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Friday, November 4, 2016

Knowing How to Fail is Key to 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 non-achievers? Education? Intelligence? Luck? Having an '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.

How to Successfully Fail

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?
'Perfectionist thinking leads to procrastination which leads to paralysis'. Terry Paulsen

 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 that let you to turn failure into success.

Don't be chicken..scratch below the surface of mental flailings to 
discover the rich treasure trove of learning experiences

6 Tips for Turning 'Flailure into Sluccess'

1 Choose to see failures as learning experiences

When things don't turn out the way you want them to ~  stop with the mental flailing and make a list of everything you learn from your experiences. Ask yourself questions that move you forward.
  • 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 is winners lose more often....but they stay in the game.'  Terry Paulsen

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. 

Look for non-perfectionists to influence your thinking.

4  Take a step without  worrying about the results. 
Paul Clayton, a speaker on change said 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, I was inspired to persist with my own writing when William Kennedy won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. What inspired me was his story of persisting despite rejection. His award-winning book, Ironweed was submitted to--and rejected by--thirteen publishers before being accepted for publication. Now that's the sort of person I want to emulate!

Your failures and struggles make your success more inspiring to others.  

Don't hide your struggles; share them.

6  Become a strong person who makes mistakes

It takes a strong person to admit her mistakes and accept herself in the face of failure. 

No matter how bad the fall from grace, if we chose to learn from our failures, laugh at ourselves, and are willing to take the next steps, we can fully recover and go on to have a good and satisfying life. 

'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.' Richard Needham, Canadian Humorist

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For more than 35 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.

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Barb M said...

I needed #4...thank you! Actually, I needed this whole post. Love your wisdom and all the great quotes you incorporate.

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Barb--we all need this post! At one time or other we're going to FLAIL. We need to find a way to take ourselves less seriously so we can let it go and just get on with living!