Saturday, June 20, 2015

How to Get Past Failure

This past week, I was stuck in my thoughts thinking about the many times I failed in the past. As much as people say “get over failure”, I have come to realize that simply by reminiscing, failure can still evoke the same emotions as it did when it just occurred. So there is no getting over it if we want to be honest with ourselves; what we can do is get past it.

There is something about failure that many people are unaware of; failure provides a comfort zone. Yes, failure, especially repeated failure can cause us to either become comfortable with stagnancy or simply choose to go through the motions of life. This is what makes failure dangerous; contrary to what we many think failure is not dangerous because of mocking fingers or the embarrassment that we may face, but because of the loss of zeal it brings with it- the self-doubt, the “do I really have to this?’ thoughts, and of course the “I’m already comfortable where I am, why should I try harder?” thoughts. Failure is dangerous because besides the fact that we have failed, we might start to embrace that failure.

It is important to get past failure if we intend to achieve anything extraordinary in life; perhaps it might not be extraordinary, it might be a small dream such as publishing a book or starting a coffee shop, whatever the dream or vision is, we must first get past failure to achieve anything.
First things first, reminisce about your failure and be honest with how failing made you feel each time. Check the progression of your feeling with each failure. Did you feel your world was crashing each time? Or as time went on, did you start to feel like it was no big deal? The latter might be signs of you giving up on yourself without realizing it and the best way to conquer that is to understand that each failure, separate as they may be, had the same effect on your life- they all pulled you back from a point of achievement, they pulled you back from a vision, they halted a victory march you had planned in your head, and that is simply unacceptable.

Secondly, write down all the things you wish to achieve, INCLUDING the ones you’ve already failed at. Ask yourself which one of these things still excites you deeply and which ones don’t. Which one of your dreams has changed because you have a different vision? Take notes of these things and then begin to strategize.

Having a strategy in life is always key if you want to achieve anything. Some people are not able to strategize on paper, they do so mentally. Whichever way works for you, make notes of the necessary process you have to go through to get to your achievement. I am a big fan of writing these points in my journal or making a poster out of them and putting it up on my study wall.

Now, the difficult part begins- the part of actually taking action. This is not the easy part, because I’d like to think no one likes the part where they have to work hard when they can have easier ways. Unfortunately, some dreams require more hard work than others. Start this phase by working even when you don’t feel like it. This requires a lot of discipline and commitment, and I can tell you it is very difficult to commit to something you really feel you don’t have to do right away. But your commitment is what will make it so exciting for you, turning your back on it will begin to seem difficult.  You will soon find that you can barely wait to work on it, and every chance you get, you want to ensure you improve it so it’s better than what it was before.

Don’t be afraid to seek help. Help is necessary in life, and sometimes, even with the possession of natural talent, we need some help from people who may even seem to be less skilled than we are. We need constructive criticism, and lots of funny and strange advice. We need to even converse with people who do not necessarily understand what we are saying, but can help us break things out and look at them from a simpler point of view. We need help, no matter how little, so don’t be afraid or arrogant to ask for it.

Lastly, get rid of any feelings of fear. Fear is the one wall that stands between us and our ambitions, and it is only normal that we fear failure especially if we have failed before. Starve your fears and feed your focus. Don’t let fear cripple you; don’t let it dull your excitement. Yes, there is a possibility that things won’t work out the way you want but there’s also a possibility that they will. As long as there is a chance of success, there is a need to try. There is a need to try harder than you ever have and keep trying till you break through. Fear is not an option when you are in a race with and against yourself.

Failure does not have to break you. You can let it make you stronger instead. Keep succeeding, keep shining. Everything you work for will work out one day, and that day could be soon. So it’s best you’re ready when the opportunities come knocking. XOXO

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