Most successful people will concede that they've achieved their success because they understand that failure taught them how to succeed. We learn and grow from our failures. They teach us how to deal with adversity and disappointment, what it takes to achieve goals, and they give us an appreciation for the journey.
Sometimes it's just as hard to hear that you can do anything as it is to hear you can't. It's an intense amount of pressure that lives inside your heart and constantly wants to take you over and confine you to your bed because it's too much work. To be honest, it can be exhausting being told to follow your dreams.
The reality is that rebounding and finding your mojo once more after a significant setback, failure or loss involves a lot more than simply "shaking it off" no matter what Taylor Swift says. It takes some essential and necessary stages and actions that if missed will keep you stuck, and stop you from learning and growing from the experience, which no matter how unpleasant is a rich opportunity for personal growth.
It scares the crap out of me -- writing about, talking about and teaching about "failure." Then again, I think about courageous, bold and inspiring women such as Brene Brown, Cheryl Strayed, Elizabeth Gilbert and so many others who have had the balls to write about and very publicly share their own personal dances with "failure" to the benefit of so many of us.
As I've said in this space often, my lessons learned can be profound or simple. They may be revolutionary and new, or old news that needs to be repeated. The point here then, this week's lesson learned is a simple, old one of the value of perseverance. Or put another way: Success knows no substitute for tenacity.
Much is written in business circles of visualizing your success. Well for astronauts, it is quite the reverse, they spend considerable time visualizing failure; simulating what they would do if something went wrong -- and in space, the scope is unlimited. As business owners we need to do that too and be prepared for what could go wrong, with a plan B (or C) in our back pocket.
Being a good parent isn't always about supporting your child in their endeavours no matter what. Was it better that we showed our children our support even though we knew the probable outcome, or would it have been a more prudent decision to have been honest with them from the outset, saving them from wasting time and worse -- the inevitable disappointment of failure?
The first time feels like a big deal. People want to associate with the guy who did it first, find out all about it. No one pays attention to the fact that it is the guy who works at it, paying attention to his own attempts and adjusting. This is the person who will be the best. The guy who allowed himself a do-over, tried a few things, failed, tried again.
Last week, I was dealt a major blow of crushing disappointment proportions. Perhaps I was unrealistically confident and upbeat in my expectations of a positive response, so much so that I projected my charmed life after the anticipated "Yes" about 10 years and five giant steps forward. It hurts. The difference this time around, though...is that I knew how to deal with it.
When we have a big vision for ourselves -- and are taking steps toward fulfilling that dream -- it can be time of major transition and growth. When we are in this stage of growth, we need to muster all that we have to make our creative dreams come to fruition. Including our self-confidence. But, often it is not wise to share our vision or dreams with others until we are truly ready to do so. Here's why.
So I know Yoda is a Jedi Master and all that, but he's got something wrong. One of his most favourite claims -- "Do, or do not. There is no 'try,'" -- has a big hole in it. He's suggesting that if you make enough of an effort to achieve a goal, you should be able to reach that goal. And that if you fail, your effort or conviction was lacking. That certainly hasn't been my reality.
A personal branding strategy is built around success. Knowing what you're good at, articulating the value you can deliver, and getting recognized for that value are the three key elements in creating a brand. But we all fail from time to time. The project is delivered late, the client selects a different supplier, the product launch flops. How do you, and your personal brand, recover? Here are some suggestions.
Are you a glass half-full or glass half-empty type of person? Is your inclination to give up at the first roadblock on your path? When we don't view failure as a disaster but as a learning tool, it does become easier to accept the lesson and grow professionally and personally. Keeping your sense of humour is key. Believe it or not, there may be a time when you look back and can laugh at your foibles.