“The major difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure,”
– Pastor John Maxwell
Failures often carry more worth than we can recognize and emulate. Robert F. Kennedy famously said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” “Avoiding” mistakes by not doing anything or waiting for “perfection” can only alienate you from your path to success. Success lies in one’s ability to learn from mistakes.
The lives of men and women with great accomplishments stand as a testimony to it. The only real failure is failing to learn from failure. Accepting failures with positive intent of mind is the first step of your learning curve. Success has a knack of making one complacent, but failure can keep one rooted firmly on the ground. When you have been part of something that has failed, you appreciate and value success much more.
Failures give an opportunity to start afresh
Great men in the past have utilized the lessons from failures to build vital insights and stimulate creativity. Thomas A. Edison reminded us of this truth when he redundantly failed in designing an incandescent lamp said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” He was prompt to realize the failure and accept it in totality. His acceptance of failure motivated him to innovate and experiment with methods and instruments that eventually led to the realization of his goal. His ability to accept his mistakes and learn enabled him to leave an indelible impression on human civilization.
Failures are the foundation of innovation
The corporate sector is realizing it to the optimum. It is breaking the long-held notion that eliminating factors causing errors is a viable way of achieving success than seeking opportunities to make – and learn from – mistakes. In stark contradiction to the erstwhile corporate who focused on results while neglecting innovation, the modern day corporate is learning to accept failures. Likewise, you as a goal seeker should accept failure, be willing to learn from the same and move on.
Many individuals find ‘moving on’ a near impossible feat to accomplish, especially after a great failure, and get vulnerable to procrastination, which is not desirable. The moment inactions creep in, it destroys even the strongest of the resolves and keeps the individual languishing in the same state, until and unless he makes a conscious effort to come out of it.
Learn from mistakes
Failure is often a painful experience, which often facilitates the feelings of uncertainty and self-doubt to bubble to the surface. Therefore, our initial response is one of avoidance; where we would do everything possible to prevent the occurrence of the situation anytime in the future.
However, failure has a great educative value. If taken in a positive sense, failure fuels your resolve and betters your understanding of what you need to do to succeed. In fact, our moments of learning are the outcome of the darkest periods we endure on our journey rather than during those heady moments of success.
Analyze the reasons behind your failure
The reasons responsible for your setback may vary in size number and nature. Nevertheless, you cannot afford to ignore even the most trifle of the contributors, as it may prove to be a party spoiler for you in your next effort. Your analysis should be honest, unbiased and based on your experiences. After the analytical process, be advised to ponder on ways to keep these factors at bay. The experience you gain would come in handy to develop a better strategy and implement it to perfection.
It is always better to take some time off from the project. Visit your family and friends and do what is more important. You only live once, and this is just a passing phase. You will get through this, but you have to clear your head if you are going to win.
Deal with fear of failure
The fear of failure is the most potent force preventing people from venturing into the unknown and tapping into their potential. It is often the key reason for the majority of people to choose the safety of known avenues rather than explore the limitless possibility of uncharted waters. To glimpse and embrace the postice aspect of failure, it is important that we erase our fear of the same. Here are 3 ways to deal with the fear of failure.
Calculating the cost of missed opportunities
It has been observed that more often than not people get blinded by the need to play it safe and fail to spot the vast untapped potential of a high-risk option. It happens often that the choices that come with the highest risk offer the possibility of maximum rewards. Well not for nothing the maxim “no pain no gain” was coined. It is worth remembering that some of the pillars of the modern digital revolution like Microsoft and Apple were founded by college dropouts like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs who allied their unquestioned genius to an uncanny knack of backing the right technological horse.
Benefits of failure
Popular knowledge says that the great inventor Thomas Edison endured dozens of failed attempts before coming up with one of his customary game-changing innovations. He usually brushed off his countless failures with the belief that failure is not an end in itself but an important step on the long road to lasting success since it was just another lesson on how not to approach the solution to a particular problem. In many cases, failure itself can turn out to be an important discovery. Successful entrepreneurs can do an effective cost-benefit analysis of the pros and cons of a particular decision and reduce the possibility of failure to just another likely outcome rather than being the end of the world.
Making contingency plans
Smart people ensure that even a string of failures need not be an end in itself by conceiving a well thought out backup plan. This gives them a great chance to get out of a messy situation in case things go awry. The twin strategies of hedging bets allied with a workable contingency plan can go a long way in increasing the chances of success of a creative initiative.