Failure and How to Overcome it

February 12, 2016
Failure Face

One of the biggest struggle of people in general is our need to have success. One way or another, not achieving that success equals with failure.

And although success and failure are relative terms, we tend to be our most dreadful judgers and live with the constant stress of “what if I fail?”. And by doing this is like inviting failure in our lives because we give it such great importance and focus.

It’s true what they say, that you attract the things you focus upon, and the law of attraction will eventually give you that which you concentrate on.

As with anything else, fearing about failing at something or in life in general is an auto-sabotage we do to ourselves and in this way we prevent our lives to unfold in the most extraordinary ways possible and living that success we wish we had.

But let’s start from the very beginning. What is failure and what makes us so stressed up about it?

First things first:

What is Failure?

In most cases, failure is one simple thing: not living up to YOUR expectations. So what is it then? Is it about having too high expectations? Maybe we should trim the expectations down a little or make them more realistic so we don’t ever experience failure and that sense that we’ve failed? Could this be the answer?

But wait a minute. Should we not have dreams, desires and expectations about our lives to unfold in certain ways? Should we not wish and want? Of course we should, this is a natural human condition for evolution and progress.

OK, but what if we could take this fear of failure out of the question and attain the success that we want without unnecessary stress and too much trouble? Well, this is another thing.

The famous published author Brian Tracy defined the fear of failure as the “single barrier between us and success” and we always use this “I can’t” phrase to express this kind of fear. I can’t do this, I can’t do that… and we pretty much destroy our own success because we fear so much about not being able to do it, hence failing at life.

Which leads me to ask myself: Is it something in the way we understand or define failure that makes us so fearful, so stressed up and in the end unsuccessful? From my life experience, the answer is YES.

Could Failure Be a Good Thing?

Well, viewed from one particular perspective, yes. Let’s me explain.

Imagine you are alone on this island where the weather is good, there’s plenty of food but you got pretty lonely and want to get to that other island some miles away where there are lots of people.

So your wish is to somehow manage to get to the other island, but you don’t have a boat and the island is too far for you to swim to it. Let’s make it even harder: you don’t know how to swim. Now the challenge is to start building that boat that will take you there, yes?

And now it’s when you’ll start to fail. Why? Because you don’t know how to build a boat, you’ve never built one before and there’s this sense of fear that makes you restless and quite worried that you might not make it.

There’s a lot of unexpected that’s going to unfold that, in the end, will allow you to discover what you need to discover to become that individual that will be able to succeed.

In this case, build a boat and safely make it to the other island.

So, the failing attempts are but the part of the path and not stops. They want to give you this experience, this knowledge that will make you the person who’s will KNOW how to get to where they need.

The idea is that failure is not bad, failure is just the big learning curve that will give you the lessons you need to learn in order to become that person that you want to be, where you want to be.

Everybody Fails

Did you know that most famous and highly successful people have failed badly so many times before making it big?

They’ve been rejected, they’ve been told you’re not good at it, you’re not talented enough or even you’ll never make it.

Take Oprah Winfrey for example. She was told that she’s “too emotionally invested in her stories” when she applied for her first job as an anchor in Baltimore.

Did you know that Thomas Edison's teachers told him he was "too stupid to learn anything."? Yeah, Tomas Edison, guys.

Fred Astaire was told by an executive while taking his first screen tests “Can't sing. Can't act. Slightly balding. Can dance a little” and J.K. Rowling is famous for being harshly rejected 12 times for the “Harry Potter” series by most publishing houses and at the same time being one of the best seller authors in the world.

So, what did these people do to have success eventually?

They persevered so much at failing, until ultimately they became the exact right people they needed to become to be ready for the success they’ve wanted.

You see, it’s not failure that makes us fail per se, but the attitude that makes you not use failure in a positive way.

No Failure = No Success

Failure is nothing but that big learning curve that will help you learn how to become the successful you. It’s pretty much impossible that you don’t fail because if you don’t fail you cannot learn how to succeed.

Whenever things don’t go as expected so you experience a failing attempt, the best you can do is ask yourself: “Well, that went in unexpected direction, what can I learn from this?”.

With this attitude, nothing will ever feel like a failure because you know that each experience and each and every circumstance is here to assist you in becoming the person you want to be where you want to be.

Give yourself a break from all that negative self-talk! Just think about it! If other people made it, it is POSSIBLE! If nobody’s done it before you’ll be the first people to show to the world that this is possible.

Realize and accept the fact that you CAN do and can accomplish anything you put your mind to, because you’re a valuable person! YOU deserve to live the life you’ve always dreamed of and whenever you fail, understand that this is just a message that there’s something you need to learn in order to become that version of yourself who is successful.

