Learning How Not To Fail

Failing is easy. Success is hard.

Most of the time, failing is simply the result of not trying hard enough. Other times you can try hard and still fail. The key is honing your skill of learning how not to fail.

Frequent failing can mean you’re just lazy and not committed to the effort required to guarantee success, and you’re certainly not learning from each failure. Other indicators include a lack of clear, concise goals; a lack of general clarity; a habitual focus on blame and finger-pointing, and of course, your mindset.

Mindset goes hand in hand with attitude. Attitude is the prime ingredient of all failure or success. I like to keep it simple. You either have a SURVIVAL mindset or a POSSIBILITY mindset. One will ensure failure, and the other will ensure success. The two are usually very easy to spot. The survival mindset is easily identified. All you need to do is ask someone as part of a greeting, “How are you doing today?” and the answer in return, “OK, I guess, I’m just getting by.” In turn, the possibility thinker will answer the same question with a confident swagger, “I’m doing great. Thanks for asking!”

If you go into a project with a survival mentality, you’re beginning the project believing you could fail. I would lay odds that you will fail and that I would likely hear you say when you did fail, “Oh well, I knew that would happen.” The possibility thinker always expects winning. They have a genuine burning desire and a genuine fear of losing. They expect success.

So, here is the secret sauce. Maybe it’s not such a secret, but it seems to be, based on the small percentage of people who seem to practice it. I believe that you can learn how not to fail. The only absolute failure is when you didn’t learn something from the challenge. Top business people and entrepreneurs worldwide know to follow specific protocols if you fail at any level. Rather than complain, make excuses and look for blame, possibility thinkers will always: STOP; Analyze exactly WHAT happened; Analyze precisely WHY it happened; Analyze precisely HOW it will never happen again; Make appropriate corrections then move on, never to repeat the failure. These steps are the process of learning not to fail.

The reality is that we are all going to fail at some time. How we react to these failures is the key between future success and a future of continued failure. Frankly, I’ve learned that life is fragile and very short in the overall scheme of things. So, why would you take the time to make mistakes repeatedly? Drop the ego. There’s no shame in admitting failure, and failure is not defeat. If you fail at a project or task, learn why it happened and how to prevent similar issues in the future, then move on down the road. I guarantee that you’ll get to the end goal faster than most everyone around you.

And that feels very good!

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