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Failing, the Successful Way.

Updated on January 19, 2011

If there is one thing that you should learn in life, and one thing only, it is that failure is necessary in every single person's life at one point or another. Sometimes it is a big failure, and sometimes it is a smaller one, but you can rest assured, everyone fails on almost a daily basis. The following paragraphs will teach you the proper way to mold every failure into a success story. These concepts are universal and can apply to all aspects of our daily lives, whether we are dealing with financial failure, education failure, relationship failure, or anything else! Please note that these steps are my own personal opinion, as developed by my life experiences and my own many, many failures. They are meant to provide insight and perspective, not as professional legal counsel. Lets get started with step one!

Step #1: Don't be afraid to fail.

     When making any decision, the fear of failure is always a strong enough force to deter you away from your chance to succeed. This is normal, it is your body's "built-in" initiative of self-preservation.  Sometimes these fears are sensible and logical, and serve us well (like when you are deciding whether or not you should jump in front of a car and try to stop it with your bare hands), and sometimes they are kind of stupid, and do you no good at all (like when you are deciding whether or not to talk to that cute girl or boy.)  Unfortunately obtaining this distinction of what you should be afraid of and what you should not be afraid of is completely dependent on the individual and their circumstances. The general rule though is that you should only fear failure if your failure would have a significant negative effect on someone else. Don't be so worried about yourself, pain and failure often walk hand-in-hand, they usually come as a "packaged deal." Don't ever deny yourself the chance to succeed just because of the possibility of failure, it's the single worst thing you can do for your life.

Step #2: Altering your perspective- Failure

Think back to when you were a child. When you did something wrong, did your parents punish you? A cuss word may have been met with a bar of soap to the mouth, stealing might have brought about a good spanking, and lying no doubt got you a good grounding or loss of allowance. At first glance, you might say these punishments were a good thing, and you would be right, it is always good to have boundaries. The problem, however, is that they also taught you another lesson that you might not have been aware of, one that embedded itself in your sub-conscious and will affect every decision you make for the rest of your life; the lesson that failure is bad. There is more than enough punishment in the world to serve as a reminder that failure is bad, to steer us away from making socially unacceptable choices, but the problem with that is there are not enough rewards in the world to stimulate us to succeed. So for many of us, our only motivator is fear of punishment. You need to drop this perspective, altogether, just get rid of it. Failure is not bad! It is a learning experience!

When you make a decision and it doesn't lead to success, you might be met with a punishment, whether it be a monetary loss, a speeding ticket, a broken heart, or bad credit. These are only learning tools. They are not meant to make you feel like a bad person, or a screw-up at all. The sole reason for punishment/pain is to help you weed out the wrong ways and help you find the right ways! Every failure makes you smarter and stronger in every part of your life. Embrace failure when it happens to you, step back, take a deep breathe, and say to yourself "Okay, what can I learn from what just happened?" Never ever ever ever ever ever dwell on a failure, just acknowledge it, learn from it, and most importantly, move on!

Step #3: Altering your perspective- Success

Now a lot of times, your personal failure is defined by what your idea of success is. If you don't have a proper and reasonable goal for success, nothing i have written about so far will help you at all, you will always be doomed to fail. So this part is important! Every successful person in the world would only consider themselves to be successful because they had goals. First I will explain the importance of goals, then I will briefly describe a good process for setting goals and accomplishing them.

With out goals in your life, you unknowingly begin to measure the success of your life by a process called comparing. You look at people you know personally, in your family or circle of friends, or someone you know from school or work, or even worse, you pick a celebrity to compare yourself to. Because you don't think you have a direction in your life, you will look at this person and pick a random feature. This feature could be physical, emotional, social, economical, or anything really. You then proceed to measure your life according to this other person, and thus the insanity begins. Or maybe you have a strong influential figure in your life who does the comparing for you, like an angry mother who compares you to other people's children, or a heartless boyfriend who compares you to past girlfriends, or even a teacher who compares you to your classmates. Don't stand for this! Don't ever let people compare you to things that you don't want to be compared to. By developing a goal in your life, You develop Your Own personal measure of success, and people will begin to recognize this, because it develops a little something called self-confidence. And all living beings can sense self-confidence, and they all respect it! But I could write a whole separate article on self-confidence alone, so I better not get too off topic.

Now let's start setting those goals!!! You don't have to know what your ultimate purpose in life is quite yet (that's a decision you should definitely take your time with), but you can start getting into the habit of making and achieving goals right now so that when you do find your calling in life, you will know how to chase after it! First off, start small. Pick a small goal for yourself, one that you know you will easily be able to accomplish before the end of the day, something like Today I'm going to check my e-mail. Then, when you accomplish that goal, acknowledge the fact that you accomplished a goal, then try setting another one for the next day. Today I'm going to wash my clothes. Today I'm going to do the dishes. Today I'm going walk the dog. Today I'm going to go to bed earlier. Then gradually make the goals just a little harder as you go along, constantly pushing yourself little by little. It is very important though when starting this, to avoid making a goal for yourself that you might not be able to achieve. I know my first paragraph said "don't be afraid of failure," but that's not a license to be stupid. If you are new to goal making, giving yourself an impossible goal is like trying to walk into the gym for the first time and bench-pressing 600 pounds...it won't be pretty. The point of starting small is to change your perspective of yourself. By accomplishing these small goals, you are slowly drifting away from being a person who fails, to being a person who succeeds. Accomplishing your goals is a skill that has to be learned and developed. It is much like riding a bike, in that once you do learn the skill, you will never forget it and you will be amazed at the progress you make in your life.

So go to bed tonight, and when you wake up in the morning, start setting your goals. If you don't meet your goals, just remember that failure is only a learning tool, you are only a failure if you choose to view yourself as such! Go forth and succeed!


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    • L.L. Woodard profile image

      L.L. Woodard 6 years ago from Oklahoma City

      Very insightful information here. As much as we'd prefer not to fail, many of life's greatest lessons are within the times we try and falter.