Monday, May 10, 2010

FAILURE: When your best just isn't good enough

How do you deal with failure? Not the kind when you only halfheartedly did something but the failure that hurts. The failure that stings. That time when your put practically your life, your love, your all into something and STILL get unsuccessful results. That time when you spent forever and a day trying to perfect something, trying to sharpen your skill...spending SO LONG getting better at something, even spending what seems like forever on a friendship that appears to be dying, only to be returned with an empty hand. HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT FAILURE? Especially when you KNOW for a fact you did your absolute best?

Day after day some failures of mine still gnaw at the very core of my being. And actually right now, I'm writing as a response to my frustration with those failures (so sorry if this isn't the top-notch type of writing). But failing for me is SOOOOOOO different when it comes to putting my all into it or not. Is it that way for you? Or the same? I should assume it would feel different. Or at least it should. Because if you only halfheartedly went into something and didn't succeed, maybe you should've just gone all out in the first place.

But back to my question...How do YOU deal with failure? I've realized that people deal with failure primarily in three different ways...

The first, and probably the most common, way that people use to deal with failure is to blame the failure on someone else or give excuses. Giving up on whatever the task is usually goes along with this. It's so much easier to blame other people for our faults, isn't it? But why do we do it so often? Who do we think we're fooling? Not ourselves! Of course not because most likely we know who to blame. Ourselves. The most common excuse for a failure is "It's not fair!". Other ones are "I'm too young" or "I'm too old" and even "It's too hard!". With that type of attitude, eventually the person will give up and instead of achieving his or her, goal they claim that it's just too far out of reach and settle for less.

The second way people deal with failure is by doing the same thing repeatedly. A brilliant man named Albert Einstein once said that insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". People are straight up insane then because I've seen it a lot. Shoot...I've done it before many times. But, again, why do we do it? Will those goals ever be reached? Perhaps, if they're aren't big goals. But if you're trying to achieve something big and what you're doing isn't working, doing the same thing again most likely will not might not even make the slightest progress. If you keep repeating the same thing, you're gonna get the same results. That's that.

Finally, the third way to deal with failure is to use the failure as "feedback", evaluate that feedback, change your strategy, and go at it again until you get what you what. THIS is the best way to overcome failure. Taking that failure as a notification that your strategy was either ineffective or you didn't put enough into the situation. You will get faster if you keep running, but only if you PUSH yourself to go faster. Perseverance is also a big part of achieving success. Thomas Edison took 10,000 times to successfully inventing the lightbulb. When his goal was finally reached and he was asked if he was upset with the times he failed, he said he discovered 9,999 ways NOT to invent the lightbulb. This shows persistence and also shows that nothing can be completely useless, it could always serve as a bad example.

I threw many thoughts into this today but what I want you to take away is this...
See your failure as feedback instead, change your strategy immediately, and go for it again. If it doesn't work the first time, repeat the process of evaluating and changing and don't stop until you get the results that you want. Use the feedback to help change your approach to a situation in order to achieve your goal. A failure isn't a waste either, you can always refer back to it as a way NOT to do things. Stay persistent and stay consistent. Understand and apply that concept to your life and you WILL be successful. I can guarantee it.

~Nia A.D.L.

*Like this post? Dislike it? Comment! Any feedback is appreciated.*

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