Welcome to a new section devoted to you. Well, everything is devoted to you in one way or another, I mean I’m writing for me as well as you but primarily, for you. Sort of. Anyway, Twack says don’t be afraid to fail and the rest of my musings will be focused on areas that we all come up against and sometimes need a helping hand to get through. Even more interesting is that sometimes we aren’t even aware that we’re doing certain things. Ever heard of ‘Self-Sabotage’ ? Well, that’s the art of failing on purpose. Who knew ? and why would you do that ?
What Is Failure
That sounds like a good place to start. There is no definitive answer to that unless you just want to go down the road of everything being black and white. You take a test and fail. You go to a job interview and don’t get the job. You try and fail to reach 5k the first time you start running. You audition for an acting role and don’t get a call back. These are just examples of the basic premise of failure. We all have different expectations of what we consider to be failure.
If, you’re a salesperson then it could be down to the amount of sales you achieve in a given time frame. If, you’re an author it could be how many books you manage to publish before you reach the ripe old age of fifty. If, you’re a student it may be not getting the highest grade in your degree or diploma.
‘Lifes pavements are littered with the detritus of failure.’
All of the above are personal standards that we set ourselves that we class as failures if we don’t achieve them. If, we do achieve them then we have success. So is success the antithesis of failure. If, that is the case then everything still applies. What do you see as being successful ? Everyones ‘take’ on what is success is different. I am successful. Why ? Well, because I have four children who all had a better childhood than I did. From the age of sixteen I wanted children and also wanted them to have a better upbringing than I did. They did, ergo I’m a success. Now that we’ve sorted that out, let’s move on.
If At First You Don’t Succeed
There’s that word again, well not exactly but close. Succeed. Let me finish the phrase ‘Try, try again’ in full, in case you failed to make the connection: ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again’. Probably one of the most famous quotes that fits the bill is the one by Evel Knievel. Did you know his first name was Robert ? Bob Knievel, doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. His famous words were:
“If you fall during your life, it doesn’t matter.
You’re never a failure as long as you try to get up.”
After a quote like that we could just stop right there. It sums it all up. I’m not a Knievel fan ‘per se’ but he attempted 75 ramp to ramp jumps on a motorcycle. He didn’t make all of them and broke his bones over thirty-five times. Failure or success ? The point is that he never gave up just got back on his bike, once his bones had knitted back together, did it all over again.
Here’s another way of looking at things in a different light. I was going to use baseball as an example but I really am under qualified to give a really good depth analysis. Suffice to say, some of the best ‘hitters’ miss more timers than they hit. 30 home runs in a season is way good and that’s out of 162 games of nine innings in each. Like I said, I’m no expert or officiando but those figures are looked at as a success. Swing and a miss, swing and a miss, swing and a hit and you’re on first base and you’re on your way to success. One out of three, two misses, look at it how you want. It’s not classed as failing.
A Numbers Game
So much in life, mainly business, is a numbers games. Send out 5000 leaflets, get 500 leads, make 100 appointments, sign up 10. Those figures can be manipulated depending on what it is you’re doing. Cold calling or ‘door knocking’ trying to sell something, soul-destroying work but one quote sticks in my mind that turns it all on its head:
“Every no, brings me closer to a yes.” How can you even began to contemplate having to work like that ? Hundreds of thousands do, every day, they knock on a door and before they’ve managed to say ‘Hi’ they’ve been told “Not interested” Big sigh, on to the next door, oh well, it takes me closer to a yes. A change of perspective, a different angle. How awesome is that, how many fails do they have in a single day ? ten, twenty, fifty ? Yet they still keep going, time and time again.
How can you even began to contemplate having to work like that ? Hundreds of thousands do, every day, they knock on a door and before they’ve managed to say ‘Hi’ they’ve been told “Not interested” Big sigh, on to the next door, oh well, it takes me closer to a yes. A change of perspective, a different angle. How awesome is that, how many fails do they have in a single day ? ten, twenty, fifty ? Yet they still keep going, time and time again. You decide what failure means, not anyone else and while we’re at it, why would you listen to someone who is calling you a failure anyway. If you know what your goal or vision is and you know that one day you will reach it, then everything in between is just part of the journey.