How to overcome failure? By embracing it, by allowing it to teach you valuable lessons, by having the right attitude about it and by knowing is there to eventually make successful!

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“I am not concerned that you have fallen. I am concerned that you arise.”—Abraham Lincoln

When we talk about failure, the dictionary tells us that it is the lack of success, the neglect or omission of expected or required action, and stuff like that. However, when we turn and have a look at the real life, the picture is a little bit different. The failure means that you do not achieve what you wished to or what you dreamed about. Sometimes it also happens that you may achieve what you wanted to but the feeling of dissonance make you feel as if you have failed. Failure is something beyond not getting enough marks, not getting the job you wanted, and things related to that.

Donna Brazile once told about failure in very nice words by saying, “Failure. It doesn't exist. 'Failure' is just what happens when we lose perspective.” This precious quotation of Donna Brazile tells us that there is actually nothing like failure. You must have heard that cold is nothing itself, it is just the absence of the warmth. Similarly, failure is nothing itself; it is just the absence of the hope and the perspective. There are a number of people out there who fear failure. But why do they do this? It is because they have lost hope on themselves which is really an alarming situation. It is a fact that every one of us is capable of doing anything. However, the perquisite of getting on that level is eliminating the fear of the failure.

You must have studied or seen a business cycle. Our life is much similar to a business cycle because the graph of a business cycle has peaks and troughs. Similar to this cycle, our life is full of ups and downs. But one thing which we need to remember is that, after every trough, comes a peak or after every night, there comes the sunshine. So, you need to remember that if you ever face a situation in which you think you have failed, do not give hope but stand again. May be, the success is waiting for you in the next chance.

The two best things about failure are that, firstly the success comes after it and secondly, you can overcome it. Yes, you can overcome the failure! And for that you just need some guidelines.

· The worst thing an individual can do is to hide his failure! Unfortunately, this is what we all are used to doing. First of all, we have to admit the existence of failure in our lives. It is because we cannot close our eyes to hide ourselves from the reality. If you face a situation of failure, instead of thinking that it was not true, you should stand still and firmly accept the reality. Make yourself accept and admit the failure! This will give you the strength to think about the next step.

· You may find it difficult to accept the fact that you have failed. It is because we do not want to accept that we also have weaknesses and can commit mistakes. The superiority complex of ours does not allow us to accept the failure. To make the acceptance easy, you may tell yourself that failure is common and can happen with anyone. You can also tell that you are not the first one who has failed and everyone has failed. Even those who are really successful these days, have failed a lot in their past. So, failure is nothing to be ashamed of.

· Even if we accept failure, the second worst things we tend do is to blame others. We blame the society, our parents, or sometimes God. We want someone else to volunteer for the blunders we did. On the other hand, what we actually do is that we should accept our weaknesses and our part of the failure. Yes, it is fact that sometimes our failure is not only our own mistake and others do have a part in it. However, we should be strong enough to admit our part of the failure instead of through the entire debris on anyone else.

· Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” This tells us that we have to examine and analyze our life completely. This analysis would definitely consider the failures as well. In the other words we can also say that analyzing the failure is to look for the opportunity. Yes, the failure itself is an opportunity to succeed and this is what most of the successful people did in their past life. The failure actually happens due to the absence of something and you can overcome it easily. The business tycoons do follow this strategy and they find the success in their failure.

· Sometimes we face a situation in which we are helpless. You will not find anything like this in any book related overcoming failure. However, we should be particle and understand that not everything is our control. There are things which are beyond our approach and we should accept it as well. This acceptance would make our life much easier and we would not waste our energy and effort in the things which are far away from our control. This failure is natural because we cannot change the way our Earth revolves around the Sun or we cannot control the way rivers flow.

· As I have discussed earlier that failure is an opportunity for the wise, I would like to add that failure is also a teacher for those who understand. We have heard a number of times that we learn from our mistakes and this is the reality of life. It is the same case with the failure. We learn from the failure and usually do not repeat those mistakes again. In the other words we can also say that there is benefit to be found in discomfort because we grow through pain.

To make it easy for you, let me share a great story with you. Similar to most of us, Mr. David also faced failure. Despite the fact that he worked really hard to achieve his goal, he did not get the success. Being a sales manager in a multinational company, it is his responsibility to increase sales of the company. He tried all the techniques he knew to increase the sales, he failed in doing so. After that, instead of getting sad and depressed, he accepted his failure in front of his subordinates. This gave him the strength to analyze the situation which made it easy to understand the loophole in the work he was doing. As a result, he is now considered a trustworthy, reliable, and compatible manager of the company.

Failure is nothing itself, it only happens when we lose hope. Hence, we should not give up and try to attempt as many times as we can. Because in the end, we have to succeed!

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