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A different perspective on failure

Updated: Jun 27, 2020

On this week's episode of my podcast I talk about failure. Probably not everyone's favorite topic, I mean, who wants to fail?

I have to start this article by saying that I was the worse at dealing with failure. I had recognized a patters in myself every time I "failed". I will blame someone or something for my failure and in private I would beat myself up. Failure many times took to give up on my dreams.

I realized that it wasn't failure itself but the way I dealt with failure that constituted the actual failure. I realized that something needed to change, I did, because my attitude towards failure was not helping me in any way.

The truth is, failure in inevitable. We are all going to fail at something, sometime. Failure is part of life.

Did you knew that Michael Jordan missed over 900 shots in his career, that he lost 300 games, that 26 times he was trusted with the game's winning shot and he missed?

It took all those failures for him to become one of the best basketball players.

Don't let the fear of failure stop you from keep trying. Focus on how to better deal and embrace failure, so failure is no longer the end, but rather the first step towards success.

This is how I go about dealing with failure:

  1. I allow myself to feel disappointed. We all need to vent. For me is important to embrace that feeling before I can let it go. This only takes two minutes, I don't spent a lot time here as I used to in the past. Don't beat yourself up, but acknowledge and embrace that feeling.

  2. I take responsibility. I repeat to myself, "It was my mistake, I failed" instead of blaming someone else or something, I accept first to myself that I failed. Accepting my failure to myself first helps me then accept my failure in front of others.

  3. I try to focus on the positive side of failure. I believe there is a positive side for everything, even when sometimes might be hard to find that positive side. Maybe I learned something new, or a better, bigger opportunity came up as a result of me failing on something else.

  4. I quickly move to learning mode. I believe we can always learn something form every situation, and failure is not an exception. I ask myself a series of questions, like: what did I learned about myself? or about or from the situation? what would I do differently next time? and finally, now, what is next?

  5. I translate my learning into goals action plans. Not only I define goals and actions plans but I also assign due dates to those action plans. This is my way to to avoid procrastination. I make sure I put all those things in my calendar.

  6. I try to get on my optimistic mindset. I think on what can be the positive outcomes of these goals and actions I have set for myself and I try to visualize how success would look like.

  7. If any negative thought or doubts surface I try to visualize how I would feel if I am successful. If not only what do I accomplish but how do I feel as a result of accomplishing those things. Taking the time to visualize how I would feel motivates me to keep trying.

  8. I plan for what can go wrong. The fact that I focus on the positive outcomes does not mean that I underestimate or scrap what might go wrong. I take my lessons learned, identify what can go wrong and plan ahead what I would do if those things go wrong. These things might never happen, but if they do, I will be prepared.

  9. I stop comparing myself with others. I've learned that we tent to compare our failures with other people's success. The media tends to highlight people's successes yet we don't know what is under the surface, we don't know what it took for these people to achieve that type of success. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others and start comparing ourselves to ourselves. I focus on making progress vs trying to be perfect the first time I try something.

Embrace failure, because it takes failure to achieve success!

Want to learn more about this topic? Listen to episode 5 of the Leading Yourself Podcast, now available in Apple Podcast, Spotify and other podcast platforms

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