We all know Milton Hershey as the founder of Hershey’s chocolate which is one of the best known candies in America. But Hershey actually built up 3 candy companies ending in complete failure before his ultimate success. As a young entrepreneur, Hershey set up his own candy shop with $150 in Philadelphia will little success. Over the next few years he started over again in New York and Chicago but failed both times. Not giving up and convinced he could succeed, he set up the Lancaster Caramel Company and within a few short years, he finally had a thriving business which led him to start the Hershey Chocolate Company which we know and love.
Despite his failures, Hershey used his resilience and belief to carry on and achieve his dreams. While many would have been tempted to give up, drowning in the negativity that failure can bring, Hershey shows how determination, learning and improving is the real recipe for success.
By default, we can’t wait to win
As humans, we are wired to get instant results and it’s all down to survival. In caveman times, survival meant hunting down food and making fires. If we didn’t get immediate results with these, our lives would be at risk.
Nowadays as individuals, our need for survival and instant results starts from the moment we’re born. Crying is a way of getting the instant attention we need from our parents in order to make sure we’re fed and looked after. Therefore it’s ingrained in us from an early age to get instant results and this stays wired in our brains throughout our lives.
But we have to wait and we lose
In modern times, society has shaped the way we get success. We may want money but we typically only receive our salary after completing a period of work or we only receive a reward after working hard at something. Therefore we’re often forced to work hard and wait in order to get the success we crave and the real threat to our lives that our ancestors faced, has pretty much disappeared.
So while lack of instant results doesn’t mean a threat to our survival, in our brains, that need is still lurking and our instinct tends to tells us to quit if instant results aren’t apparent.
But the key is understanding that the waiting period serves as a crucial time to work harder and improve rather than give up.
From losing to becoming a loser
When people fail, they don’t become losers instantly. They become losers as soon as they start to victimize themselves. They tell themselves the ‘facts’ or excuses to justify something negative in their abilities.
These limiting beliefs are formed from past experiences, mistakes or times they’ve been stuck. They often tell ourselves and others things such as “If I were younger, I would have got this”, or “If they had given me more opportunities, things would have been different.”
But if they’re being honest, these are the things they tell themselves to justify their failures and no one really cares what they could have done or why they failed. Failure is failure.
This isn’t to sound harsh but rather to highlight the fact that we often box ourselves into this idea of failure or label ourselves harshly. In reality, the reason we failed was because we didn’t persevere, keep faith and belief, and used the failure as a way of learning and improving ourselves towards the success we wanted.
This negative need to reason away our failures doesn’t get us anywhere as Ben Horowitz says in his book “The Hard Thing About Hard Things“,
A great reason for failing won’t preserve one dollar for your investors, won’t save one employee’s job, or get you one new customer.
Act like a winner and move on
We have to fight against the need to make excuses and quit when failure comes knocking and it’s all down to mindset.
It’s natural to think back to past failures and use it as evidence that you’ll never succeed but this is only detrimental to your chances of achieving your dreams. Focus your mind on the goal and do all you can to get there. There will always be roadblocks but the key is to work through the problems, don’t blame, don’t buy into your limiting beliefs but use each bump in the road as a chance to learn something. In other words, think of it as life giving you a solution for you to realise – something only this situation would teach you in order to move further towards success.
If you want to succeed after failures, start to think like a success person:
- Widen Your Perspective: The big picture can be hard to see when we’re focused on what’s going on in the present moment. The idea is to realise that each journey to success will always have its ups and downs. When the downs occur it can blindside us into thinking success isn’t possible. Step back and keep your eye on the bigger picture because usually those downs are followed by wonderful ups.
- Breakdown The Challenge: The big goal can seem daunting at times which is why breaking it down into manageable chunks is the secret to keeping the motivation going. Life is ever-changing and so are our ideas, beliefs and perspectives. With each smaller challenge you overcome you bring a bigger sense of achievement and possibility of the larger outcome and this is where the magic happens – you will slowly but surely see that what you want is possible.
If you really want to succeed then you must realize that no one really cares about your failures. If you want to move on from your down times, don’t make giving up an option. No matter how much you feel you’re struggling, these are the moments that present the necessary learning curve you need to achieve your big goals.
Read this article to learn more about how to keep persevering on your journey to big things: The Only Time That Change Doesn’t Make You Better