In order to succeed. You must first be willing to experience failure.
If at first you don’t succeed-try try try again… (singing). It’s one of those songs I still remember singing during my childhood. I am sure many of you remember the song too.
I was recently called up for a job interview, it was an internal vacancy and was indeed a big position from what I am currently doing right now. I had three full days preparing for it, to a point whereby I started feeling comfortable in my own skin that I had already snatched the opportunity by the horn, just like any other optimistic person does. On the day of the interview, I was pleasantly dressed, my work experience, skills and education were on point. I nailed the interview questions that impressed the interviewers, yes, I could tell by their body and facial expressions that I wasn’t annoying, but to conclude, I failed the interview…and the good thing is, I know exactly why I didn’t get the job. I didn’t have one of their major prerequisites. How did I know? Because I asked why I did not get the job with an objective of working on my mistakes in preparatory of my future interviews. Yes, it was only one thing, and that one thing cost me the job… and I am doing something about it. Why ? Because you can choose to be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it so I chose to learn. How? It is called courage, since I am courageous, I am going for it again or for something bigger, better and a lot much fun doing.
“Success is going from one failure to another without lose of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
Truth be said, it is in our human nature to feel disappointed with ourselves sometimes when we fail but what matters most is that despite the setbacks we must not give up or lose the enthusiasm.
I promise to tell you one day what I missed having during that job interview, after I have worked on it. Therefore, stay tuned to my articles.
Failure is not the opposite of success. it is part of success.
My failures have never stopped me from applying for bigger positions, starting or creating new projects. I have failed several times in the past. But I have not stopped experimenting. I never will.
You shouldn’t give up just because you have witnessed too many failures or have seen others fail too many times in the same industry or niche you intend to pursue.
Failure is not a sign of personal incompetence. It’s just one experiment that has gone wrong. I keep moving. That’s what matters.
The most important thing for me is that I don’t allow my failures to get the better of me. And it feels just as horrible for me as it does for anyone else.
I get down on myself, feel guilty, try to avoid thinking about it, would rather hide it from everyone else. Failing at things can really suck. And yet, I get back up and try again. When I try over and over again, once in a while I succeed.
Don’t let your failed job interviews, projects and work consume you. Get back up and try again. Your mistakes should be your motivation, not your excuses. And no matter how many mistakes you make, or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.
“The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something.” — Seth Godin
So what’s the secret? Well, there isn’t any. You just have to keep trying. Carry on trying.
Here’s what you can do when you fail in life or business.
Maintain a flexible mindset
When you are rigidly trying to stick to a plan or achieve a goal, and things don’t go according to plan, then you feel like crap and things can get derailed. But if you have a more flexible mindset, and think, “I might not be able to go according to plan but that’s OK because things change,” then it’s not a disaster when you get off track. There’s no single track that you have to stay on.
Remember this: every attempt is about learning
When you fail, that’s actually really good information. Before you failed, you thought that something would work (a prediction), but then real-world information came in that told you it didn’t work. That means you now know something you didn’t know before. That’s excellent. Now you can adjust your plan, figure something new out, try a new method. Keep learning.
“If you don’t have room to fail, you don’t have room to grow. — Jonathan Mildenhall.
Ask for help
When I’m struggling with something, I know that I can either give up, or I can figure out a better way. But it’s not always easier to figure out a better way, so I reach out to my network of trusted friends, and I ask them for help.
They might give me simple, obvious, why-didn’t-I-see-that advice that I need, or brilliant tips, or accountability. Whatever happens, you can reach out to people who have been there before. It’s never too late to seek help.
Remind yourself why it’s important
It’s easy to give up on something, because not doing it is always easier. But giving up means you’re losing something important, like helping someone, and so if my reasons for doing something aren’t just selfish (pleasure, vanity), then I will renew my vigor for the struggle. This alone is often enough to get me going again, especially if I’m doing it to help someone important.
I realize that I’m far from perfect, and that the guilty secrets I hide inside myself are no different than anyone else’s. You guys are just like me, in the inside, and while we all share the commonality of failing to live up to our better nature, we also share the bond of being able to start again. Your goal should be progress, not perfection.
Take time to recover and start over
Failure shouldn’t stop you from trying out something new. It makes you stronger and better prepared for new projects. Yes, failure is undesirable. Yes, failing is never what we plan for when we pursue a goal. However, more than likely, you will recover from failure. Once you’ve recovered, you are better equipped to chase after more dreams, more secure in knowing that you’ve survived a failure.
Give yourself a break
If I’m struggling, sometimes my mind or body just needs a break from the discipline. So I’ll take a day or two off, or apply for a vacation leave from work. There’s no set time that’s right for every situation, so I’ve been learning to go by feel.
For some things, I’ve taken a few weeks off from trying to learn something. If you are consistently failing at getting stuff done, find a new way to get it done. Change the process, routine or the approach.
There is always a better way to get something done. You may not be able to take a long break from work, but the point is, give yourself a break and get back to it with a new mindset.
So start again. Growth begins at the end of your comfort zone.
You will stumble, you may fail, but you are not your failure!
“Failure is an event, not a person. Yesterday ended last night.” – Zig Ziglar