We talk about success all the time – immortalizing those who succeed as possessing powers of superhuman abilities. But what about their failures along the path to success? For most people, the word “failure” has a negative connotation. Almost all success is gained through a journey of failure. Without failure, success would elude us. Just as we can’t know white without black, day without night, or joy without sorrow, failure and success are really just opposite sides of the same coin. And when it comes to failure, it’s all a matter of perspective.
If you want something you haven’t had, you’ve got to do something you’ve never done.
Here are a few ways to overturn your failures into success:
Change the Meaning of Failure
Most people give-up after one failure because they wrongly believe to fail means to be defeated. But not everyone sees it that way. Thomas Edison is famously quoted as saying: “I didn’t fail. I just found 2,000 ways not to make a light bulb; I only needed to find one way to make it work.” He could have stopped at his 1,999th failure, but he didn’t see the unsuccessful attempts as failures, he saw them as teachers. Edison had a clear perspective about what he was doing; he knew he had to learn what NOT to do in order to learn what to do. Failure was a key component of his success.
Let Go of Rejection
Too many people beat themselves up after a failure and allow fear to hold them captive from moving forward. Failure is an inevitable part of success and it’s important to learn from it and let it go, whether it be disappointment, rejection or any setback – don’t let your failed attempts discourage you. Be proud that your failure led you one step closer to your goals.
Re-approach Your Strategies
Make sure you understand clearly what’s not working so you know what mistakes to avoid in the future. Write down everything you have learned this far in your journey and evaluate what has and has not worked. What can you do differently? You might be surprised how much information your “failures” can give you regarding the next logical step.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results. We get attached to a certain way of doing things, believing it to be the ONLY way. Try to approach the situation from a different angle. Use your imagination to see things from a different point of view. If you try a new approach, you may discover the answer was in front of you the whole time. As Wayne Dyer so eloquently put it: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”
Sometimes you need a break in order to have clarity. Being too close to any situation obscures objectivity. Give yourself a break and do something unrelated; you’ll come back refreshed and clear-headed, more capable of seeing things from a wider perspective.
Dreams Inspire Success
When we’ve failed, it is crucial we find inspiration to move forward. Listen to other people’s success stories (not one of them does not have their failures), get out in nature, read an inspiring book – do anything that will fuel your passion. Sometimes we need to spend time on the peripheral of our dream/goals in order to renew our commitment.
Now or Never Attitude
Now is where all of your power lies. Dwelling on the past or worrying about the future renders you ineffective in the present moment and blocks creative flow. Inspiration occurs in the present moment, and we have to be able to catch the wave. If you want to transform past “failures” into success, you must be willing to surrender to the power the present moment offers you.
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Rethinking the concept of failure, this book promotes setbacks as a positive step on the path to success.
Whether your goal is relational, work related, or involving your own self-improvement, steer clear of judging unsuccessful attempts as defeat and get a new perspective about your journey. When you feel defeated, you’re more likely to give up. Rather than throwing in the towel, see yourself as perfectly in process. Embrace failure as the invaluable teacher it is and you’ll have much more energy and inspiration along the way.