It’s a safe bet that everyone reading this blog has experienced at least one crisis in their life. It’s inevitable, but it’s how we handle that crisis that can have a significant impact in our lives. When we find ourselves navigating our way through a crisis, what can we you do to come out on the other side, stronger for the experience?

Every crisis involves risk. By definition, a crisis is hampered with danger, but it also has opportunity for tremendous learning and growth. Crisis is a time of testing our very being, but it's also a time of renewal. Many of us, when faced with a real crisis, tell ourselves that we have failed and convince ourselves that there's no point in trying any longer. In essence we want to "throw in the towel" and give up.

For example, a young woman wanted to be professional singer so she participated in the NBC reality show "America’s Got Talent." She moved through the competition but ultimately failed to impress the panel of judges and didn’t win.

Not winning didn’t mean she was a failure as a person or that her life was a failure. It simply meant that, at this particular time in her life, her hopes of winning the competition and getting a big break didn’t work out as planned. However, she knew there were other possible choices she could make, including making a name for herself the old fashion way like so many current professional singers. She hadn't really failed, and she didn’t have to give up her dream. But she did need to learn from her experience and rethink her strategy.

Failure is only failure if we let it cause us to quit. If we choose to let it help us, the failure actually becomes a teaching moment that provides information we can learn from. I am reminded of something that the late Maya Angelou once said, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

It is in meeting each crisis with determination and a stronger sense of direction that we measure up to life and its challenges. In so doing, we develop tenacity and greater inner strength that helps us move ever closer to our dreams and aspirations.

Think about it …