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Have you failed recently and thought of giving up?
Whatever it is you’re doing, failure is an inevitability in life. And no one likes it.
But don’t get stuck in it, don’t allow your fear to limit your ability to succeed.
I fail at stuff all the time.
I fail at some of the things I write about some of the time and it sucks.
I feel just as awful about it as anyone else. But sooner or later I get back on my feet and try again.
I fail at healthy eating some days.
But tomorrow I go for it again.
I fail at being more disciplined.
But then I get back on that horse and try new techniques to keep me focused.
There’s always a way out, a way through any setbacks or obstacles, you just haven’t found it yet. You can dig yourself out of where you are, or ditch that plan and start a new one. Whatever you decide to do, what you don’t do is give up on your dreams. That would be your first mistake when dealing with failure.
I don’t have the one big secret that prevents failure. And nor does anyone else, but here’s 5 mistakes you don’t want to make when failure strikes.
1. Focus on excuses
It’s not the failure that’s the problem, the greatest minds, the greatest inventors, the greatest athletes of all time failed their way to success.
What they had that we don’t always have is a different response to failure. No excuses. No beating themselves up. No wasting time on all the reasons things didn’t work out. Remember you are not your failure. Don’t waste your time being upset about something that’s over and done, let go of the desire to explain to yourself or to others.
2. React Badly
Instead of viewing failure as a loss use it to build upon the lessons learned. Neuroscience tells us that learning and building from failures means we won’t feel so badly about them. Reframe the failure as a chance to grow, an opportunity to see things in a different light.
Regard failure as the worst thing in the world and for you, and it becomes just that. Shifting your perspective will open different options and feel so much better than focusing on why the whole failure thing sucks.
3. Feeling unhappy
Those who can most successfully get themselves up off the mat are the ones who define themselves not by what has happened to them, but by what they can make out of what has happened. Feeling unhappy about it means your attention is in the wrong place.
Use adversity to find the path forward. Practice the onward and upward method….never forgetting that early failure often is the fuel for the very ideas that transform industries, make record profits, and reinvent careers.
Some great failures were The Beatles who were turned away by a recording company because their style was outdated. Or Walt Disney who was fired for not being creative enough. If you’ve failed at something, be happy for the company you keep!
4. Going it alone
No one succeeds alone in this life. When I’m struggling with something I can either give up or work out a better way. And when I can’t work out a better way I reach out to my husband, friends, and people whose opinions I trust or experts.
Think of it this way, ‘writers have editors, surgeons have the support of nurses and presidents have aides.’ I might get obvious advice that I couldn’t see, or brilliant ideas to move in a different direction. Any success anyone has had, is almost always because someone else supported their dream. Allow someone the privilege to be there for you.
5. Dwelling on negative self-fulfilling prophecies
Train your mind to think thoughts of success, happiness, health and prosperity. When you make sure that your habit of thinking is based upon what you want to see happen in your life you’ll have less room for thinking thoughts that lead to defeat.
Your mindset is the foundation for your success and happiness. Learn from failure, don’t regret it. Because it’s made you stronger and better equipped to begin again. Remember hope or despair turn out to be self-fulfilling prophecies.
Failure brings with it many gifts that aren’t always obvious. If some misfortune has befallen you recently, take the opportunity to look at all the little things you have to be grateful for. Look for the benefits that failure is giving you. Turn it into an opportunity to develop more compassion and understanding for yourself and others.
Learn to see failure as an adventure that’s serving your growth and development and you’ll start to view life working for you and not against you.
Over to you…have you been missing the gifts that failure has on offer? Or have you found ways to get through the setbacks and obstacles in life? We’d all love to hear anything you have to say about dealing with failure. Please do leave your wisdom in the comments below.
Encourage one another
P.S If you have a friend, client or colleague who gets overwhelmed by failure, please share this post. It may be exactly what they need to support them in moving forward in the easiest, most positive way.