June 20, 2012 at 4:34 pm #164499
- Lost sleep
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Having a hard time staying focused
- Living in fear of what the future might hold
- Tried and failed before
- Have you decided enough is enough and you deserve better?
If so, I’m going to let you in on a little secret that everyone who’s ever wrestled with failure needs toknow. It’s a secret so powerful that it has completely changed the lives of people who know it. It’s also something that would cost the self help industry a lot of money if it became common knowledge.
The secret is this: There is no way to keep yourself from failing. It’s impossible. Forget about it. It’s inevitable. Your Mama can’t save you. Daddy’s got no pull. Life is a dance, you learn as you go. You will fail.
Now that that’s out of the way, forget about the “You Won’t” part of the subject line, cause it’s a lie. We may as well scratch the “5 Reasons why People Fail” part too. Who cares? Let’s look at this another way. How can we make the most out of our failures?
- Every failure is an opportunity to learn
- Every failure is a sign that you are doing something
- Every failure is a cool opportunity to help someone else. Even if it’s just so you can point out a danger zone.
- Every failure has the capability to make you stronger
- How we respond to failure is often more important than the failure itself
Everybody has secrets. I’d love to know:
What’s YOUR secret to dealing with failure?
June 20, 2012 at 4:39 pm #164555
Keeping my head straight and re-adjusting my goals. Not everything works out perfectly, but try to adapt and figure out where to go from that failure. Do my best to turn it into as much of a victory as possible.
June 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm #164553
Sometimes turning failure into victory is difficult. What specifically do you do to keep your head straight and turn your failure into victory, Corey?
June 20, 2012 at 8:23 pm #164551
I really like this list. Thanks, David.
June 21, 2012 at 3:56 am #164549
I definitely look to take responsibility for where the failure is my fault, but there are some circumstances where you’ve just gotta say “ya know, I did my best, and this clearly isn’t what I need to be doing at this time, because it’s not working and I gave it my all.” I’m not a fan of stagnating, I don’t want to keep grinding at one thing that’s not working; it’s different than quitting, even though it often still feels like quitting or failing.
June 21, 2012 at 2:05 pm #164547
Realizing how important point #! is. The ability to learn from our mistakes and have a positive take-away from failure is what we need to focus on. I’ve had to tell people under my supervision, “This objective wasn’t met; we need to regroup and hit it next time. What did WE (emphasis added) learn from this?” or words to that effect. It’s important to realize that the sun keeps rising and the earth keeps turning as well; sometimes you just have to look at the biggest picture and keep on keeping on.
June 21, 2012 at 2:10 pm #164545
June 21, 2012 at 2:16 pm #164543
Nice technique, Jerry. I appreciate the fact that you don’t personalize failure. It sounds like you dialog about the issue instead. I’m betting this conveys a clear message that maybe some of “our” best moments happen after a failure. It also teaches others that mistakes are okay and we’re going to learn from the. Nice!
June 26, 2012 at 3:11 pm #164541
I feel the same way about failure as I do about death. It is inevitable. Own up to your responsibility in the failure and make a list of what you learned (I am big on lists.) Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, don’t apologize (unless you threw someone else under the bus in trying to dodge your responsibility) and move on. If you make the same mistake over and over, seek help.
I look forward to the day I am perfect. Until then, look at all things as teaching you the path to perfection.
June 26, 2012 at 3:18 pm #164539
I agree. Hate working on something that is obviously not working. Move on and be productive.
June 26, 2012 at 3:46 pm #164537
I like the last part of your reply and with your permission Janina (and a slight modification), I think I have a new personal mission statement:
“I look forward to the day I am perfect. Until then, I will look at all things as teaching opportunities on my path to perfection.”
June 26, 2012 at 5:23 pm #164535
July 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm #164533
July 2, 2012 at 2:05 pm #164531
July 2, 2012 at 2:25 pm #164529
Barbara R. MusserParticipant
My secret to dealing with failure is to learn by it and not repeat the same mistake
July 6, 2012 at 4:02 pm #164527
David B. GrinbergParticipant
I believe Thomas Edison once opined that each time he tried and failed to invent the light bulb brought him one step closer to success. That’s a great and smart outlook. Consider that it took Edison thousands of tries before he finally succeeded. There’s a saying about success and failure: you’re usually closer [to succeeding] than you think. It’s like the Calif. Gold Rush when some folks spent weeks digging for a gold vein before they flat out gave up and moved on. Yet, in some circumstances, the next Lucky Joe who came along, and picked up where the last person left off, struck gold in a matter of days. A good lesson to keep in mind.
