Why Failure Can be a Tool and Not a Hindrance
People can be so afraid of failure that they do everything imaginable to avoid it. They avoid taking any chances because if they try something and it doesn’t work out, they will be looked upon as a failure. To make matters worse, we often see successful people profiles in the media and think they must either be geniuses or they were naturals at what they did. And yet, if you look closely at the lives of these people, you will discover a much different picture. What is not shown is all the hundreds of times these people have failed, prior to being successful. Failure is a great tool to figure out what not to do the next time around. If something you tried didn’t work, that is no reason to give up on your project. It should be used as a road map to reevaluate what went wrong and to adjust to try and make it work.
Sometimes, you may need some help as you won’t know why what you tried was a failure. In this case, it may be worth it to find a mentor who can evaluate what you are doing and help you to get back on track. This may cost you some money upfront, but good mentors are certainly worth it if they can produce results for you. Even if you decide to try everything on your own, seek out influential people that can help you by reading about what they have done and how they handled their own failures. There are several books about what it takes to get to success. Among my favorites are Failing Forward and Playing Big: Find Your Voice, Your Mission, Your Message.
There is a side benefit to failure and that is showing others your tenacity. By keeping on evaluating what went wrong and never letting it get you too down, it is hard to imagine that you won’t succeed. There will always be setbacks, and sometimes it may be necessary to take alternative measures like side jobs, etc. But by keeping focused on what you are trying to accomplish and continuing to implement what works and discard what doesn’t, you are well on your way to succeeding in whatever it is you are attempting. One aspect that you will see common among people that have used failure as a learning tool, is they never stop learning. They are constantly making themselves better at everything they do. They read and follow other successful people and try to emulate what those people have done. It is truly a case of success begets success.
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