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Last Updated on January 18, 2021

Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn. There’s No Such Thing Called Failure.

Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn. There’s No Such Thing Called Failure.

Picture this: Remember that time you asked that hot girl out, and your cool, loaded friend got the catch instead? Or how about that dark day where you were sure that your project was going to win an award, and that hated colleague walked off with the trophy?

Sounds familiar, right? We’ve all been in various situations in life where we have bitten the dust and failure has loomed large and threatening in front of us. All we have to remember, in situations like these, is that success in never ending and failure is never final.

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Every cloud comes with a silver lining

Clichéd, but true, isn’t it? Think of any dark situation that you have endured in life, and you’ll find that there’s a hidden good behind every bad that happens. You really wanted to go to that dream college of yours, and get that degree that seemed to you like a goose that lays golden eggs. Unfortunately, you didn’t make it and that dream college rejected you. To the ones who got in, you were a failure.

Perhaps your folks also lost a bit of their faith in you. But was it really a failure, or just yet another crossroads that led you to a better calling that you now actually enjoy and are happy with? Frankly, we may not like it, but failure sometimes is nothing more than a stepping stone to a path that leads to our dreams. Sometimes there’s a grander plan in store of us, and that so-called failure needs to be taken in stride, learnt from and then stored for future use. What people think of you is immaterial.

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I have not failed

“I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.

These were the famous words uttered by Thomas A Edison, when he finally made a light bulb, after “failing” to do so 10,000 times. Imagine 10,000 failures! Had he given up after five attempts or 10 or a 100 – we still may not have had the light bulb.

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So what you need to remember, what we all need to remember, is to stay positive even when faced with rejection, failure, or any other society-dictated rebuff.[1] Failing at something doesn’t mean that we cannot achieve success ahead – it means that more work needs to be done, more attempts need to be made.

Famous authors have been rejected and bluntly refused by many equally famous publishers – those authors persevered. They wrote and wrote some more, sent off their manuscripts to one, two, 20 agents and finally they succeeded. Isn’t that what success is, failure that simply never gives up?

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Giving up is the only sure way to fail

You’ll often hear successful people say that it’s better than to have tried and failed than to have never tried at all. Remember that they are very often speaking from the heart – there’s no success without a list of failures behind it. When you try your hand at something for the first time, you’re not likely to succeed at it. Remember the first time you played ball? Or tried your hand at skating? Or decided to learn to play the guitar? Chances are that you sucked at it.

It’s like when a child is learning to ride a bike. Does he give up the very first time he falls? Sometimes he gets hurt. Other times, the older kids snigger at his wobbly attempts. He cries, he gets into a snit and sometimes even exclaims that he will never get on that bike again. And when the sun brings in a new day, you see him get on and pedal madly, till he’s finally done it.

Life’s like that – you fail only when you give up. Try, try again. And even then if you don’t make it, try some more! There’s simply no such thing as failure – not achieving something means you learn, and then try it all over again till you finally do.

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Rima Pundir

Health, Wellness & Productivity Writer

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Last Updated on January 19, 2021

How To Overcome Self Imposed Limitations For Goal Setting

How To Overcome Self Imposed Limitations For Goal Setting

When it comes to setting our goals we need to take a few things into account – what we need to do to start achieving our goals, how we’re going to achieve our goals and what our motivations are behind them.

For many of us goal setting can bring up a sense of anxiety which usually comes down to our limiting beliefs. These manifest as thoughts around our lack of ability, our current situation, expectations from others and comparing ourselves with other people’s lives. All of these results in us setting goals that may not be inlined with what we truly want and our motivations are not focused on our inner growth and development.

Limiting beliefs are usually those negative thoughts you have about yourself like thinking you’re just not clever enough or believing that you’ll fail. Ambition can be hard for a lot of us since limiting beliefs can make us think that high ambition will only lead to failure and disappointment.

But research says that aiming high and having big ambitions actually makes you happier and here’s why.

Ambition Is The New Happy

It’s typical for people to assume that with more ambition comes more risk of failure but this is actually a pessimistic view and one that probably belongs to someone who typically isn’t ambitious. Research has found that ambitious people generally tend to be more satisfied than those who have lower expectations.

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The outcome of several studies show that when people set goals, they have two factors in mind – expectancy (how likely you are to succeed) and value (what the process will do for you). When we set limiting goals or goals that are ‘safe’ and easy to achieve, we don’t get any value from them and get no real sense of achievement or satisfaction. In other words, people who focus on the value of the goal rather than the odds of being successful or not are much happier in the long term.

