Day Eight - Failure is not the end
It may be hard to accept, but failure is part of life. In fact, if you don’t sometimes experience failure, it’s probably because you’re not truly living life to the fullest. You need to leave your comfort zone to experience either success or failure. But it doesn’t change the fact that we fear failure, avoid it, and dread it.
Having said that, if you want to experience success it's important that you get used to being uncomfortable. When you end up having to deal with failure, there are ways to look at it that are positive. Let’s look at some tips for dealing with failure in a positive way that really works.
* It’s Not Personal – Usually, failure isn’t personal. It’s important that you depersonalize it regardless of what has happened. Even if it’s a partner breaking up with you, that is something about them more than you. J.K. Rowling "failed" (according to her) lots of times when she submitted her manuscript to many publishers only to get rejected. She never gave up and kept doing it.
* Learn from the Failure – Every single thing you do, especially when you fail, is a learning opportunity. When you can see failure as a learning opportunity, you will not fear it so much. Take the time to collect the facts and note the ways you could do better next time. This is something that is done in every single profession, from an airline pilot to a firefighter, to doctors, lawyers, and more. Look at the failure objectively and figure out what you can learn.
* Don’t Dwell on It – Letting the fact that you failed live in your mind and cause you to have repetitive fear-filled thoughts is not a good way to deal with failure. Choose a time to think about it, analyze it and move on from it.
* Stop Looking for Outward Approval – Sometimes the reason we fear failure so much is that we’re afraid to disappoint others in our lives. You don’t want to be overly influenced by anyone else, especially people you don’t ask. You must do what you know inside is best for you without outside influence.
* Shift Your Perspective – When you experience failure, try to view it from someone else’s point of view instead of your own. Separating yourself from it and looking at it as an outsider, removing your personal feelings, can help you learn even more from the situation.
* Let It Go – Sometimes there is nothing to be done about the failure; you simply screwed up. That’s normal. It’s totally human. If it’s something you need to apologize for, say so. If it’s not something you need to say you’re sorry for, then you need to move on and let it go.
Failure is a normal part of life that you need to experience to grow. If you’re not trying enough things that may lead to failure, you may not get to experience some amazing successes in life that you really want to experience. Dealing with failure is just part of life. You can do this.
Think back to a time when something didn’t go as planned or not as well as you would have liked. Then write down all the things you learned from that experience. Reflecting on failure is the best way to learn from our mistakes and avoid repeating them.
When you do fail or make mistakes, it's important to forgive yourself. We'll talk about how to do that next time.