‘A problem is just a challenge waiting to be overcome.’
Fear Of Failure
Now we’re getting down to some juicy bits. Look away now if you’re not up for a bit of self-analysis. It goes back to what we were talking about earlier. How you reconcile the two-sided coin of success and failure. Ever asked yourself what must happen for you to be successful ? Or the flip side, have you ever asked yourself what must happen for you to feel like a failure.
- Who designs your rules ?
- Are those rules going to effect your success goals ?
- If they are, can you change them ?
Have you ever wondered that if you’re not succeeding it is because you’re afraid that when you do,
the next step will be a fall?
Yep, I know it’s all gone a bit ‘cerebral’ but that’s where it stems from, no pun intended. We are the ones who make he rules on what we decide is failure. Try these for size before we move onto something a little lighter.
- If I fail, I will try again.
- I will learn not to repeat my mistake
- Take a deep breath, smile and move on.
It’s interesting and most of you may already know this but it is true to say that in order for us to grow as individuals, we need to fail, we need to make mistakes. That’s how we learn and in turn grow. One more ‘deep’ quote before we move on. Sorry, have I said that already ? Promise we will.
Success In Life Is The Result Of Good Judgement.
Good Judgement Is The Result Of Experience.
Experience Is The Result Of Bad Judgement.
Guess Who Failed ?
Off the top of my head I can think of three, with a little more time I could probably add more. With some research I think you would be surprised at home many people we know today as ‘Successful’ were handed ‘failure’ on a regular basis. It was only through their own sheer will and determination did they eventually succeed.
- Colonel Sanders– Probably one of the most famous stories out there. It is meant to be true and I have no way to prove otherwise that he tried to peddle his recipe for fried chicken to nearly one thousand vendors before one of them said ‘yes please’ Is there a KFC near you ?
- Sylvester Stallone– How many times was his film ‘Rocky’ turned down before someone said they would make it, do you think ? Nigh on 1500 times. When someone actually made him an offer they didn’t want him to start in the film. Even though he was broke at the time he stood his ground and held out until finally both him and his script were accepted
- Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson– After a knee injury put paid to any chance of getting into the NFL ‘The Rock’ ended up playing in the Canadian Football League, earning $250 per week, right up until he was ‘cut’ from the team. When his dad came to pick him up and take back him home, he had $7 in his pocket. He was 23 years old at the time. Now can smell what he’s cooking ?
- Steve Jobs– Not really a failure in the traditional sense but he dropped out of college in the first semester and used to take empty bottles in so he could exchange them for cash and buy food. When he partnered up with Steve Wozniak (After being in India for a year, ‘finding himself’) they were building their first circuit boards in Job’s garage. An inauspicious start.
- Michael Jordan– for this one you can have it in his own words:
“I’ve missed 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 over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
How about that little lot for starters. Just type in something like ‘failure turned to success’ and you will find thousands of stories and examples of people, just like you and me, that have faced failure time and time again but never given up. They’ve picked themselves up and started all over again and again and again.
The choice Is Yours.
A parting gift for before we go our separate ways. Below is a small extract from a blog post I did on Wealthy Affiliate. There’s a link on the image that will take you to the full article “The Four Steps To Success”. This is the nuts and bolts of it though.
Who knew that being successful was as simple as following the above steps. Well nothing is life is as simple as it sometimes seems. One thing that does run through the entire discussion about failing, is that it is up to you how you deal with it. The last quote I will leave you with is this:
“Failure is an option. I choose not to take it “
I thank you muchly for taking the time to read this post. I hope that you have found something of use within the lines of text. Should you have any questions or would just like to leave a comment, please feel free to do so below.