So to overcome self imposed limitations, the key is all about stretching yourself, aiming high while not focusing on the potential failures but also with a sense of belief that it can be achieved.

How To Overcome Self Imposed Limitations:

When you think of a big goal you want to achieve what comes into your mind? Do you think you’re not good enough? Not smart enough? You don’t have the education or the money? Do you worry about what people will think?

If any of these crop up then they are limiting beliefs. These are usually a result of an accumulation of negative ideas, thoughts and beliefs that have built up over your entire lifetime. They most likely came from others, intentionally or unintentionally, as we made our way into the independent world.

The problem with these limitations is that they create thoughts that stop us from believing we are capable of achieving big things. They make us just settle for our lot in life and never allow us to go after anything that will benefit our happiness and sense of wellbeing. As you can see this is a pretty dangerous mindset as it manifests as fear that we’ll fail or be judged for going after what we truly want.

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1. Investing In Your Self-Development

It’s important to realise that happiness starts from within. If you find yourself having doubts about your abilities, then it’s worth looking into working on your personal development.

If you make excuses around your situation like the the town you live in is too small for good opportunities, you’ll put something off until next year when you might have more money, your family wouldn’t approve, or you’re just too old now, then these may just be excuses in disguise. Most of the time anything is possible. When we make excuses, they can be hiding a deeper issue of low self-confidence and self-limitations.

You essentially need to stop identifying with the limiting beliefs and don’t allow yourself to be defined by them. Working on your confidence, shifting your perspective and cultivating a positive mindset towards yourself and your goals will create a good basis moving forward.

2. Don’t Give In To Societal Pressures

This is a biggie when it comes to limiting our ambitions. There is an immense pressure to conform to social norms but what are social norms anyway? All they are, in essence, is an accumulation of other people’s opinions and ideas imposed on the masses who and has become some kind of universal rule that people should live by.

No one has the right to make you feel like you can’t follow your dream if that’s what will make you truly happy. People have their own lives to worry about so make sure you just stick to concentrating on yours.

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3. Don’t Listen To Negative Opinions

We can get very swayed by what other people think and say especially if they are close to us. It can have the power to stop someone going after their goals and this really is a sad state of affairs. By doing this we are giving our power to other people which naturally leads us to feel less happy.

Even when we’re on our goal journey, we can come across people who have negative opinions about your decisions which can lead us to question whether this is the right thing to do. The key is to understand whatever negative speak you hear, know that it is coming from people’s own fears, insecurities and issues. Make sure you surround yourself with positive people who support your goals and encourage you to carry on.

4. Break The Habit Of Assumptions

Assumptions are a huge ambition killer. Our limiting beliefs cause us to come to all sorts of incorrect conclusions based on what we think we know. But most of the time we don’t have all the information or we base it all on past experiences. We like to seek out examples in our lives for how it didn’t work before and apply this negatively to our new ideas and goals.

If this sounds familiar then you need to test your assumptions, and by this I mean finding ways and evidence that break the pattern of your self-imposed limitations. Take actions that test whether your past judgements and conclusions are actually untrue. By doing this you can build a sense of empowerment, give your mind proof and a different perspective on the situation.

For example, if you want to go back to studying but you think that, because you were never motivated at school, the same will happen again, then perhaps take a short course in something you’re interested in and see if this belief really is true. The chances are you weren’t motivated at school because you lacked any interest in what you were learning but now your priorities and interests have changed. By doing this you give yourself a chance to prove that what you believe isn’t actually true and gain self-empowerment.

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5. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others

Last but not least, we need to stop comparing ourselves to other people. We all have a tendency to do this and it only brings up dissatisfaction and a sense of failure if we see other people doing ‘better’ than us. Of course, this really is just an illusion. We are all on different paths with our own set of limiting beliefs that we’re battling with. It all comes down to assumptions again – we cannot know what is going on in other people’s lives so it really is pointless to compare ourselves to them. It’s really unfair to do this to ourselves since we’re making comparisons with something we don’t have full knowledge of.

Give yourself a break – understand that you really can achieve anything and all you’ve got to do is believe in yourself and believe it can be possible. So aim high and live a much more fulfilling and happier life.

Featured photo credit: Vijay Putra via pexels.com

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