7 Tips on How To Turn Failure Into Success
7 Tips On How To Turn Failure Into Success
By Mark Wager
Failure is that horrible experience that we try desperately to avoid. In fact most people are so desperate to avoid failure that it prevents them from trying in the first place. It’s this feeling that forces us to look at ourselves and face the disappointment of what we see, the reality that we are not as good as we thought. You might not feel it at the time but the reality is that failure is the best thing that could happen to you.
If handled correctly failure is not the end of your journey but is in reality the true beginning. The genesis of every great success can be traced back to an initial failure. The key is how you deal with failure and here are a few tips.
Tip 1: Failure is feedback
"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed" - Michael Jordan
Failure is by definition your judgement of what has happened in comparison to what you wanted to occur. This is not a negative occurrence if you view failure as what it really is. Failure is feedback. You will never get to where you want to be unless you know where you are right now and I mean where you really are and not just where you think you are and failure helps us determine the reality of the present.
Tip 2: Take a step back
"Failure is an event, not a person. Yesterday ended last night" - Zig Ziglar
A lot of people have the initial reaction of responding to failure immediately. This can be a crucial mistake as in this moment you will be flooded with a range of emotions many of which will be negative so this is not the time to evaluate the situation. Take a moment walk away and gather your thoughts. You will need an action plan to come back from failure and remember any plan constructed in an emotional state is doomed for further failure.
Tip 3: Take responsibility
"I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them" - George Bernard Shaw
Everyone fails at some stage but one of the key differences between those who continue to fail and those who learn to succeed is the level of ownership they apply to the initial failure. Many people blame other people, they blame circumstances they even put it down to bad luck but successful people know that luck is for losers and they take responsibility for the failure and responsibility for their life and their destiny. If someone lied to you then stop blaming that person and ask yourself why did you allow that person in your life. Your success is too important to be left in anyone else's control.
Tip 4: Gather information
"I think it's very important to have a feedback loop, where you're constantly thinking about what you've done and how you could be doing it better" - Elon Musk
The way back to success starts with defining the reality of your current position and may not be what you think it is. Talk to people and listen to what they say even if it’s not what you want to hear. You need the reality and not what you want reality to be. Success requires information so gather as many opinions as you can, filter out opinions which are overly positive and the one which are overly negative and focus on the opinions which articulate specific behaviours that need to change.
Tip 5: Evolve your strategy
"I haven't failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work" - Thomas Edison
Failure is not a sign that you have the wrong goal but instead is a sign that you have the wrong strategy to reach that goal. Failure has taken you closer to your goal because you have just found out another way that doesn't work so now you can focus on designing a way that will work. This new way won't be a complete restart but more of an evolution of whatever was in place, keep what worked well, discard what didn't work and add something completely new. Do this and you will be better prepared for success than you have ever been.
Tip 6: Let go of the past
"Some people learn to lose. Others lose and learn" - George St-Pierre
Failure may seem brief but we can often carry the weight of failure around our necks for a long time, weighing us down and dragging us away from our dreams. I recall the story of George St-Pierre a former world champion UFC fighter who lost his title. After the fight he spent so much time thinking about his loss and his opponent that his sports psychologist gave him a brick and told him to write the name of his opponent on it. It symbolised just how much thinking about the past weighed him down. This went on until he decided to let go and throw the brick into the river. This enabled him to focus on improving himself which resulted in him winning back his title and going on to cement a legacy as one of the greatest fighters in history.
Tip 7: Never give up
"Failure is not falling down but refusing to get up" - Chinese proverb
The most important lesson is also the most difficult one to implement and that is to have the belief in yourself in order to continue your journey and never to give up. It is difficult because there will be days that you don’t feel right and just want to bury your head and not face the world. You are not alone. Everyone has these days but what separates the people who succeed and the people who fail is that successful people refuse to quit because they realise that on those dark days of failure success is born.
Image courtesy of pakorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Posted: Monday 26 September 2016