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6 Reasons It’s Okay To Fail

6 Reasons It’s Okay To Fail

I will never forget the first time I felt the sting of failure. I was thoroughly convinced that because of my failures I was relegated to living a mediocre life. All those big hopes and dreams I once had could no longer be fulfilled.

You know the saddest part of all? Nobody told me otherwise. So I’m here to tell you, it’s actually okay to failHere’s why.

1. Failure is inevitable.

At least once in your life, you are going to fail at something. Your talent, intelligence, hard work, and/or passion will not be able to save you. Failure is inevitable. Everybody has failed, although some refuse to admit it. Don’t let them fool you. If you research the stories of the most successful people of our time, you’ll find they, too, have failed. In fact, it was failure that produced the success stories of people like Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, and Walt Disney, just to name a few. So calm down. You’re in incredible company.

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2. You learn substantially more from failure than success.

There is always room for improvement no matter how great you are. Sometimes, you’ll never know which areas need improvement unless you fail. It’s like training for a job. When you first start, your supervisor may bring to your attention some things you’ve done incorrectly. This is not to break your spirit, but to help you. That way, next time you come across the same problem, you’ll know exactly what to do. Instead of sulking over your failures, ask yourself, “What did I do wrong?” That way, next time around you can correct the problem, and do an even better job than before.

3. Failure makes you stronger.

Failure separates the weak from the strong. Some people fail, and they give up on their goals. Others fail, and they gain invincible strength. These people can be knocked to the ground, but they’re like those inflatable dolls. They bounce right back up. That’s what failure should do to you. It shouldn’t break or stop you. It should make you push harder to achieve your goals and dreams. You should feel as though, if you could survive your present failure, you could survive anything. And trust me, you can.

4. You take more chances when you’re unafraid to fail.

People who are afraid to fail are pretty boring. They play it safe. They never take chances. On the other hand, those who are unafraid to fail take insane risk. They’ll go out for that singing competition, even though they can’t sing. They’ll apply for that big-time job, even if they don’t meet all the requirements. These types of risk make life more enjoyable. And you never know, those risks you take when you’re unafraid to fail just might pay off.

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5. Failure allows you to discover new paths.

When you fail, oftentimes you’ll realize the present path you’re on is not the right one. And that’s okay. You can then seek out new paths and discover what’s right for you. But if you don’t fail, you might never consider pursuing different avenues. You’d just continue on down the wrong path.

6. Failure makes success that much sweeter.

How can you know the sweet taste of success if you’ve never felt the sting of failure? To finally succeed, after repeated failure, is one of the best feelings in the world. You’ll feel a great sense of satisfaction, knowing that everything you went through was worth it. That’s because it will be.

What now?

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Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better. — Samuel Beckett

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Last Updated on July 13, 2020

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

How Not to Feel Overwhelmed at Work & Take Control of Your Day

Overwhelm is a pernicious state largely caused by the ever-increasing demands on our time and the distractions that exist all around us. It creeps up on us and can, in its extreme form, leave us feeling anxious, stressed and exhausted.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed at work, here are 6 strategies you can follow that will reduce the feeling of overwhelm; leaving you calmer, in control and a lot less stressed.

1. Write Everything down to Offload Your Mind

The first thing you can do when you begin to feel overwhelmed is to write everything down that is on your mind.

Often people just write down all the things they think they have to do. This does help, but a more effective way to reduce overwhelm is to also write down everything that’s on your mind.

For example, you may have had an argument with your colleague or a loved one. If it’s on your mind write it down. A good way to do this is to draw a line down the middle of the page and title one section “things to do” and the other “what’s on my mind”.

The act of writing all this down and getting it out of your head will begin the process of removing your feeling of overwhelm. Writing things down can really change your life.

2. Decide How Long It Will Take to Complete Your To-Dos

Once you have ‘emptied your head,’ go through your list and estimate how long it will take to complete each to-do.

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As you go through your list, you will find quite a few to-dos will only take you five or ten minutes. Others will take longer, often up to several hours.

Do not worry about that at this stage. Just focus on estimating how long you will need to complete each task to the best of your ability. Here’s How to Cultivate a More Meaningful To Do List.

