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3 Powerful Reasons Why I Love to Fail (and Why You Should Too)

3 Powerful Reasons Why I Love to Fail (and Why You Should Too)

You know the feeling. The feeling you get when you fail miserably at something. That gut-sinking, desperate, I’m an idiot, and I’ll-never-amount-to-anything feeling. It’s awful, isn’t it?

In fact, some days it’s so awful that you don’t even want to get out of bed. The shame, embarrassment, and fear are harsh reminders that maybe you don’t have what it takes to succeed. Sometimes you even wonder if you should give up on your goals and dreams altogether. But you shouldn’t. And here’s why.

You can achieve the success you’ve always dreamed of by mastering one fundamental skill.

Failure: Study It, Understand It, Learn From It

Why is failure considered so bad? We seem to have a problem with failure. In the sense that failure is seen as the thing that must NOT happen at any cost. Too many people don’t want to focus on failure because it is often equated to weakness.

However, the truth is – failure happens to everyone. It happens in different areas of life and is not contained to high-stakes testing.

Some failures are bigger than others. Some are more public than others. Some are more humiliating than others. And some have a greater stigma around them. But failure does not need to set you back. It can catapult you into the future you’ve always wanted.

In fact, the only thing that separates people who succeed from those who don’t is a proper understanding of the power of failure. Successful people will tell you failure, is not only good, it’s also necessary.

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Failure might be a good teacher, but it’s also a cryptic one. Figuring out it’s lessons is no easy task. To be able to learn from failure, you need a way to decode the teachable moments “hidden” within them.

Here’s how to decode the valuable lessons of failure…

1. Study It

Start by analyzing your failures. Failure can constitute feedback regarding what you’re doing wrong, which permits you to adjust your actions until you do things right. But, many of us aren’t willing to look at our own mistakes. It makes us feel bad. However, in order to get a deep learning experience from failure we need to study them attentively, without falling to the other extreme and obsessing over them.

Study the facts. The fact is that there was a failure: you didn’t get the job, you didn’t make the sale, the relationship didn’t work out, and so on. Those are facts. That’s how you study failure. Anything beyond that is an interpretation, a meaning you’re giving to the situation.

2. Understand It

Failure is an opportunity, not a burden. It’s NOT the opposite of success. Failure is a bridge to success. It’s an initiation rite, the necessary steps you must take no matter how hard, no matter how tenuous.

Failure is NOT about making mistakes. Mistakes are inevitable and part of the journey. Mistakes are lessons. They’re stepping stones. They’re guideposts. If you don’t make mistakes you will not achieve anything. On the other hand, REAL failure is when you walk away from an opportunity. When you give up on your dreams to do something more “practical.” Failure is when you take the “sad sap” route, throw yourself a “pity party” and focus on thoughts about why you’re not good enough.

If you change the way you view failure and understand it for the life-changing experience it is, you can begin to take advantage of all the benefits that come along with it.

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3. Learn From It

Failure offers great learning lessons if you choose to approach it with a positive attitude. You can only receive what failure has to teach if you’re willing to fully embrace the failure itself. There’s no other way of learning other than by making mistakes. Failure teaches you that success rarely comes in the form of a “big break.” More often than not, it comes after months, even years of hard work.

Failure teaches you to try many avenues before giving up on reaching a goal because there’s usually more than one way to get there.

Failure can teach you where you went wrong in the first place and how you can pick yourself up again in a pursuit to succeed.

Failure can teach you that you’re not bad at something, just that you have to try a different method to find success.

Failure can reveal critical errors in your thinking, approach or game-plan and force you to make necessary adjustments. It may close one door, but will open another that’s better suited for your success.

There are always a million reasons to quit. But one reason to go on. You’ll have a happier more fulfilled life if you try your best to study, understand and learn from failure. Great. So now that we’re clear on that, why should you love to fail?

Here’s why…

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3 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Love to Fail

Success takes willpower, intelligence, determination and grit. But above all else, success requires failure.

Failure is the blacksmith’s hammer that tempers the sword of success.

Reason #1: Failure Means You’re Trying

Success is a moment. It’s fleeting, you work so hard for it but you will rarely savor it. But what really matters, isn’t success, it’s trying. Success is in the reaching, not the arriving. It’s constantly trying to close the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

If you haven’t failed yet, chances are you aren’t trying very hard.

When you stop trying, you allow opportunity to pass you by. But when you try, you push yourself to dream, to do better, to look beyond the present and ultimately embrace the moment you are blessed to live in. So keep trying. Keep pushing. Keep believing in dreams that others don’t think are possible.

Reason #2: Failure Builds Character

Character in life is what makes people believe in you and is essential for individual success. It’s the most important trait you can have and takes a lifetime to build but can be lost in an instant.

A person with good character finds acceptance wherever he goes and is respected by all. In addition, character can help you develop a pleasant personality.

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Nothing is more important for true success in life. Life is nothing without it.

Failure helps you build character because it sheds light to who you currently are. Failure can show you if you give up, complain or blame others. This can help you make adjustments in your character so that you become successful.

Reason #3: Failure Helps You Overcome Fear

Fear is a useless emotion. It does nothing but cause negative effects. The feeling of fear is not productive, nor is it a necessary or important part of achieving success. Fear limits your full potential. It’s pervasive. And if you let it, fear can haunt everything you do.

