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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Eight Tips for Making Failure the Key to Your Success

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
Sir Winston Churchill

What's happening in your life right now? Do you feel like you're failing in some aspect of your life? Are you harboring a secret failure you're hiding from others in shame? Off licking your wounds?

Listen up! You're one step closer to achieving success.

What do you think separates achievers from nonachievers? Education? Intelligence? Luck? In with the Boss? While each of these can help open the doors to achievement, they are not the key. Knowing how to fail is.

Do You Know How to Fail Successfully?

Years ago, the B.C. cartoonist captured the essence of how many of us view failure in one of his cartoon definitions:
 "Flail: The opposite of slucceed."
As the B.C. humorist insinuates, failure is often a crime worthy of a mental flailing. After we beat ourselves up, it may take days, weeks or months to get over the pain of that mental flailing. And while we waste time feeling guilty, frustrated, and sorry for ourselves, we fail to take the next step.

How do you view your failures? Are you so afraid of failing you have a hard time starting something new? Do you expect no less than perfection from yourself? Do you have a difficult time taking risks because you must guarantee success before you take the first step?

Psychologist, Terry Paulsen, says 'perfectionist thinking leads to procrastination which leads to paralysis'.  If you're so afraid of making a mistake, you'll never take a step.

Don't let the fear of failure lead to perfectionist thinking and ultimately to getting stuck. Learn to use your failures like the top achievers do ~ as learning experiences. Let the following tips guide you to turn failure into success.

Eight Tips for Turning Failure into Success

1 Choose to see failures as learning experiences.
When things don't turn out the way you want them to ~  make a list of everything you learn from your experiences. Ask yourself questions and spend 10 minutes a day logging your answers.
What went wrong?
What could I do better next time?
What can I improve upon NOW?  What's the most important question for me to ask myself NOW? How do I turn this into a beginning, not an ending?
What's the greatest lesson to be learned from my experience?
Expect and welcome learning experiences. You're stagnating if you're not failing some of the time. Practice taking risks in less crucial areas of your life ~ make a game out of it. Become a game changer.
"The only difference between winners and losers," says Terry Paulsen, "is winners lose more often....but they stay in the game."

3  Choose to learn from people who enjoy their imperfections.
Is there a person in your life who doesn't let failure get her down? 
Watch her ~ Talk to her ~Get advice from her.
 Let nonperfectionists influence your thinking.

4  Take a step without worrying about the results.
Paul Clayton, a speaker on change says we waste a lot of time aiming for the perfect step. When we want to change, we get ready, then we aim, aim, aim, aim, aim.....and maybe shoot. His recommendation?

Change to ready, SHOOT, aim.
Take a step, any step, then adjust it afterwards if necessary.

5  Let your failures be an inspiration to others. 
In 1984, William Kennedy won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. His award-winning book, Ironweed was submitted to ~ and rejected by~ thirteen publishers before being accepted for publication.
Your failures and struggles make your success more inspiring to others.
Don't hide your struggles; share them with others.

6  Become a strong person who makes mistakes.
It takes a strong person to admit his mistakes and accept himself in the face of failure.
Richard Needham, a Canadian Humorist, said, "Strong people make as many and as ghastly mistakes as weak people. The difference is strong people admit them, laugh at them, and learn from them. That is how they become strong."

Let your failures strengthen you.
Former President Richard Nixon said, "Life is just ninety-nine rounds, just ninety- nine rounds. The person left standing at the end is the winner."

8  Turn Your Huge Public Failure into a Huge Public Success

Meet Dave Dahl, successful creator of 'Dave's Killer Bread'. His previous life was one fat failure, including  jail time for burglary and an addiction to major drugs. Dave turned his life around and went public with his personal failures by putting them on every package of Dave's Killer Bread. His bread IS Killer Bread (very tasty and nutritious) ...and it tastes that much better for his story of overcoming public failure.

Check out Dave's Story and Bread

Dave Dahl's turnaround let's us see that no matter how bad the fall from grace, if we chose to learn from our failures and are willing to take the next steps, we can recover a good and satisfying life. Take a cue from Dave--

Don't Dwell on the Past, Create for Your Future

Stop Dwelling on the Past. Get Busy Making Your Future
"Life in the fast lane is like driving a car with no brakes, no reverse, and you can't turn it off. That is why it is important to keep your rearview mirror smaller than your front window. Far too many waste time dwelling on the past instead of getting busy making the future." Terry Paulson, Ph.D.
Your Bonus Tip

Dr Terry Paulson has some great resources available to you. If interested, click link below to take a look.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this Susan- just the kind of encouragement I need....Sue B

LightartedSue said...

Thanks, Sue B! We all need this kind of encouragement!

Anonymous said...

Sue I am so, thankful for all my lessons your encouragement is a top of the icing for me. Even with my struggle I wake up every morning with find the passion. I was born to be. I felt there was a reason in you many yrs ago about your insight. Now look what you waken in to me.Lightarted Living. Thank you keep beaming.

LightartedSue said...

Is that you Bambi? You are a shining light---always have been. When I see your face, I see the Lion t-shirt your friend created and you gifted to my mother. We all shine for one another!

Cindy said...

Thank you Susan. You have done it again! I like your site, and everything about you! Cindy

LightartedSue said...

Thanks, Cindy! I appreciate the kind words!