many things about ourselves. When you fall down and pick yourself back up, you build muscle and strength. Similarly, each time you fail and recover, you build strength of character, commitment and work ethic. Failure spawns creativity, motivation and tenacity. The more often you navigate failure successfully, the stronger and more resilient you become. All of these lessons eventually build your level of confidence and self esteem.

Failure can also teach you many important lessons about other people. When you experience failure you discover who your true friends are. You learn valuable lessons about who you can trust and who you should avoid. Failure can permanently etch in your mind the importance of trusting your instincts too.

As you go through life, your failures eventually teach you to become a better thinker and problem solver. You will catch yourself planning before you take action. You will start to see challenges ahead of time and develop contingency plans well in advance. This in itself improves the likelihood of your success.

As you find yourself failing in the future, do not get discouraged. Failure can be celebrated as just another paver installed on the road to success.

Bill Nordbrock is vice president of community relations for SCORE Southern Arizona, a nonprofit that offers free small-business counseling and mentoring by appointment. For information, go to southernarizona.score.org, send an email to mentoring@scoresouthernaz.org or call 505-3636.