Everyone hates to fail. However, most people don’t realise that failing is a part of success. Anyone who has ever succeeded has failed many times. What helps them triumph is that they know how to use their setback as a launchpad for learning. Instead of getting stuck in resistance and avoidance, they focus forward and leverage the lessons that failure brings to seed future success.
So, how is it done? How do you overcome failure and turn it into a learning triumph? Here are 4 keys that will get you back on track every time.
How did you learn to ride a bike? The short answer: you fell off 100 times. Every bruise and scrape was a teacher that showed you how to master the tool of bike riding even better.
Consciously choose to learn as much as you can from every mistake or failure. This will make you better prepared for next time. What did you miss in the lead-up? Do you notice any traits or patterns within yourself that you need to change? Who can you seek guidance from in the future? What new skills have you learnt that you can apply to the task in new ways?
Action Step: Write down the top five things you have learnt from your last mistake and use this as your guiding light next time you face failure.
Now that you have learnt something from your mistake, take steps to move on. Don’t dwell on your past. You can’t tell where you are going if you are looking backwards and you can’t plan for the future. You can change your behaviour and thoughts to get a better outcome next time if you are not looking backward. Dwelling on your past keeps you in the past and sets you up to make the same mistakes again. Instead, face the future and make some brave new choices. Each question in Key 1 helps you achieve this goal. Refocusing takes effort. We all have the ability to choose what we think but only when we choose to choose! Take the reins of your life and take the action step below.
Action Step: Find ways to refocus yourself on the future. Read what you have written in response to the questions in Key 1 (The 5 Things You Learned).
Don’t let the fear from your last failure stop you from reaching your greatness, goal, dream, or potential. Just like learning to ride that bike, if you don’t fall once or twice, you don’t learn what you’re made of. You don’t get the opportunity to discover an important course correction. You don’t improve. It’s easy to entertain the idea of giving up and a lot of people do! However, being afraid to try again means you lose the opportunity for further growth. The stumbles along the way are an integral part of your shot at success, without which you would stagnate and stay where you are.
Action Step:Take what you have learned and try again now that you are better prepared.
No matter what it is that you are trying to achieve, surround yourself with successful people who have done what you want to do. One of the best ways to overcome failure is to learn how others have done it too. This will encourage you and give you proof that it can be done. Most people are only too willing to share their stories of struggle and triumph, through which you will learn how much you are just like them.
Action Step: Find a person or a group of people who are successful and align yourself with them as soon as possible.
The world is full of people who have struggled to overcome their failures and there are even more who are stuck in the ultimate trap of not learning from them. Failure is a mindset, just like success. Take your failures and leverage them to your advantage. You have the choice and the freedom to do just that. It’s just about whether you decide to or not!