Redefining Failure: Get Back Up & Succeed
We tend to think of failure as something shameful, undesirable. Understandably so, we get taught from day one that failure is the end of everything. Failing to achieve our goal immediately causes negative feelings, no matter how big or small the goal was.
But, it is time to redefine failure.
The way to redefine failure is by changing the way we understand failure. The truth is that failure is part of the process of success and leaves valuable lessons if we know how to learn from it.
Here are your sure-fire ways to redefine failure and learn from it effectively:
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
Learning from your mistakes is about more than just thinking about what went wrong. The first step towards using failure as a tool for success is to stop seeing mistakes as shameful.
A mistake is not just a natural part of embarking on a new project; it is also part of the human experience. As such, they should be accepted as a necessary step towards achieving your goals. Many great inventions were discovered by accident such as Post-It notes and penicillin.
Whatever the source of the mistake, removing any negative feelings about it and re-framing it as a source of new knowledge is the first step towards learning from failure effectively.
Rethink your approach to your goal
Now that you’re looking at the mistake without judgment, think of how you got into the situation.
If your dedication and focus decreased at any time, make note of it and try to find the cause. Identifying the internal and external causes that affected your resolve helps you prepare for them in the future.
In some cases, discussing the failure with someone you trust can help you see the issues from a different perspective. Rely on your support network to pinpoint what went wrong and how you could prevent it.
Identify what caused the mistake and make plans to prevent it in the future. You need to take steps to prevent that mistake from happening again.
If your goal was to write a novel in six months, you’ve probably identified a few reasons why you couldn’t achieve it – lack of time, insufficient planning, or lack of motivation.
But what can you do to prevent those issues to get in the way of your goal in the future? In our example, you could scale down the scope of the novel, spend more time planning the story, or set a specific time to write undisturbed.
In summary, failure is not permanent. By accepting failure, analyzing its causes and defining how you can eliminate those causes, you’re on your way to achieving your goals.