The Short and Timeless Guide to Overcoming and Using Failure
“No man ever achieved worth-while success who did not, at one time or other, find himself with at least one foot hanging well over the brink of failure.“- Napoleon Hill
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”- Michael Jordan
“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.”- C. S. Lewis
Failure can be quite the problem. And the fear of it can be paralyzing.
So what can you do to motivate yourself to take a chance, to overcome possible failure and to use it to your advantage?
Here are a few timeless words of advice.
“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.” - Michael Jordan
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” - Samuel Beckett
“An inventor fails 999 times, and if he succeeds once, he’s in. He treats his failures simply as practice shots.” - Charles F. Kettering
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” - Henry Ford
Failure is something that may need to be redefined within your mind. It’s not something to attach too much meaning to. But people do though.
If you look at successful people then you see that they have an abundance mentality. They know there are new chances and opportunities if they fail. And that there are lessons to be learned from failures. Those failures are necessary to achieve success. Without them you don’t get the feedback that is essential for your future success. And by making mistakes for yourself you get experience. Reading about someone else’s mistake or knowledge isn’t the same thing as experiencing it for yourself.
Failure is a learning experience. It can help you. But first you have to try. Without trying you aren’t going anywhere.
“A lot of new obstacles are coming, a lot of new feelings are coming, … I’m just taking it for what it is and learning from the mistakes I had this year.” - Michael Phelps
Acceptance is very helpful when you make a mistake or fail. You can resist the failure/mistake and beat yourself up. This creates a lot of inner suffering and new resistance. And that makes it emotionally harder to keep going and trying since you associate mistakes and failure with so much pain.
Acceptance is a more useful approach. It can help you to release yourself from slipping into old, conditioned patterns of self-hurting behaviour when something “negative” happens. You can instead see a situation such as a failure with fresh eyes.
And instead of beating yourself up or feeling sorry for yourself you can see the situation in a more positive and constructive way. Like for instance by looking for the lessons or the positive stuff in your failure. One of the greatest things about acceptance is that it can give you freedom from your old behaviour patterns and “you acting as you have always done”.
“A man may fail many times but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else.”- John Burroughs
A very good point. As long as you own your mistakes and failures you can still learn. You can still adapt and find a better course to take.
But when you start blaming everyone or everything else then you don’t just look like a bitter failure. You also give you power away. The power over what you have learned so far and the power take action and do something. When you give that away it’s like you are sitting down on your hands and just giving up. You don’t have any power to move forward anymore.
Build inner strength.
“Failure is nature’s plan to prepare you for great responsibilities” - Napoleon Hill
Failure and rejection won’t kill you. You may think that it does and it may feel like it almost will just after it has happened. But it won’t. Instead it makes you stronger. It makes you more confident in yourself. Because over time, by piling up the failures you truly understand that this isn’t such a big deal. You have handled it before and if it comes up in the future you know that you can handle it again.
By failing you build inner strength and gain understanding of how things work. This is crucial to be able to handle bigger responsibilities in life and to be able to grow.