“You never fail until you stop trying.” ~ Albert Einstein
As I writer, I deal with this challenge on a daily basis, but I strive to reframe every failure. Do you ever wonder why some people succeed and others fail? It’s all in how they approach failure and success. Here are five ways to help you quit now or get you to the top of any mountain:
1. Make all of your choices out of fear: Every human is impacted by fear. It’s part of our biological makeup… originally instilled as a life-preserving mechanism, it can wreak havoc on our ability to succeed. Fear of failing often gets in the way of accomplishing our goals. Thank goodness we have choices on how to deal with those fears. Give into your fear of failure and you give up on success.
Knowing that failure is a part of our existence can help us put things into perspective…failure happens…the super cool thing is so does success. One way to move through fear of failure is to write a list of all of your successes. If you can’t think of any, ask your friends. They will help you with your list and if they can’t, consider finding new friends. Other suggestions: Meditate and use positive mantras such as ‘Of course I can!’ and ‘Why not me?’
2. Blame everyone else for all the bad shit in your life: It’s so easy to blame others for our failures. The biggest problem with doing so is we can’t control other people. We can only control ourselves. If you are unable to take responsibility for your failings, you will never move forward—let alone find success.
Yes, they messed up and treated you poorly—however, pull up your big-girl panties and get to work. Recognize that as long as you continue to place blame outside of yourself, you cannot succeed. If you can’t do it on your own, I implore you to find a great life coach or therapist. There are many of both out there to help you.
3. Put the entire elephant in your mouth at once: We often try to do too much at once and that is a sure-fire way to fail. Shove it all in there and you will choke: figuratively and literally. Create clarity and focus. Yes, you want to do this, that and the other thing, however…pick the one thing that resonates deeply in your soul—focus on the one thing you can’t get out of your thoughts. Often times, this is also the idea your friends keep telling you you’re so good at doing.
To gain clarity, write down your list of all the things you want to do and put them in order of passion. Start with what you are most passionate about all the way down to the bottom. If you’re not sure, spend some time envisioning each one and decide what made your heart the happiest during your envisioning session.
4. Do not make a plan: Without a plan, you are far less likely to complete anything and if it’s written down, you are much more likely to fulfill your goals. Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, conducted a study on goal-setting with 267 participants. She concluded you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals simply by writing them down. For more about her study, go here.
No plan, no forward movement.
The reasons it’s so important to put your ideas in writing is because it helps you to clarify them, motivates you to take real action keeps you on track and helps you celebrate your successes along the way. Take a few minutes and put your plan into writing, focusing on these key factors. Post it somewhere you can see it every day. The more you see it, the more real it feels and the more you will connect with your goals. Connection to your dreams and aspirations will help you stay motivated and remind you of your original passion.
5. Stop Trying: This is the biggest reason people ultimately fail.
Of course along the way, there might be (most likely will be) numerous failures. Congratulations! That means you are well on your way to success. With every small and big failure, you learn. You learn what worked and what did not. You learn what feels right and what doesn’t. You learn what you really want and how important your goal is to you. You might also find your original goal is not what you really want at all. Celebrate that as well.
Life is a challenge. Embrace failure and learn to dance with it along the way. The more you can find ways to roll with it and understand its purpose in your success, the more success you will achieve and the less it will limit your daily existence.
Thanks, Albert, for the reminder.
I challenge you…go forth and fail!
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Jen Weddle / Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Flickr/Hans Gerwitz