Fear does not contribute to life, but rather it takes away so much from life. It takes away chances, experiences, choices, dreams, hopes, love, friendships, connections, possibilities… Fear is an anchor that must be cast off in order to live your life in the most honest, real and successful way possible.

As you begin to fail more and more, you start fearing less and less. And when fear drops low enough, you’ll reach a point where it’s no longer preventing you from taking action.

Failure is the Beginning of Success

Ninety percent of times, fear of failure is entirely internal. It really is. It’s you second-guessing yourself on something that you know you can do. Why do you know you can do it? Because you conceived the idea. It wouldn’t be possible if you couldn’t think of it. Let’s face it, if you want to accomplish something in life, even something huge, the answer to do that is already out there.

So, how could you fear failing, when failing is so important to success?

It doesn’t matter if you tried and failed a dozen times. Those failures just told you what doesn’t work. The difference lies in your response to failure. Most will give up. Most will cave in. Most won’t stick it out. But you do. And that is the difference. Success is what comes after you have survived all your failures. You have to fight through the bad days so you can earn the best days of your life. Success is what happens when you stick it out! Grind it out! And that is why I love to fail.

How about you? Do you love to fail?

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Last Updated on April 8, 2019

22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

Unless you’re infinitely rich or prepared to rack up major debt, you need to budget your income. Setting limits on how much you are willing to spend helps control expenses. But what about your time? Do you budget your time or spend it carelessly?

Deadlines are the chronological equivalent of a budget. By setting aside a portion of time to complete a task, goal or project in advance you avoid over-spending. Deadlines can be helpful but they can also be a source of frustration if set improperly. Here are some tips for making deadlines work:

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  1. Use Parkinson’s Law – Parkinson’s Law states that tasks expand to fill the time given to them. By setting a strict deadline in advance you can cut off this expansion and focus on what is most important.
  2. Timebox – Set small deadlines of 60-90 minutes to work on a specific task. After the time is up you finish. This cuts procrastinating and forces you to use your time wisely.
  3. 80/20 – The Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of the value is contained in 20% of the input. Apply this rule to projects to focus on that critical 20% first and fill out the other 80% if you still have time.
  4. Project VS Deadline – The more flexible your project, the stricter your deadline. If a task has relatively little flexibility in completion a softer deadline will keep you sane. If the task can grow easily, keep a tight deadline to prevent waste.
  5. Break it Down – Any deadline over one day should be broken down into smaller units. Long deadlines fail to motivate if they aren’t applied to manageable units.
  6. Hofstadter’s Law – Basically this law states that it always takes longer than you think. A rule I’ve heard in software development is to double the time you think you need. Then add six months. Be patient and give yourself ample time for complex projects.
  7. Backwards Planning – Set the deadline first and then decide how you will achieve it. This approach is great when choices are abundant and projects could go on indefinitely.
  8. Prototype – If you are attempting something new, test out smaller versions of a project to help you decide on a final deadline. Write a 10 page e-book before your 300 page novel or try to increase your income by 10% before aiming to double it.
  9. Find the Weak Link – Figure out what could ruin your plans and accomplish it first. Knowing the unknown can help you format your deadlines.
  10. No Robot Deadlines – Robots can work without sleep, relaxation or distractions. You aren’t a robot. Don’t schedule your deadline with the expectation you can work sixteen hour days to complete it. Deathmarches aren’t healthy.
  11. Get Feedback – Get a realistic picture from people working with you. Giving impossible deadlines to contractors or employees will only build resentment.
  12. Continuous Planning – If you use a backwards planning model, you need to constantly be updating plans to fit your deadline. This means making cuts, additions or refinements so the project will fit into the expected timeframe.
  13. Mark Excess Baggage – Identify areas of a task or project that will be ignored if time grows short. What e-mails will you have to delete if it takes too long to empty your inbox? What features will your product lack if you need a rapid finish?
  14. Review – For deadlines over a month long take a weekly review to track your progress. This will help you identify methods you can use to speed up work and help you plan more efficiently for the future.
  15. Find Shortcuts – Almost any task or project has shortcuts you can use to save time. Is there a premade library you can use instead of building your own functions? An autoresponder to answer similar e-mails? An expert you can call to help solve a problem?
  16. Churn then Polish – Set a strict deadline for basic completion and then set a more comfortable deadline to enhance and polish afterwards. Often churning out the basics of a task quickly will require no more polishing afterwards than doing it slowly.
  17. Reminders – Post reminders of your deadlines everywhere. Creating a sense of urgency with your deadlines is necessary to keep them from getting pushed aside by distractions.
  18. Forward Planning – Not mutually exclusive with backwards planning, this involves planning the details of a project out before setting a deadline. Great for achieving clarity about what you are trying to accomplish before making arbitrary time limits.
  19. Set a Timer – Get one that beeps. Somehow the countdown of a timer appears more realistic for a ninety minute timebox than just glancing at your clock.
  20. Write them Down – Any deadline over a few hours needs to be written down. Otherwise it is an inclination not a goal. Having written deadlines makes them more tangible than internal decisions alone.
  21. Cheap/Fast/Good – Ben Casnocha in My Start Up Life mentions that you can have only have two of the three. Pick two of the cheap/fast/good dimensions before starting a project to help you prioritize.
  22. Be Patient – Using a deadline may seem to be the complete opposite of patience. But being patient with inflexible tasks is necessary to focus on their completion. The paradox is that the more patient you are, the more you can focus. The more you can focus the quicker the results will come!

Featured photo credit: Estée Janssens via unsplash.com

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