Nothing easy is worth doing and nothing worth doing is easy.
At 24 years of age, I’ve failed so many times in my life I’ve lost count. It doesn’t matter how many times you fail or how hard you fail. What does matter is how many times you get back up. You only have to get up 1 more time then you fail in order to achieve your goals.
There’s 2 ways to approach failure.
The first is letting failure defeat you.
This is common in schools. You accept failure to the point that it becomes a joke between friends. You get an exam back, you fail and you and your friends find it hilarious and laugh about it. Then you get to university, where it’s not a joke anymore but people deicide it’s acceptable. People literally just accept they’re going to fail before they even sit the exam. ‘I’ll go out the night before an exam, I’m going to fail anyway’. Does this sound familiar? I know I’m guilty of using this excuse.
This acceptance of failure is the most toxic way of thinking. As soon as you think you’re going to fail, you’re right. It’s guaranteed that you’re going to fail. How can you expect to achieve something if in your mind you have already failed? You can’t!
On top of accepting failure, not changing your methods will ensure you keep failing. Lack of willingness to change is another toxic way of thinking. If you fail at whatever you’re doing, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done, it means you need to find another way. There’s always another way.
Thomas Edison failed 10 000 times before he invented the light bulb. Once he had invented it, he didn’t say he failed 10 000 times, he said simply found 10 000 ways not to invent the light bulb.
If you failed an exam, you study harder next time. If you’re overweight, you work out more. If you’re starting up a business and can’t get new clients, you keep calling until they agree to meet you. You can’t fall down and then stay on the ground. You have to get up and push even harder. As cliché as it sounds, you never give up, because the second you give up is the second you lose.
If you don’t take control of your life, someone or something else will! This is a quote I’ve followed for years. It means you have to take control and that includes how you deal with failure.
The second way to approach failure is to get up and push harder.
If you’re trying to reach your goal, at some point you will fail. You have to be willing to fail, and then you have to be willing to pick yourself up and fail again and keep doing that, keep pushing, until you reach your goal. People who don’t have a fear for failure will achieve their goals.
These are 3 things people tell themselves when they fail and all 3 will hold you back:
1. It’s everyone else’s fault
When people fail, they look to blame someone and nine times out of ten, it’s someone else.
‘The reason I didn’t pass the exam is because my boss made me work’, ‘the reason my business failed is because no one would give me funding’, ‘the reason I didn’t win is because they’re faster than me’. This is all bullshit. You’re the reason you failed. You didn’t pass because you weren’t willing to put in the hours after work. You didn’t get funding because you gave up on the first ‘no’, you weren’t willing to call and call and then call again until you got a meeting. You didn’t win that race because you didn’t put in 100%.
You failed you.
If you want to reach your goals you have to stop blaming everyone else. Accept it was you, get up and try again. The next time you fail or you don’t achieve your goals, stand in front of a mirror because that person is the reason you failed.
2. I tried everything
‘I tried everything’ is a lie people tell themselves to justify giving up, when in reality, if they really tried everything they would have reached their goals. What they should say is ‘I’m not willing to try anymore’.
Denzel Washington said ‘If you don’t fail, your not even trying’. Failure comes with chasing your goal. As I said earlier, it’s not meant to be easy.
Someone telling themselves they’ve tried everything is someone who’s given up. Did you stay up for days to make sure that your business takes off? Did you study every single day after work to make sure you passed your exams? Did you call every day to set up that client meeting and when they said no did you show up at their office anyway?
If you truly try everything, you will achieve your goals.
Trying everything doesn’t only mean doing the most extreme things possible, it also means being persistent and consistent in everything you do. Are you putting in the hours? Are you giving it 100%?
If the answer is no, then you haven’t tried everything.
3. I can’t
Everybody knows how bad the words ‘I can’t’ are and everyone’s quick to tell others not to say it, but as soon as it gets hard. All of a sudden, they can’t, it’s too hard.
As soon as you say you can’t, again, you’re right. As soon as you say you can’t you will fail and lose all hope of recovering.
You would have heard it so many times, but you need to erase these words from your vocabulary and your mind.
Everyone can! Everyone has the ability to achieve whatever they want, the only thing holding them back is their way of thinking.
As soon as you have decided that you can, you’ll find a way to achieve your goals. I’m not sure how you’ll achieve your goals, but it all starts with the right way of thinking and that’s believing in yourself and believing you can.
There’s another aspect of this and that’s people who tell you ‘you can’t’. The reason they say this is because in their mind, they can’t and therefore, you can’t. You need to get rid of these people, no matter who they are. If it’s your best friend, get them out of your life. If it’s people at work, get them out of your life. No matter who they are, they need to go. I said nothing worth doing is easy and this is one of those moments. You can’t hang around people who don’t believe in you.
If you’re constantly hanging around people who don’t believe in you, you will begin to adopt their way of thinking and in turn, drift further and further away from your goals.
These are just 3 ways people deal with failure. There are so many other ways but the end result is always the same. It’s all up to you. How you treat failure is critical to your success. You can’t go around blaming other people. You have to pick yourself up and start running harder and faster towards your goals and when you fail again, get up and run again.
As always I would love to hear your feedback and thoughts. Make sure you let me know by emailing me at email@example.com or commenting.
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Since leaving School in 2012, I’ve had a want to do something different.
To do something great.
That want, although it took years, eventually turned into a need, a burning desire.