Failure is really only feedback from our environment or the universe telling us that our response to various events in our lives was not correct. What that in effect means is that our responses did not deliver the outcomes that were desirable at that time. So failure really only serves as an opportunity for us to learn and grow and to find different responses in the future, that will deliver the outcomes we desire.
Research has shown that when venture capitalists invest in some high risk new business ventures the average success rate of these business ventures is as low as 3 %, when the business owner is under the age of 40. The success rate goes up to 76 % when the same ventures are driven by individuals over the age of 55. The only difference between the two groups is age or in real terms experience. The older group has failed more and therefore has learnt better responses to each event and therefore gets far better and consistent outcomes.
I have noticed that successful people fail far more often than unsuccessful people. The most important thing to understand about failure is that it is only feedback, maybe not the kind of feedback we want, but it is only the universe not delivering the outcome we want or expect. Successful people have a very simple response to failure, NEXT. Failure is an opportunity for us to learn, grow, develop, gain more knowledge or simply search for better responses that will deliver the outcome we desire. Failure is never a reason for us to wallow in self-pity or a reason for us to give up.
We don’t consider ourselves successful if we can get our shoes on in the morning, because that is easy and predictable. We only define people as successful, who succeed in areas with low rates of success. Rest assured, whether the people that we look up to were creating a beautiful painting, writing a piece of music, writing a best seller, or raising a child, there is no doubt that somewhere along the line they failed in one or some of their endeavors. Never let failure or negative feedback from your environment stop you from taking the action you need to succeed.
The really great entrepreneurs amongst us have an incredible ability to fail fast, learn the lessons offered and armed with this knowledge, they move onto the next opportunity. So if you want to succeed in any new venture, be willing to fail, in fact expect to fail many times along the way, learn the lessons offered as quickly as possible, by spending as little time as necessary licking your wounds and get straight back in the saddle, armed with new knowledge and skills. Each failure, roadblock or challenge along your journey to success, does not only bring you closer to the success you desire and deserve, it teaches you invaluable lessons too. Lessons, which will equip you to not only make better and better, more sound decisions and choices going forward, but will also often help you to identify opportunities, which may have remained hidden, had you not encountered the challenge.
“Successful people fail much more often than unsuccessful ones”
Satisfaction Thrives on Challenge
If you have ever played a computer game where you always win, you soon lose interest and discard the game. When the game is challenging and allows you to win sometimes and loose periodically, you remain interested and you work at improving and growing. In fact loosing actually makes playing the game addictive and makes you want to improve.
Our satisfaction levels thrive on challenge, the moments when life gets the most difficult is where our brains produce the most Dopamine (a neurotransmitter that governs reward and learning in our brain). The pleasure center of our brains is most active when our brains are almost too challenged to succeed. We are programmed to actually need failure in our lives to fully enjoy our successes.
How to turn the Negative into Positive
When you are faced with any outcome in your life that is unacceptable (Failure), take the time to say “Oh Well” instead of “Oh No”. The key to really turn any apparent failures into successes is to understand the difference between the actual outcome we did not want and any additional and unnecessary thoughts we have about the outcome. For example you lose the job/race/relationship. Your response, I am a looser, my life will be terrible going forward and everyone will hate me. These are all additional thoughts that have nothing to do with the here and now; they have nothing to do with the actual failure. In reality all you lost was the race, job or relationship. All the additional negative thoughts you introduced, by thinking negative thoughts, is all based on hypothetical thoughts, which will probably never happen. Why think negative thoughts or invite more challenge into your experience, after facing any less than ideal circumstances.
When faced with any failure in your life, acknowledge the failure, feel the disappointment, for the shortest time possible and move forward. Go through a little grieving cycle and allow yourself to feel the hurt, but do not wallow in unnecessary self-pity, which does not serve you at all. If there is anything to be learnt from the failure or how you could do it differently next time, just learn it and then have the courage to move on. Don’t get bogged down in creating perceived extra outcomes or future outcomes, which have nothing to do with what has actually happened.
Most suffering comes from our thoughts and not from the actual event itself.
We are conditioned from very early on to define certain things as failures and others as successes and we then create a belief system around these definitions, which define us.
For example: If I only give myself a perfect score, when I feel worthwhile and everything is going according to plan and if I fail, I am worthless. I am setting myself for disaster. As you know, nothing ever goes exactly according to plan. There are always challenges, setbacks and disappointments. So if my measure of feeling worthwhile is based on my need for a constant ebb of positive outcomes, I will persistently live in a place where I do not feel worthwhile.
You are a truly magnificent being, who lives in a world with challenge. The challenges you face are here to help you grow, never to make you feel worthless. Once you recognize that you are only reacting to a thought, a conditioned response instead of anything real, then it becomes really easy to use positive self-talk to tell yourself to react to the event and not to create any additional negative outcomes.
Andrew is an expert and master teacher that speaks and teaches self-leadership, expanded awareness, effectiveness, efficiency and productivity. He guides individuals and business professionals, to identify, prioritise and carry out the right activities, consistently, so that they can maximise their personal effectiveness and deliver their best; on time, every time. All the tools and techniques Andrew teaches; have been tested in the laboratory of his own life and the many successful businesses he has owned and led, over the past 20 years. These strategies have seen Andrew achieve financial independence and reach a point of harmonious balance in all areas of his life. His purpose is to help as many people as possible, achieve similar or better results and to show them how they can realise their full potential, both personal and professionally and to help them live a meaningful life, where they are fulfilled in all areas. http://www.andrewhorton.co.za