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9 Reasons Why You Can Succeed When You Fail

9 Reasons Why You Can Succeed When You Fail

If you asked yourself whether in order to succeed you’d be willing to fail many times, would you take the risk? Nine times out of 10 you’d get a reply with a resounding no! Avoidance of failure is a very human condition and settling for second best seems most preferable to risking it all and looking bad.

Yet as children, the thought of failure doesn’t even come into it. Children naturally will just go for it without a second thought. Why is that do you think?

As you grow, failure is everywhere. You are taught to not fail at school tests, to always be the best and anything else is just not good enough. You’ll get into trouble with your parents for doing things wrong, or laughed at by class mates for being different. You simply cannot win! Yet failure is vital for success. Failure makes what you want to achieve worth doing and doing well. So with that in mind, I’ve come up with a few reasons why this is so, and some tips on how to succeed through failure.

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1. It will provide you with a lesson to learn from

When something’s not gone quite as well as you had hoped, or indeed failed completely, there is always a message within that failure. Recognizing that failure is a lesson in life will keep you in good spirits each time it happens. It provides you with a chance to reflect back on what happened, what you would change for next time and what to not do again. Remembering that failure is an asset to your success is vital; it’s your greatest teacher and will make you far more grateful for your success when it arrives.

2. It’s a test of how committed you are

Failure can be hard to bear, it can make you feel like quitting and put doubts in your mind that weren’t there in the first place. However, if you look at failure as your ally and use it to push yourself even further forward than you were yesterday, it will make you realize how really committed you are to your goals. Failure teaches you to either give up or keep going, and will help you decide if you really want it enough.

3. Failure builds and refines your character

When life throws you a curveball, it tests your resilience and strength of character. Knowing that whatever happens you can pick yourself up and dust yourself down, builds confidence and a good attitude. No matter how hard things get, you know you can get through it. The knowledge that you are stronger than you were before is not only gratifying, but also makes you 10 times more attractive to those around you.

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4. It gets you trying new things

Instead of always doing what you’ve always done, which then makes sure you get what you’ve always got, failure will force you to try new things. The lessons learned from failure will be valuable, they will help you to work out what didn’t work before, what might work next, and in turn will get you to step out of your comfort zone. Staying stuck won’t be an option. If success is important to you, you’ll not want to fail again, so trying something new will be your only option.

5. It gives you room for growth

Failure teaches you that not everything happens when you want it to. However, it also teaches you that sometimes a change in direction or attitude is all that is needed to make something a success. Failure is important to your own growth because it makes you more aware of yourself, your choices and your actions. It also helps to question your belief system and values, making you realize you don’t always have to know the answers. Questioning more provides growth and change.

6. It increases self-awareness

Much the same as with growth, being self-aware helps you to understand your decisions and choices in life and your own reaction to them. When something doesn’t go to plan, you might have reacted in a negative way or perhaps felt angry about it. Failure will help you to look back on how you deal with it, making you realize, perhaps, that your own actions have contributed in some way to the failure. This makes you more accountable and responsible for your own life, and this is only ever a good thing!

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7. Failure helps you to seek out new relationships

When failure happens, whether it be in a personal or professional capacity, you will tend to seek out others for advice and guidance. This is a powerful way to establish new relationships, as they can help to nurture and complement you on your journey towards success. Also, knowing that you have someone or some people to discuss future strategies or failures with will help in the long term.

8. It reconnects you to your priorities

When you fail, it stops you in your tracks and helps you to question the reasoning behind your previous actions. It will help you to work out your priorities and what is most important to you. Your priorities are what makes you do what you do, and most importantly, are the reasons why you do them. Failure helps you to regain focus, take a step back and re-establish your roots.

9. It makes you realize you are not superhuman

Life has a habit of giving you stuff to get you thinking again, to knock you off track a little to make you realize you are not superhuman after all. Sometimes you have to take a few knocks to make you humble, and to recognize your perceived failures are really just chances to look at yourself again. It’s there to test you, to give you that sense that there is still so much more you can give and to help you to believe in yourself again. After all, success only comes to those who fail, and if not, it wasn’t worth it anyway!

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Featured photo credit: Flickr/DennisChow.com via flickr.com

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Paula Lawes

Paula loves people and connecting. She writes about communication and relationships tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on August 4, 2020

How to Make Time Go Faster When You’re Having a Bad Time

How to Make Time Go Faster When You’re Having a Bad Time

Standing at the front of the room, your heart is pounding as people stroll in, and you’ve been up since 5 am rehearsing. You’ve spent weeks preparing for this moment. Your slides are perfect, and you’ve memorized your talk.

As the clock shows 9:30, you begin with a customary “good morning” and then zilch. Nothing. Your mind goes blank. Suddenly, time seems to stop. Everything goes into slow motion, and you can feel your face begin to burn.

For anyone who has done presentations in front of a live audience, freezing at the wrong time is a nightmare waiting to happen, and when it does, if feels like time has frozen. The feeling of helplessness drags on, and you just wish the clock would fast forward so you can escape from the nightmare.

