Failure is difficult for anyone. But just because you failed in the past doesn’t mean you’re doomed in the present. The lessons you’ve learned from your epic fail can help you attain bigger wins today. With a dash of persistence and a splash of hard work, nothing is stopping you from turning your failure into a massive win. So, let’s talk about how to do that.
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- How Being a Failure Yesterday Can Make You a Winner Today
How Being a Failure Yesterday Can Make You a Winner Today
1. We Are All Failures In Life
No one has ever published a book on how to be the perfect human being. And if they did, someone would definitely find a typo in it and we’d realize it was all a sham. Growing up adults loved to play the comparison game with me. “Nicole, why can’t you be a good girl like so so?” And so I spent most of my life comparing myself to others and feeling like I’m just not good enough. But eventually, I realized that most parents and teachers play the comparison game with children. So, we all end up feeling the same way. And that’s probably why social media became so popular in the first place. All people do is show off their grand lifestyles so they feel less small inside. So you could feel like you are good enough.
When we look at successful people around us, we see their highlight reel. No one ever asks them to share their failures. They only want to learn about their wins. But if you asked them to share a laundry list worth of failure? They could do it. And let’s be honest, we could all do that. Quite easily too. But the truth is, even the most successful people still fail today. And if that weren’t true, the tabloids would have nothing to talk about.
2. What Did You Learn?
Failure is your greatest teacher. You can learn so much about yourself, an idea, or anything you’re working on by knowing what doesn’t work. But for a moment, let’s remember that mistakes aren’t necessarily a failure. Even if you publish something that gets widely discredited, it doesn’t mean that you’re not on the right track. Maybe that one example you shared isn’t right and you learn from those mistakes. But you still make progress on finding a solution to the topic at hand. Giving up leads to failure. Mistakes do not. Mistakes simply move you to a new path. The right one.
One way to approach failure is to call everything you do an experiment. Approach your ideas and projects like a scientist trying to discover the truth. If the results from an experiment didn’t work out as planned, you simply pivot in a new direction. You don’t catastrophize your failure. You simply shrug your shoulders, acknowledge that the hypothesis led to an unsatisfactory conclusion, and push through in another way. This simple approach will help you learn from failure instead of running away from it. You’re simply trying to find the right solution.
3. What Do Successful People Teach You?
You can learn so much from those who are more successful than you. Patience. Persistence. Strategy. Problem-solving. These are just a few of the ways in which successful people have been tested. You should also consider the experience that the person may have over you. If someone has built six online stores and succeeded big time, don’t be discouraged. You’re only working on your first store. It took them seven attempts before they got there. But they were able to do it. And you will too. You simply need to keep building, experimenting, pivoting, and learning.
The real hidden lesson that all successful people know, is that anyone can do it. From high school dropouts to people with crippling anxiety, literally every single person on this whole planet can be a success if they really wanted to. You might have a different set of obstacles than someone else, but if you know how to jump, no one will stop you from reaching the top. Sometimes obstacles need to be jumped over and other times you need to move around them. But if you dream of being a famous writer, CEO of a top brand, or Nobel Prize winner, you’ll face challenges along the way, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
4. You’re One Step Closer
So many people look at a failed business or project with frustration. Ugh, whhhhyyy? Whenever I complain about my failures at home, my husband likes belting out the line, “How could this happen to me?” from the Untitled song by Simple Plan. And every time, I burst out laughing. “Okay, okay, I know,” I respond. That’s because failure isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes, in life, you realize that you’re a turtle and that’s why it takes sooo long to get to a goal. But remember the tortoise still wins the race.
With failure, you realize you move one step closer in the right direction. You think to yourself, “Okay, so this didn’t work. What will?” Maybe I need to change my business idea? Or I didn’t move aggressively enough with my marketing? If you don’t know why you failed, you need to go back to being a scientist and investigate. So to get to the next closer step, you might change your business idea and test that out. Or you change your marketing approach and test that out. All you’re doing is creating a new hypothesis to find out what really works.
5. You Took Ownership
So when you failed, did you call yourself a failure? Yes? Good. The absolute worst thing you could do when you’re a failure is not own up to it. What do most people do? They play the blame game. “I didn’t fail because of my work ethic or lack of knowledge. I failed because someone else added an obstacle. They’re so unfair. It’s not my fault. It’s their fault,” says 99% of the population.
But if instead, you fail and say, “damn, I messed up. I lost focus. I didn’t study long enough. I haven’t tried hard enough. I’m still learning so this is actually totally normal I just need to make a few adjustments” you’ll be doing what the one percent do. And believe it or not, you’ll be on track to being a winner in no time.
You can’t transition from failure to winner if you never take ownership that you’re the cause of the failure. Acknowledging that you’re a failure is smart because you’re in full control of the decisions you make here on out. But if you blame other people for your problems, you’ll always be trapped. How could you ever win if someone else is in control of your path? That’s why the blame game never works long-term.
