“Success is not final,failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” ~ Winston Churchill 1.Redefine failure “My dad encouraged us tofail.
Growing up, he would ask us what we failed at that week. If we didn’thave something, he would be disappointed. It changed by mindset at an early agethat failure is not the outcome, failure is not trying. Don’t be afraid tofail.”~ Sara Blakely How do youdefine failure? What if your definitionof failure is what is causing you to be paralyzed or stuck in that moment?Failure is not an event! It’s a judgment about an event.
Remember, youridentity is not tied to outcomes. Outcomes are separate from the person, andthe people who execute the best are those who have an unwavering sense of selfno matter what happens. One of thegreatest problems individuals have with failure is that they are too quick tojudge unique circumstances in their lives and brand them as failures.
Instead,they need to keep the bigger picture in mind. Failure isn’t negative Failure can be awonderful opportunity to grow and innovate. If you find that you areconsistently getting angry with yourself, chances are slim that you will beable to resurrect anything from your experience. Your family, friends,colleagues, and those around you may lose that opportunity to grow as well. Failure is anessential ingredient to learning and growth. The failure that occurs in yourlife doesn’t shape you as much as howyou respond to the failure does.
The worst failure is not in the event itself. The worst failure is to chooseto remain paralyzed by it. If we never haveblunders or mistakes in our lives, then we are probably not making anydecisions either. F. Scott Fitzgerald says something that pierces the heart, “Never confuse a single mistake with a finalmistake.” Recently I cameacross an excerpt called Rules for BeingHuman, by Dr. Cherie Carter-Scott.
Here are a few rules I believe describe the state we should be in: Rule#1: You will learn lessons. Rule#2: There are no mistakes – only lessons. Rule#3: A lesson is repeated until it is learned. Rule#4: If you don’t learn the lessons, they get harder. (NOTE: Pain is one way theuniverse gets your attention.
) Rule#5: You’ll know you’ve learned a lesson when your actions change. Can you imagineBeethoven or Mozart trying to compose music so carefully that they never hit awrong note? Do you believe that they would have been able to compose epicmasterpieces if they completely avoided mistakes? Beethoven was no stranger to mistakes, disappointments, andfailure. In fact, at one point in his career his music teacher said he had notalent for music and “as a composer, he is hopeless.” Some other examples of those who failed, yet went on tosucceed: · 12 publishers rejected J.
K. Rowling, legendary authorof the Harry Potter books, beforeselling her first book. Now she’s worth more than $1 billion.· Henry Ford went bankrupt multipletimes before he experienced success.· TheCalifornia-born French chef, JuliaChild, author and television celebrity, could barely cook until she wasthirty-four years old.
· Oneof the greatest thinkers and brilliant minds of our time, Albert Einstein, wastold by a schoolmaster in Munich that he would “never amount to much.” · Oneof the most prolific inventors in history, Thomas Edison, was told as ayoungster that he was not that bright. All great successes persevere in the face of hardship, denial,and failings.
They continue to believe in themselves and reject the idea thatthey are “failures.” As Elbert Hubbard said, “The greatest mistake you can makein life is to be continually fearing you will make one.” A beneficial result tothis might be, “If you want to be successful in life, continually fill yourmind with opportunities, not obstacles, so that you will create them.” CALL TO ACTION What’s the one mistake or failure that haunts you? What trusted friend can you share it with as a step toward robbing it of its power? 2. Embrace failure as a teacher and alearning experience “I’vemissed more than 9000 shots in my career.
I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times,I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed overand over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”~Michael Jordan These words fromthe legendary Michael Jordan should echo in the chambers of our heart, filling themwith hope and inspiration. Like Jordan and many other successful athletes,high-performing business leaders, and entrepreneurs, failure should be lookedat with different lenses.
How you view failure is a critical component tofuture success. Failure, in so many ways, is the fertilizer for future success. If you canchange the way you see failure, you gain the strength to keep charging ahead.Failure is the price you pay for progress.
How do you view failure?Whether it be failure with a start-up, project, initiative, conversation, orsome other avenue in which success was the hoped outcome…do you view it as anopportunity to grow, or do you see it as a stain on your credibility and as anabsolute failure? Many businessprofessionals and leading psychologists of our day believe that failure (smalland large) is necessary for growth. But it’s “how” you view that failure thatcan set the trajectory of your future. Carol Dweck, a psychology professor atStanford University, believes that what people believe (especially aboutfailure) shapes the landscape of their life. She suggests that our”self-theories” dictate the interpretation of our experiences, and ultimatelyset the rhythm and boundaries of what we accomplish. Think about itthis way: If you don’t put things in the right perspective, you’ll focus on theextremes of success and failure and preoccupy yourself with a particular event. Here’s the deal. Every failure you encounter you face a forkin the road.
You can give up or you can use it as an opportunity to learn fromyour missteps, take the right action, and begin again. Freedom to fail Some of the bestorganizations are the ones who don’t penalize a person for making a mistake ifthat person used good judgment and was rational in his/her thinking. Incontrast, there are times when failure was from not exercising the values ofthe organization, good judgment, and stewardship. In those times, the situationor decision is confronted and corrected. “Thebetter a person is, the more mistakes he will make, for the more new things hewill try. I would never promote to a top-level job a man who was not makingmistakes…otherwise he is sure to be mediocre.”~ Peter Drucker After a mistakeand failure, the forces of mediocrity will align to prevent you fromproceeding. Keep your chin up when failure comes your way.
Failure can be the fertilizer for futuresuccess. Fear of failure and risk aversion tethers you to limit yourpotential. Every failure you experience is an opportunity to take theappropriate action, learn from your mistakes, and start fresh. “Whileone person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy makingmistakes and becoming superior.” ~ Henry Link Failure is not final. You must know WHO you are and FACE your shortcomings if youwant to reach your full potential. That’s right. You must face yourshortcomings.
You can’t bury them and pretend that they don’t exist. You mustsee yourself openly, admit your failures, shortcomings, and mistakes honestly,discover and embrace your strengths joyfully, and build on those strengthscontinually and passionately.