Failure happens, right? We’ve all failed… Remember, when you we first learned to walk, how many times did you fall? Imagine if we’d taken every fall as failure! Did we even consider it a failure? Wasn’t it just part of learning to walk? As children we learn by trial and error, why would it be any different when we become adults?
Do you overreact to failure? Do you consider it something to be avoided at all costs? Successful individuals are not the ones who have never failed, they are the ones who use failure is a step on the ladder to success. In fact they, more likely than not, have failed more than the rest of us as they have probably taken more risks. The difference is that they view failure as feedback and don’t take it personally. They have just found out what doesn’t work and so they re-evaluate their strategy and try something different.
“Madness is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different outcome.” Chinese proverb
So, maybe the first step is to re-define failure? See it as a rung on the ladder of success, and not as something to avoid at all costs. Celebrate your failures rather then feel a failure, put yourself down or give-up. You have, after all, just come a step closer to success.
“If i find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is often a step forward…” Thomas Edison
Now, reflect on your own failures. What was the lesson of each? Is there a pattern in them? Do you see something you need to stop doing, start doing or continue doing? Is there one thing that you are doing, that you can change, that would make a big difference?
Thirdly, as long as you are out there you haven’t failed. The real failure is to give up or to let ‘failure’ defeat us. Nothing is ever lost when we ‘fail’ unless we allow it to be. You took the opportunity, you gave it your best shot and you have gained some important experiences that will be very valuable in the future.
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas Edison