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How Reframing Your Failures Will Actually Bring Success

How Reframing Your Failures Will Actually Bring Success

How do you view failure? Do you see it as a life-stopping, dream-ending catastrophe, or do you see it as a valuable experience that moves you one step closer to finding success?

If the first one is your current mindset, then a change in perception could bring major, positive transformations to your life.

Below are a few ways you can reframe your failures to bring success. If you implement these ideas into your life, you’ll not only have an easier time dealing with failure, but you’ll also be able to grow as person every time you do fail.

1) Failure Makes You a Stronger Person

“A smooth sea never made for a skillful sailor”

This couldn’t be more true. You need failure in your life. If you can make it through a failure and continue to press forward, you strengthen your ability to persevere.

If you never experience any setbacks in your life, it means one of two things. You’re either living life in your comfort zone and not achieving much, or you’re setting your sights so low that succeeding is easy.

Neither of those scenarios results in you living a life you’re excited about. Neither of those scenarios results in you achieving your life’s most important goals.

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Set bigger goals knowing that even if you fail, you’ll be a better person because of it.

Every time you fail, you get stronger.

2) Failure is a Stepping Stone to Success

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” 

Every successful person you can think of has failed at one point in their lives, and most of them have failed more times than you can imagine.

Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, was denied by 242 banks before one finally gave him the funds he needed. Walt Disney’s theme park concept was denied 302 times before he finally got a yes. Steve Jobs was fired from his own company.

Imagine what the world would be like today if those men had let failure stop them.

It wasn’t the fact that they never failed that made them successes, it was the fact that they kept failing and kept moving forward that made them successes.

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Every time you fail, you move one step closer to success.

Failure is just the price of admission, and everyone has to pay the price.

3) Failure is the Best Teacher

I’ve learned more from my failures than I ever have from my successes. When you fail, you learn what doesn’t work, which is just as important as knowing what does work.

That way, the next time you try, you have the knowledge of what to avoid, and it’s that knowledge that will move you closer to success.

You can almost never predict how things are actually going to turn out. The only way to know what’s going to work and what’s not going to work is by taking action. Sometimes you make the right move, sometimes you make the wrong move.

But there’s still value to be found and lessons to be learned when you make the wrong move and fail. Don’t miss out on those valuable learning opportunities just because you’re afraid of a little failure.

4) Failing Doesn’t Mean You’re a Failure

Failure is a result, not a way to describe yourself. Just because you’ve “failed” at something doesn’t mean you’re a failure as a person.

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You have to separate your self esteem from your failures.

If anything, failing means you’re a step above the average person who only dreams, but never takes action because he’s too afraid to fail.

Wear your failure as a badge of honor because it shows that you were bold and brave enough to take action.

5) What Other People Think of Your Failure is Irrelevant

Everyone has an opinion, and most of them don’t matter. And the moment you start worrying about what other people think about your failure, you’ll be too caught up in defending yourself to find all of the value there is in failure.

Unless someone is giving you constructive criticism that’s going to help you grow, ignore it. Some people give “advice” with the result of causing you harm, whether it’s intentionally or unintentionally.

Pick and choose who you listen to very carefully.

6) Failure Shouldn’t be Scary

We usually overestimate the devastation that failure will cause. We think that if we fail, our life will be torn apart and we’ll never be able to recover. But most of the time, that’s just not true.

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Most failures are not fatal. Instead, they’re minor setbacks.

7) Some Failures are Beyond Your Control

There are so many factors influencing the direction of your life. Some, you have control over, others you don’t. Stressing over the latter is a recipe for disaster.

Let go of the things you can’t control, and let them work themselves out.

Instead, focus on what you control and understand that even if you do fail, you gave it all you could and that’s all that matters.

Featured photo credit: Refraction through glasses via en.wikipedia.org

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Tony Robinson

Tony writes about mental strength, happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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