August 2, 2012 at 10:24 pm #164525
My real secret to dealing with Failure is to locate myself as cause in the matter. Not “blame” or “fault” but really creating where and how I had it go that way. When I have done this in the past, I have opened up opportunities for HUGE success in next ventures. And yes, I agree with what others have said about the opportunities to learn. Mostly for me, I get to notice things like “how I want to get external validation” and will use this to determine whether something will be successful or “deciding that certain champions aren’t on board” and then what happens when I do that.
I believe that results are always a product of action or inaction. My actions (and my inactions) are a function of how things occur–that is, including the DECISIONS I am making about what is and isn’t possible and who does and doesn’t support something and what all of that mean. I have had many failures…and many successes. And probably will continue to do so.
August 14, 2012 at 8:53 pm #164523
I love it! The OS!M is awesome!
August 14, 2012 at 8:56 pm #164521
Bill, do you have a specific example of how you monitor for feedback? This is something I think a lot of folks struggle with.
August 14, 2012 at 8:56 pm #164519
Barbara – that’s great. I wish I had learned from all of my mistakes. I’ve had to make a few of them more than once before learning set in. 😉
August 14, 2012 at 8:58 pm #164517
David – you’re not kidding. There’s also a saying that the night is darkest just before dawn. What is it that keeps you pushing forward when you want to quit?
August 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm #164515
Marc, it sounds like you have a strong handle on the idea of taking responsibility. Have you ever let that get the better of you? In other words, have you ever beat yourself up unnecessarily for a failure, or are you pretty good about accepting responsibility AND letting it go?
August 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm #164513
David, what a great question!
I have been told by mentors, managers and associates that I am “hard on myself”, and I recognize that I do have a real commitment to excellence, and occasionally the “high standards” seeps through. But I would far rather be accused of having high standards than the opposite, and give myself and others slack when we don’t achieve everything we set out to.
August 14, 2012 at 9:21 pm #164511
Good question. I agree that lots of us struggle with this, but do believe you have to “force yourself” if necessary to hear feedback from peers and managers (and customers, where appropriate). It takes something to be willing to ask, and even more to hear feedback that seems unfair, inaccurate, or just plain frustrating…but it helps develop the ability to listen and “get” another’s point of view…
August 14, 2012 at 9:34 pm #164509
When you create your new idea, determine what success would look like. Then, from that picture of success, identify measurable indicators that tell you if you are on the path to that picture.
For example, if my new idea is to develop a new Open Source application for displaying a business intelligence dashboard, one measure is if users find the dashboard understandable. Another measure is users find the information displays useful in making a decision.
August 15, 2012 at 6:46 pm #164507
Elizabeth Fischer LaurieParticipant
Glad this post is resurfacing – I think it is a great reminder to us all. Thanks David!
August 18, 2012 at 12:20 pm #164505
Thanks for your comment, Elizabeth. 🙂
August 19, 2012 at 1:32 am #164503
What is your secret to dealing with failure?
David, I saw your post with added discussion. There are many good ideas and thoughts in this thread. I thought about it for some time before deciding to share one of my secrets here.
1) Compare and Contrast
For anyone reading this thread, if your measure of yourself, as a man or woman, comes from comparing yourself with other people, I propose that benchmark is not effective. I invite you all to consider that what is a more effective way at looking at your progress in life is comparing who you are now with who you used to be in the past.
For me, I would look to who I was a week ago, a year ago or even 5 years ago and ask myself this question: Comparing and contrasting who I was back then to who I am now: did I grow? Did I become a better person? This is one way I keep myself self-motivated.
My personal opinion is people may feel like they are failures when comparing and contrasting themselves to other people. I know because I used to do this to myself, however with practice in asking myself different questions, some of which I proposed above, and reflecting on the answers, I saw my life in a completely different way. I have other secrets that I have learned from my own experience and, perhaps, in time, I will share those other secrets in this discussion forum.
August 19, 2012 at 3:34 am #164501
Thomas, great points about comparing ourselves to for er versions of ourselves. I like it. When I was a competitive swimmer, we used to say it was good to place, but our real race was against ourselves. It is still that way in real life.
I look forward to hearing more of your secrets when you’re ready to share!
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.