Of course, the reality is that time does not speed up or slow down. Time is constant; only our perception of passing time changes[1]. This is a good thing, too. What is happening is that your fight or flight response is kicking in, and you have become hyper-aware of your situation. Your brain is recognizing you are in danger and responding in the best way it knows how.

This perceived slowing down of time is an illusion[2]. It is your brain creating and processing more memories of your current environment and searching out the threat it has detected. It’s searching for the predator that has decided you look like an exquisite meal, and it is doing this incredibly fast — much faster than it typically would. It is how we protect ourselves, and, in most cases, it is a beneficial response.

However, in many cases, it can be torturous to be in this situation, feeling helpless and frozen and being hyper-aware of our unfortunate situation. So what can you do to speed up the perception of time?

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1. Have a Backup Plan

If you cast your mind back to the situation at the start of this article, your brain has frozen and your carefully crafted words are lost somewhere inside your head: What do you do? Most people panic, and, despite their careful preparation and rehearsal, one part they did not rehearse is when or if something goes wrong.

Freezing on stage can happen to even the most seasoned presenter, and having a script or a set of queue cards on hand can quickly refresh/reboot your brain to get you back on track and avoid the torturous feeling of being in a slow-motion crash.

Steve Jobs was a very experienced presenter. One of the best. Yet even though his preparation was meticulous — often taking as much as six months to put together a keynote presentation — things still went wrong. In this famous clip of a keynote Steve Jobs gave back in 2010, the WIFI network was very slow. When you watch the clip, it feels like it goes on forever, yet it only lasts around two and a half minutes. For a presentation that lasted about two hours, two and a half minutes is around two per cent. Not at all long, yet for Steve Jobs and the audience, the whole incident felt a lot longer.

Fortunately, as a seasoned presenter, Steve Jobs broke the tension and the feeling that time was slowing down by using humor and eventually moving on to the next part of the keynote. He had a backup, and his backup was to quickly, and without fuss, move on to the next segment.

Always have a backup plan and an exit strategy. Be prepared for the worst and be ready to switch to your backup plan if things do go wrong.

2. Focus on What You Have Control Over

You have control over three things: your thoughts, your emotions, and your actions. Nothing else. You cannot control events, how other people judge you, or whether another person will get upset by what you say or do.

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Most bad days are a result of the way we react to something we have no control over. A client takes their business to your rival. You had no control over that. That was a decision your client made based on a set of circumstances and the way they felt about those circumstances. The only control you have in this situation is how you feel about losing a client. You could be angry; you might look around for someone to blame or for an excuse. But in the end, none of that will change the fact you no longer serve that client.

In these situations, always begin by reminding yourself about what you have control over. Are there any positive action steps you can take that will solve the problem? Are you allowing your emotions to influence your mood? Are you thinking negatively or positively about this situation?

In all these scenarios, you can instantly decide to change your thoughts, your feelings, and the action you take. You have to make that decision.

If you do lose an important client, and there is no solution, you can use the experience to learn. Use it as an opportunity to analyze what went wrong and implement changes to the way you do things that minimize the chances of a similar situation happening with your other clients in the future.

Dwelling on the loss will prolong your suffering, slowing down perceived time and making you feel dreadful. Using the situation to learn from your mistakes will help you to get back on track and keep time moving forward at a pace you are satisfied with.

3. Take Full Responsibility for the Situation

Accepting full responsibility for your life allows you to overcome adversity and difficulties. While a massive viral pandemic may not be your fault, what you do in the circumstances is your responsibility.

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Being in lockdown, where you must remain in your home, is something beyond your control (see number 2), but what you do with your time, how you manage your work, and how you maintain your health is your responsibility.

Governments may order you to stay at home, but what you do with your time while you are at home is something you are responsible for.

In these situations, you have a choice. Use the extra time you have positively, or pass responsibility for your life to the daily negative news cycles.

When you take responsibility for your life, you take back control[3].

Complaining about the situation only ensures you stay stuck in the same miserable place. Accepting responsibility for your life gives you so many more options.

You could take that online course you have been thinking about doing, or paint that picture you have wanted to do for years. You could clean out your old clothes, do the spring cleaning, or clear out your garage. There are hundreds of things you could do that, before this global pandemic, you always complained you had no time for. Now you do have time.

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Busying yourself with these tasks turns any bad situation into an opportunity, and time will no longer seem such a drudge; instead, it will feel like a godsend.

Key Takeaways

There are many inevitabilities in life. One of those inevitabilities is that you will have bad times. Dwelling on your lousy situation, complaining, and reliving the experience over and over will only cause time to slow down perceptually.

Accepting the inevitable, approaching it with a “cest la vie” mindset. and looking for the positives will soon pull you away from the difficult times and back to more fertile areas where you can thrive and grow, and time will begin to feel much faster.

More to Make Hard Times Go By Easier

Featured photo credit: Johnny Cohen via unsplash.com

Reference

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