Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Failure Is Good

Failure is a common fear which resides in many of us. Disappointment is a by-product of failure which many of us experience daily. For others failure is considered as a positive learning experience. The difference between these two types of people is attitude. Failure should not be the basis upon which we should judge ourselves as being capable of doing something or not. Developing the right perspective with failure is just a step forward to being successful.

How we deal with failure has a lot to do with the cultures we have been raised in, whether it be on a national or a family scale.Only recently I came across a book which talks about the economic miracle behind Israel’s continuing success, called Start-up Nation. One of the most interesting observations I made was that their culture encourages failure. They want their society to take risks and make these failures because they know that the second time round or third time round they will have a success story. They termed this as “Constructive Failure”, transforming negative to positive. So not getting it right the first time round is only a stage in the process of becoming successful later.

People experience failure in different ways. Exams, starting up a business, approaching someone you’re attracted to, Relationships etc. The problem is not in the failing, but that people feel like a failure continuously once they have failed. I remember having a discussion with a friend of mine a few years back and she asked me a question “Why don’t guys approach women at public social places?” I explained to her that men are scared of being rejected and failing to get what they want. The problem however is that they see this as a failure in life and not as a failing of the moment. We allow the results of the action to define us, which is far from the truth. Failure is of that moment not for an entirety of life.

Dealing with failure:

1. Make note of your failures, or as to why you believe you have failed. Your failures are a clear indication of what you need to improve upon in your life. Build on your weaknesses. For example, when I was failing my exams for my professional qualification, I eventually decided to identify my weaknesses. I listed them and focused on improving them, and then I passed.

2. Never compare yourself to others who you believe are successful. You don’t know their full story. Compare yourself this year with yourself last year. That is the best benchmark for anyone. Some of you may know Anderson Silva, a fighter in the UFC. His strongest point was that he became a better fighter by comparing himself with his self and not against others.

3.Don’t be dishearten if you fail again and again. You are more than likely repeating the same mistakes. Developing that constructive failure attitude is all you need.

4.Expectation is the mother of disappointment. Don’t expect anything, just recognize the effort you have put into something and that is enough.

5.Do not allow failure to determine who you are. Failure is of the moment and doesn’t mean you will be a failure all the time. Confine that failure to that moment and leave it there.

6. Do not let others opinions affect you. By believing in your self is all you need, what others think or believe is a reflection of them selves.

Some of the best success stories of our time stem from the greatest failures. Let us see some examples:

- The Beatles: They faced so much rejection from record companies that one specific label said,“the Beatles
have no future in show business”. They later became the greatest band in history. They didn't stop, they continued to challenge failure head on.

-Elvis Presley: The King Of Rock Roll didn't become the King from his first audition. It was only after several attempts his talent was eventually recognized. He believed and others later believed in him.

- Richard Branson: He didn't become a millionaire without loosing a few million. Some of his products were complete failures, but Branson had the winning attitude to continue to be a inspiring business man for many of us. I like to call him Brand-son.

You need to fail in order to prevail. Being successful the first time round could be a matter of luck, being successful the second time round indicates you are doing the right thing.

Families should encourage their children to fail in order to be willing to take some risk on their shoulders. They need to understand that failing is perfectly normal. Adopting this mentality just like many other countries will allow our economies to grow stronger. If our younger generation’s attitude on failure changes then they will excel individually not being fearful to take decisions of any magnitude.

Success is not always measured by what we have achieved in life but how well we have dealt with failure and failure is not that bad when we have at least tried to be successful. Andros Zacharia



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