I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
— Michael Jordan
It’s time to stop kicking yourself when you’re already down.
Know this: failure is an essential step on the road to achieving even the loftiest goals. Everytime you don’t accomplish what you initially set out to do, you are awarded an opportunity to learn, to change, and to take a leap closer to succeeding. But, your trajectory depends on your perspective. See failure as a tool rather than a negative and you’ll never fail again. The choice is yours: learn and succeed or dwell on your mistakes and fail again.
Here are some tips that will help you learn to Fail UP:
Don’t Define Yourself by your Failures
You are not your thoughts, your ego, or the circumstances that happen to you. Recognize that no one is the master of everything and that the most successful people in the world are always learning. Do not focus attention on your own mistakes or weaknesses or those of others. Instead, reframe your attention to figuring out how you learn best or how you could do better in the future. Define yourself by your strength. Doubting yourself is no way to achieve a dream, just ask Oprah who was told she was, “unfit for T.V.,” when she applied for her first job as a television reporter. Obviously, Oprah never let one little setback change her destiny. Failure is an event, a not a person.
Move Forward Continuously:
Just keeping going. Persistence is key event when it seems like we face are constantly facing adversity. If you press on, you’ll see that despite the ups and downs on your journey, your trajectory is upward and towards your goals. Don’t give up on anyone or anything because every person and moment contains a lesson. Look for positivity and informative takeaways in every experience because you never know when your big breakthrough is right around the corner. Take author and podcast host Tim Ferriss as an example. Ferriss pitched his book, The Four Hour Work Week, to 26 different publishers before he found someone who would publish his best seller. The book went on sell 1.3 million copies in 35 different languages.
You are the Only Thing Standing In Your Way
So, you’re going to have to learn how to get out of your own way. Start by starting. So many people procrastinate and invent reasons they can’t achieve everything they dream of. Stop making excuses and get started now, even in a very small way. Once you get started, the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. It’s easier and faster to focus on one thing at a time. Set small, attainable mini-goals that get you closer to your mega-goal and praise yourself when you achieve any goal, no matter the size. You can start today by creating a small habit that moves you closer to your overarching goal. If you want to write a book, start by writing for 10 minutes everyday after you brush your teeth.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Learn how to keep your ultimate goal in your mind’s eye every single day. This will help you see beyond current circumstances and focus less on trivial failures and more on the big picture. Remember why when you wake up and get ready to work everyday. If you are motivated by grand plans, you’ll be less likely to lose your cool when an obstacle arises. Only chase things that excited you and motivate you to work hard day-in, day-out. If the discomfort from committing to your goal outweighs the intrinsic pleasure you get from working on it, it probably isn’t that important to you.
Failure is what you perceive it to be. You control how you feel about things that happen. Use your endlessly creative mind to take something away from every obstacle that stands in your way and you will never fail at anything.