6. It Gives Us Something to Fight For
When DJ Khaled first sang, “All I do is win, win, win no matter what, got money on my mind I could never get enough,” he was lying. I mean the song is super catchy and is so damn fun to sing along to when you do finally win. But if you do a quick Google search for “DJ Khaled failures” you’ll find articles about him trying to sue Billboard for not getting a number one album, getting booed off stage, and being unable to crowd surf. The guy fails a lot. And that’s why he’s super successful. Because he tries harder more than most. True story.
But failure gives us something to fight for. I bet you DJ Khaled is going to step up his game so he does get a number one album the next time around. He’s so close to making it. When you want to win, you get into world domination mode. But once you start winning over and over again, you start getting complacent. Britney Spears was the first person to call it out in her song Lucky, “And the world keeps spinning, and she keeps on winning, but tell me what happens when it stops?” Eventually, all winners fail. And if you keep at it, eventually all failures win. Aiming for that big win is the best part of life. It gives you purpose. A reason to fight. Cherish it. Life is more about the climb than the win. Even winners know that.
7. It Teaches You To Be Fearless
If life were a movie, the whole point of it would be for you to face your fears. You might do it against the bad guys or overcoming stage fright or knocking down your anxiety and taking on the world head on. So many people struggle to face their fears of failure and end up becoming a failure as a result. Every time you fail at something, remind yourself that you’re the protagonist of your movie. The main character always faces a challenge, a fight, or a problem but in the end they always win.
There’s a hidden secret about being fearless. The reality is most “fearless” people do experience fear. Adele vomits due to stage fright before every concert she performs. And she has one of the most powerful voices and songs you’ve ever heard. Nik Wallenda, experienced fear when he began losing grip of his balancing pole as he tight roped 13,000 feet above Times Square. But the moral of the story is that they faced their fear of failure or potential mistakes. Because the show must go on.
8. It Helps You Grow
You have failed so much in your life and it’s caused you to grow so much too. You probably don’t remember this but when you were a tiny baby, you’d stumble around trying to walk. You fell down at least a hundred times. But when you were around 10 months old, you didn’t believe in giving up. You knew that walking was something you needed to learn to do. So you could get places. Escape your crib. Reach the cookies on the table. You knew that if you could walk, your whole world would change. And now look at you, you walk around completing forgetting that it was once a huge challenge for you. That’s how much you’ve grown.
One day, something that you constantly fail at now will be so easy you won’t even think about it. You’ll have grown so much that you’ll forget how hard it was for you at one point. Failure is just proof that you’re doing something you haven’t done before. New life challenge. And by doing something new, you’re forced to grow in a different direction. It’s amazing! Growing pains can suck, especially when we label it a failure, but the end result is worth it. Every struggle, challenge, and obstacle that is thrown your way makes you a better and smarter person.
9. It Humbles You
Failure humbles you. When you feel like you’re on top of the world and that you can never come down, failure comes around and kicks you down. And there you go tumbling back down to reality. Ouch! About half of success comes from just showing up. But when you get to the top, the competition is fiercer than anything you can imagine. So, it’s a constant battle to get to that top spot. You can be great. But being the best is a whole other ball game.
Everyone at the top eventually comes back down. While failure after success can be hard to cope with, humility ends up reminding you that others are talented too. It’s important to learn that lesson in life. When you realize how many talented people there are in the world, you might focus a bit more collaboration which also helps elevate you from failure to winner. Many Nobel Prize Winners share their award with teammates who helped them land new scientific discoveries. Countless popular songs include collaborations with other artists. Some of the most successful people realize that the secret to minimizing failure is to work with other successful people.
10. It Makes You Smarter
The world’s genius Albert Einstein once said, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” If he stays with problems longer, he isn’t succeeding, he works through them. You can bet he made mistakes along the way to get to a solution. But he’s persistent which leads to him becoming ‘smart.’
The same goes with any project you set out to do. To make it successful, you might need to work on it a little longer. Maybe you run an online store, and you spent $1000 on ads and didn’t make a profit. Instead of calling it a failure, you should consider it time to approach your problem differently. Maybe ads aren’t as profitable as they used to be. Or maybe, and more realistically, you don’t have enough experience with ads to run successful ones. And that’s where the practice can really come in handy. So you try smaller budgets instead. That way you learn and continue to get smarter.
How can you approach your failures like Einstein? Can you invest more time learning about a topic? Can you come up with a bunch of different ideas and test out different solutions?
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At the time, failure never seems like a pleasant experience. But it’s what makes the ride of life worthwhile. The climb to the top is difficult and slow. But it’s the climb up where you get your greatest workout. The lessons you learn along the way, the ownership you take, and the person you get molded into from your failures is what makes you into an incredible person when you make it to the top. Slow and steady wins the race. When things get tough, are you still willing to push yourself to the finish line? Let us know in the comments!
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