"Pain plus reflection equals progress."
I got this quote from Ray Dalio while listening to his podcast interview with Tim Ferriss. Like most successful people, he tells of the importance of failure and the lessons to be learned from failures. Having experienced many mistakes and failure in life, I have come to appreciate these moments as they have better steered my path. Sometimes I come across my graduate school application essays and think of the many paths my life could have taken if I was not rejected from the programs I applied to. Who knows if I would have ended up being as happy as I am this day! But there were lessons to be learned from those failures, and I believe those lessons better equipped me for when I came across the right path. Like Ray said in his interview, success will have you doing the same thing, but mistakes plus reflection will give you growth; mistakes give you a loud signal.
Like my mom says, "so, what am I saying." Don't be afraid of failures or mistakes, they can serve as the best guide to your goals.