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6 Reasons Why Embracing Failure Helps You Succeed

6 Reasons Why Embracing Failure Helps You Succeed

“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.“ – Michael Jordan

Most people hate failure.

They don’t have what it takes to win and will be consistently impaired by the challenge and the disappointment on their journey.

Don’t get me wrong, failing sucks. Facing the dark throws of defeat and despair can make it hard to persevere. When life tells you that you aren’t good enough or that you don’t have what it takes, it can be challenging to fight on, but you must.

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Doing something that you can fail at means that what you are doing is worthwhile. If you didn’t push yourself or grow into someone new on a path of ease and comfort then life would certainly be boring and uninspiring.

What is even more awe-inspiring is just what failure can do for you. Failing can be one of the most incredible drivers to success and included here are the 6 ways that failure can help you succeed:

1. It sets you on a new path

When you fail, it could be a sign that you shouldn’t have been going in this direction, to begin with. This, of course, is if you recognize clearly that your goal or vision for what you wanted isn’t exactly what means the most to you.

Failing should hurt, but you should only proceed in a different direction if you don’t feel it within your core to go forward in your initial direction despite that failure. This means that your vision of success has to be compelling enough to drive you forward, even if it is hard.

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2. It reaffirms your previous direction

When you fall and then get right back up towards that same direction and goal you send yourself a message that you still want it even though you are going through pain and devastation to get there.

This strengthens your investment and your will to win. If you are willing to fight for your goal even when you have been put through pain and struggle then you tell yourself and the world that this is a worthwhile goal.

3. You tell yourself that you are worthy of the goal by fighting on

Fighting on despite disappointment shows you that you still believe in yourself. It shows that despite irrefutable evidence that you can’t do it, you will still strive to win. This action itself is communication to yourself that you will win.

When you have the opportunity to affirm the belief you have in yourself despite all the negative feedback, the judgment of others, and what happens to you in life, this can allow you to become more resolute in your goals. This is really a gift of failure.

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4. The challenges are what cause you to grow

Failure is just a sign for you to understand that you need to grow more. What some people have a difficult time in comprehending about failure is simply that it will mold and shape you into a person that can reach your destiny.

When you are sharpened by the challenges thrown your way and the despair of failure, this allows you to grow and become a better person. Look beyond the immediate pain and realize that it is only through the failures we face that turn us into the person that we really want to become.

5. Your failure leads to a compelling story

Through our biggest obstacles, the most incredible stories can be told. These are stories of you overcoming your biggest challenges and becoming the person you wanted to become. These are stories that shape your life and inspire others.

It would be sad to look on one’s life after having lived it only to realize that they had never failed. This likely would be a life of comfort and mediocrity. Without having failed then one wouldn’t have many great stories to tell or any noteworthy accomplishments to talk about.

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6. How you respond to failure inspires others

What you do in the face of failure will inspire and motivate others. How you show up when faced with the ultimate defeat will impact the lives around you. It can help them to achieve their biggest goals and this can drive you even further.

Your fans and your critics are watching to see what you will do in the face of failure. It’s not important to pay attention to your critics or even that you will fail because you will, but it is more important how you will show up in the face of such disappointment. When you take failure for what it is and strive on further towards your goal, others will notice and you could very well be the cause that inspires someone else to greatness.

Looking at failure in a different way can be one of the most profound changes that you will make in your life. The moment of failure sucks, but what you can gain from it might just transform your life.

Know that you are interested in the long-term rewards of becoming the person you want to become. Find joy in failing because the knowledge of such a thing means that you are even closer to your goals. Anything worth doing or any goals worth having are worthy of failing at. If you can’t fail at something then likely it is an uninspiring and fruitless path. What I have found is that the fails lead to your greatest successes.

Fail more today so that you can succeed tomorrow. Look back at your life and notice how just after you have failed, then came your biggest accomplishments.

What does failure mean for you?

More by this author

Shawn Schweier

Life Success Coach

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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