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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 20, 2018

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

You go to the gym to train your muscles. You run outside or go for hikes to train your endurance. Or, maybe you do neither of those, but still wish you exercised more.

Well, here is how to train one of the most important parts of your body: your brain.

When you train your brain, you will:

  • Avoid embarrassing situations. You remember his face, but what was his name?
  • Be a faster learner in all sorts of different skills. No problem for you to pick up a new language or new management skill.
  • Avoid diseases that hit as you get older. Alzheimer’s will not be affecting you.

So how to train your brain and improve your cognitive skills?

1. Work your memory

Twyla Tharp, a NYC-based renowned choreographer has come up with the following memory workout:

When she watches one of her performances, she tries to remember the first twelve to fourteen corrections she wants to discuss with her cast without writing them down.

If you think this is anything less than a feat, then think again. In her book The Creative Habit she says that most people cannot remember more than three.

The practice of both remembering events or things and then discussing them with others has actually been supported by brain fitness studies.

Memory activities that engage all levels of brain operation—receiving, remembering and thinking—help to improve the function of the brain.

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Now, you may not have dancers to correct, but you may be required to give feedback on a presentation, or your friends may ask you what interesting things you saw at the museum. These are great opportunities to practically train your brain by flexing your memory muscles.

What is the simplest way to help yourself remember what you see? Repetition.

For example, say you just met someone new:

“Hi, my name is George”

Don’t just respond with, “Nice to meet you”. Instead, say, “Nice to meet you George.”

Got it? Good.

2. Do something different repeatedly

By actually doing something new over and over again, your brain wires new pathways that help you do this new thing better and faster.

Think back to when you were three years old. You surely were strong enough to hold a knife and a fork just fine. Yet, when you were eating all by yourself, you were creating a mess.

It was not a matter of strength, you see. It was a matter of cultivating more and better neural pathways that would help you eat by yourself just like an adult does.

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And guess what? With enough repetition you made that happen!

But how does this apply to your life right now?

Say you are a procrastinator. The more you don’t procrastinate, the more you teach your brain not to wait for the last minute to make things happen.

Now, you might be thinking “Duh, if only not procrastinating could be that easy!”

Well, it can be. By doing something really small, that you wouldn’t normally do, but is in the direction of getting that task done, you will start creating those new precious neural pathways.

So if you have been postponing organizing your desk, just take one paper and put in its right place. Or, you can go even smaller. Look at one piece of paper and decide where to put it: Trash? Right cabinet? Another room? Give it to someone?

You don’t actually need to clean up that paper; you only need to decide what you need to do with it.

That’s how small you can start. And yet, those neural pathways are still being built. Gradually, you will transform yourself from a procrastinator to an in-the-moment action taker.

3. Learn something new

It might sound obvious, but the more you use your brain, the better its going to perform for you.

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For example, learning a new instrument improves your skill of translating something you see (sheet music) to something you actually do (playing the instrument).

Learning a new language exposes your brain to a different way of thinking, a different way of expressing yourself.

You can even literally take it a step further, and learn how to dance. Studies indicate that learning to dance helps seniors avoid Alzheimer’s. Not bad, huh?

4. Follow a brain training program

The Internet world can help you improve your brain function while lazily sitting on your couch. A clinically proven program like BrainHQ can help you improve your memory, or think faster, by just following their brain training exercises.

5. Work your body

You knew this one was coming didn’t you? Yes indeed, exercise does not just work your body; it also improves the fitness of your brain.

Even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. But it’s not just that–exercise actually helps your brain create those new neural connections faster. You will learn faster, your alertness level will increase, and you get all that by moving your body.

Now, if you are not already a regular exerciser, and already feel guilty that you are not helping your brain by exercising more, try a brain training exercise program like Exercise Bliss.

Remember, just like we discussed in #2, by training your brain to do something new repeatedly, you are actually changing yourself permanently.

6. Spend time with your loved ones

If you want optimal cognitive abilities, then you’ve got to have meaningful relationships in your life.  Talking with others and engaging with your loved ones helps you think more clearly, and it can also lift your mood.

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If you are an extrovert, this holds even more weight for you. At a class at Stanford University, I learned that extroverts actually use talking to other people as a way to understand and process their own thoughts.

I remember that the teacher told us that after a personality test said she was an extrovert, she was surprised. She had always thought of herself as an introvert. But then, she realized how much talking to others helped her frame her own thoughts, so she accepted her new-found status as an extrovert.

7. Avoid crossword puzzles

Many of us, when we think of brain fitness, think of crossword puzzles. And it’s true–crossword puzzles do improve our fluency, yet studies show they are not enough by themselves.

Are they fun? Yes. Do they sharpen your brain? Not really.

Of course, if you are doing this for fun, then by all means go ahead. If you are doing it for brain fitness, then you might want to choose another activity

8. Eat right – and make sure dark chocolate is included

Foods like fish, fruits, and vegetables help your brain perform optimally. Yet, you might not know that dark chocolate gives your brain a good boost as well.

When you eat chocolate, your brain produces dopamine. And dopamine helps you learn faster and remember better. Not to mention, chocolate contains flavonols, antioxidants, which also improve your brain functions.

So next time you have something difficult to do, make sure you grab a bite or two of dark chocolate!

The bottom line

Now that you know how to train your brain, it’s actually time to start doing.

Don’t just consume this content and then go on with your life as if nothing has changed. Put this knowledge into action and become smarter than ever!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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