3. Take Advantage of Parkinson’s Law

Now here’s a little trick I learned a long time ago. Parkinson’s Law states that work will fill the time you have available to complete it, and us humans are terrible at estimating how long something will take:((Odhable: Genesis of Parkinson’s Law))

    This is why many people are always late. They think it will only take them thirty minutes to drive across town when previous experience has taught them it usually takes forty-five minutes to do so because traffic is often bad but they stick to the belief it will only take thirty minutes. It’s more wishful thinking than good judgment.

    We can use Parkinson’s Law to our advantage. If you have estimated that to write five emails that desperately need a reply to be ninety minutes, then reduce it down to one hour. Likewise, if you have estimated it will take you three hours to prepare your upcoming presentation, reduce it down to two hours.

    Reducing the time you estimate something will take gives you two advantages. The first is you get your work done quicker, obviously. The second is you put yourself under a little time pressure and in doing so you reduce the likelihood you will be distracted or allow yourself to procrastinate.

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    When we overestimate how long something will take, subconsciously our brains know we have plenty of time and so it plays tricks on us and we end up checking reviews of the Apple Watch 4 or allow our colleagues to interrupt us with the latest office gossip.

    Applying a little time pressure prevents this from happening and we get more focused and more work done.

    4. Use the Power of Your Calendar

    Once you have your time estimates done, open up your calendar and schedule your to-dos. Go through your to-dos and schedule time on your calendar for doing those tasks. Group tasks up into similar tasks.

    For emails that need attention on your to-do list, schedule time on your calendar to deal with all your emails at once. Likewise, if you have a report to write or a presentation to prepare, add these to your calendar using your estimated time as a guide for how long each will take.

    Seeing these items on your calendar eases your mind because you know you have allocated time to get them done and you no longer feel you have no time. Grouping similar tasks together keeps you in a focused state longer and it’s amazing how much work you get done when you do this.

    5. Make Decisions

    For those things you wrote down that are on your mind but are not tasks, make a decision about what you will do with each one. These things are on your mind because you have not made a decision about them.

    If you have an issue with a colleague, a friend or a loved one, take a little time to think about what would be the best way to resolve the problem. More often than not just talking with the person involved will clear the air and resolve the problem.

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    If it is a more serious issue, then decide how best to deal with it. Talk to your boss, a colleague and get advice.

    Whatever you do, do not allow it to fester. Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. You need to make a decision to deal with it and the sooner you do so the sooner the problem will be resolved. (You can take a look at this guide on How To Make Good Decisions All The Time.)

    I remember long ago, when I was in my early twenties and had gone mad with my newly acquired credit cards. I discovered I didn’t have the money to pay my monthly bills. I worried about it for days, got stressed and really didn’t know what to do. Eventually, I told a good friend of mine of the problem. He suggested I called the credit card company to explain my problem. The next day, I plucked up the courage to call the company, explained my problem and the wonderful person the other end listened and then suggested I paid a smaller amount for a couple of months.

    This one phone call took no more than ten minutes to make, yet it solved my problem and took away a lot of the stress I was feeling at the time. I learned two very valuable lessons from that experience:

    The first, don’t go mad with newly acquired credit cards! And the second, there’s always a solution to every problem if you just talk to the right person.

    6. Take Some Form of Action

    Because overwhelm is something that creeps up on us, once we feel overwhelmed (and stressed as the two often go together), the key is to take some form of action.

    The act of writing everything down that is bothering you and causing you to feel overwhelmed is a great place to start. Being able to see what it is that is bothering you in a list form, no matter how long that list is, eases the mind. You have externalized it.

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    It also means rather than these worries floating around in a jumbled mess inside your head, they are now visible and you can make decisions easier about what to do about them. Often it could be asking a colleague for a little help, or it could be you see you need to allocate some focused time to get the work done. The important thing is you make a decision on what to do next.

    Overwhelm is not always caused by a feeling of having a lack of time or too much work, it can also be caused by avoiding a decision about what to do next.

    The Bottom Line

    Make a decision, even if it is to just talk to someone about what to do next. Making a decision about how you will resolve something on its own will reduce your feelings of overwhelm and start you down the path to a resolution one way or another.

    When you follow these strategies to can say goodbye to your overwhelm and gain much more control over your day.

    More Tips for Reducing Work Stress

    Featured photo credit: Andrei Lazarev via unsplash.com

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