Miles Davis said “Do not fear mistakes. There are none.” Failure or disappointment is a chance for you to check in and make a big decision. How do you view failure? Do you see it as something negative that you don’t want to be associated with or do you see it as something positive? Most people in the world don’t like failure.
When I look back on some of my most indelible learning moments, it’s when I screwed up. Sure, we remember our successes but, if you’re like me, the failures stick with you longer and can have a profound impact on your development as a person and as a professional.
Fear of failure is the main reason why more than 80% of people in the world are not prepared to change their circumstances. Why do people fear failure so much? The reason is because people don’t understand the dynamics involved in success and failure. Let’s explore this…
Everything we do in life has a right way of doing it and a wrong way of doing it. When we do it the right way, we meet with success. And when we do it the wrong way, we are unsuccessful.
When someone who doesn’t understand this dynamic meets with temporary failure, they start thinking that they’re not good enough or that they will never make it. But is this really the case? Does the fact that you didn’t make it the first time mean you are not good enough? Does it mean you’ll never make it? Not at all! All it means is that you have not yet found the correct method!
Understanding this is important because it puts failure in its proper perspective and can reduce or even remove the fear that you are experiencing.
So what should you do? First, you should look back and find out where you went wrong. Then you should try again, but this time employing a different method. If this doesn’t work, go back and relook at everything you have done so far. Talk to people who are successful in this area. Think of what you might have left out and try, try again.
Whatever you do, don’t give up; at least if getting over this hump is very important to you. Why do you need to do push on? Because, “Every failure, every adversity, and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent or a greater benefit“, says author and mentor to many great men, Napoleon Hill. Failure contains the seed of victory and of success.
Failure teaches you what works and what doesn’t. When you study the reasons for your failure and learn from them, you’ll find the keys to your success. The great inventor, Thomas Edison, knew this truth better than anyone else. It took Edison 8,000 trials to perfect the Edison battery. Afterwards, he uttered this famous quote, “At least we know 8,000 things that don’t work.” That’s an incredible attitude to have.
You should be diligent like that too. You should know that every successful person has had to overcome temporary defeat at one time or another. You haven’t really failed until you ACCEPT defeat. Do you envy those who got success easily? Don’t! Success earned in spite of earlier failure is so much more gratifying than if when gained too easily.
There’s a saying that “Failure is a state of mind. Unsuccessful people allow life’s setbacks to discourage and defeat them. Successful people view setbacks as learning experiences and bounce back even stronger — every time!”
So, strive to have a positive and optimistic view of mistakes and of failure. Because success may be just on the other side!
Check out a related blog: “6 Good Things About Failing”