We all do thing that don’t go according to plan. Whether it’s a project at work or a missed goal we set for ourselves, it’s easy to feel like a failure when you aren’t able to get things done.
However, the reality is that people aren’t failures. We might fail at things, but we (as people) are not failures. Nobody is. No one’s a failure.
It’s not about you, it’s about the activity or action you were doing.
You have to hold on to this, that is not about you, to avoid feeling like a failure.
Failure is an opportunity to learn
Failing at projects or goals may feel horrible, like the world is ending. But it actually helps you learn, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time.
Each time you aren’t able to complete something successfully, you should ask yourself:
- What didn’t work here?
- How can I adjust?
- What can I recalibrate?
- What can I change here?
- What can I do differently to make sure things are better going forward?
Answering these questions can really help you understand what went wrong and how you can prevent it from happening again. It’s a lesson in disguise.
Failure is beautiful because it stops you from failing over and over and over again.
Your failures are life lessons that you make stronger, powerful, more productive, and more on track to achieving everything you want. Think about inventors and athletes: How many times did Thomas Edison fail at making the light bulb before he finally got it right? And how many shots did Kobe Bryant miss before he finally started to make baskets?
It took practice. Lots and lots of practice. So you shouldn’t be afraid of failure, and you definitely shouldn’t be afraid to try.
Just remember that you, as a person, are not a failure. You might have failed at something but that doesn’t mean you are a failure.
Failure is in your mind
If failure is a learning experience, is it really a failure? Did you really fail or did you learn? Rethinking how you look at failure will help you avoid feeling like a failure. You can rethink this by asking yourself:
- Did it make me think differently?
- Will it make me do things differently next time?
- Will it be help me be a stronger person?
Steve Jobs said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward. You can only connect the dots looking backwards.”
So don’t think of failure as a failure. Reframe the way you see and think about failure so it’s an opportunity. A way to get stronger, a way to learn, a way to move forward.
Our paths aren’t exactly how we expect them to go, but it’s still making us better, stronger people.
Failure is just a feeling
Feelings are emotions that you choose to feel. You can choose to feel happy or sad or angry. And while there are things out of your control that can affect the way you choose to feel, you still make the decision to feel a certain way.
So when you miss the mark, you can choose to feel like a failure or you can choose to respond differently. You can choose to feel sad and angry or you can choose to feel something different.
You should choose to feel accomplished because you’re learning and you’re allowing yourself to grow.
Our brains take in a lot of information, especially the information on what drives and motivates us. So if you’re constantly thinking, “I’m a failure, I’m a failure,” your brain is going to look for information to support that feeling. And then you’re only going to see the other things that have gone wrong.
If you focus on the feeling of failure, you’re going to attract more failure into your life.
But if you think, “I’m an achiever. This might not have worked out, but it’s not the end of the world,” and you look for ways to learn from the failure then your brain will do the same.
It will start to look for opportunities that will help you be more successful in the future. It will help you see ways to improve a plan that didn’t work instead of solely focusing on what went wrong.
Take control your feelings and what you want your brain to see. Choose your emotions because that is what is going to help you create the things in your life that you want.
Don’t let failures take you down!
The next time something doesn’t go according to plan, repeat this mantra:
“I’m not a failure. I’ve learned lessons from this and I’m going to choose to feel amazing and not crappy in this moment.”
Don’t focus on the negatives. Look for the opportunities to learn and make changes for the future. You are not a failure.
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