Well, not exactly. I don’t like losing, but it happens every day. Maybe not losing, but failing. There is rarely a day when I do not experience some kind of failure. It could be minor, like spilling something on my shirt, to something bigger. I have learned to embrace failure.
Failure is an important part of my life. No, I am not some loser who never wins and always comes in last. I am a successful coach, trainer, and speaker who has come to accept the failures in my life. I am constantly learning about myself and my family every day. I teach my clients how to accept their failures and to learn from them. Breakdowns are part of the norm. More importantly, I am learning from these opportunities about myself and those around me. Failures can lead to some of your greatest successes.
Here are a few things that failure can teach you.
Success is never guaranteed
The only guarantees in life are death and taxes. Not exciting thoughts. Whether you are trying to change jobs, start a business, or create a new relationship, you want to be successful. You hope things go well and that you will be successful. It takes work to be successful, and it takes determination to deal with the pitfalls when something does not go well. With a learning attitude, you can be successful, but it does not happen overnight. “When you take risks, you learn that there will be times when you succeed, and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” – Ellen DeGeneres
No matter what you do, there are times when things work well, and times things do not work well. When things do not work well, you need to change or adjust your strategy in order to achieve the success and outcome you are aiming for. Maybe you are trying to get new referrals for your business; you have done a mailing or local advertising. After that, you receive only a few calls about your services. You must overcome that perceived failure and go back and look at what you did; you realize that you missed the mark and that you must adjust the mailing or advertising, hoping to be more successful next time. In doing so, this failure teaches you that the only way to overcome a loss is to embrace change.
It is not Final
When you experience a setback, it feels like you have nowhere to go. You did not win, and your dreams or hopes just stopped with the failure. One thing you can learn is that defeat is not final. Most successful business people, celebrities, and others will agree with this. One of my favorite stories is that of Walt Disney. The person who created one of the most successful, creative, and well-known places worldwide was fired from his job at a newspaper at age 22. He was fired for his lack of creativity. According to his editor, he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Understanding that you can fail and get back up on your feet to be successful gives you self-confidence.
Failure is a painful experience that no one wants to go through, but failure happens. Recently, I learned a lesson from Dan Sullivan and Dr. Bruce Hardy, who are authors of “The Gap and the Gain.” In this book, Dan Sullivan talks about a practice he uses every night when he journals his three wins of the day and the three most significant wins he expects in the next day. This practice allows him to avoid the disappointment of the day. It builds up his confidence and the wins in his life. Each failure or disappointment can lead to your eventual success. Do not be a loser…
I challenge you to try the “3 wins” journaling practice for 30 days each night to develop a change in your perspective and mindset. You will become more positive, and you will focus on winning and learning. Remember that each failure you experience can lead to a win in your life!