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According to the Encarta dictionary, Success is the achievement of something planned or attempted while Failure is the lack of success.
Success is a word everybody wants to be attributed to, and logically, no one likes being attributed to failure. But the truth is that failure is more common than success. It is very easy to accept success in one’s life, but what do we do when we fail?
The way we react to failure has a direct relationship with how successful we become, which is why more than knowing how to deal with success, we need to know how to deal with failure.
1. Accept it
The very first thing to do with failure is to acknowledge that it has happened. Trust me, I know it can be very difficult to do, but it is necessary. Now, accepting failure is very different from embracing it.
When we accept failure, we recognize in our minds that a specific goal was not achieved or a certain attempt flopped, that does not mean we have to just let it end there or forget about it. Accepting failure is important because we need to accept something in order to effect a change, which is what we would need to do to attain success.
2. Understand the Depression
After realizing that our goals have not been achieved, a bunch of negative feelings could start to flow. Blame, hopelessness, frustration, misery, all cumulating in a state of depression.
Depression is never a good state to be in and is highly unproductive. When things go awry and our plans fail, there might be a strong impulse to fall into depression. Now, if there is one thing I’ve learned about depression is that once you fall into it, coming out of it can be difficult.
Recently, I got a test result that I was far from pleased with. Even though I expected the failure, it hits me like a ton of bricks and I started to fall into depression. I withdrew from the people around me, I would cry when no one could see me, and I generally felt like everything was over. I had decided to just give up on that course. I thought about all the mistakes I had made and sank deep into self-pity and blame.
After a few days of “woe is me” talk, I was shocked by the mess I had become. I realized that all I was doing was embracing my failure and giving up on my goals. That is not the kind of person I want to be, so I picked myself up and renewed my motivation because nothing moves without a driving force.
So if this is where you are right now, don’t stay there. You have a purpose, if this is truly what you are meant to achieve, no one can stop you from achieving it but yourself. Don’t let depression swallow you, and get back on your feet.
This is a very important step in dealing with failure. For a plan to fail, then something must have happened, maybe a mistake or a wrong decision or maybe not even your fault. Whatever the reason was why the goal was not achieved, needs to be determined. So you need to go back to the original plan, look through it carefully and realize what went wrong, in order to fix it.
Whenever I watch a documentary on inventions, I notice how much work is put into creating just one thing. Prototype after prototype, blueprint after blueprint, until the final invention is made, and the most important part of all of that is determining why the prototype didn’t work, in order to make a better functioning prototype, and on and on. Just like that, our plans need to be investigated after a failure to determine the reasons for the failure.
4. Make a new plan And Refocus
Now after investigating and discovering why the previous plan failed, the next step is to make a new plan. Albert Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” A new plan must be developed to achieve the goal and it must overcome the problems of the previous one for it to be useful. In making this new plan, you have to remind yourself why you are doing all of this.
Why do you want to achieve the goal or meet the target? There must be a sufficient driving force to propel you to work towards success. Remind yourself of that, and place your focus back on the target.
5. Have Faith
As humans we always need to have faith in something, maybe it’s our talent, skill, even other people. Because of my faith, and a strong belief in God, I turn everything I do over to Him because I acknowledge that there is so much I can do and much more things out of my control. I hand over my plans to Him and have faith that He would help me.
6. Never Stop Trying
There are numerous examples of people who had groundbreaking achievements after facing failure over and over Henry Ford, The Wright Brothers, and Walt Disney, to name a few. The key to success is to never give up because life is never a smooth, straight path. We are always bound to encounter obstacles, and face failure, but the only way to succeed, is to keep moving forward!