Failing is a blessing in disguise, and the lessons we learn from failure are priceless. The key to success is learning to transform failures into success.
Every one of us in our own way faces a struggle that at times seems impossible to bear, yet miraculously we come through it and are better off for it. At the time, however, you ask why? Why me? Why this? Why now?
Here’s a motivational story that will help you understand why sometimes struggles are good for us.
A man found the cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared; he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through a tiny hole. The butterfly seemed to stop making progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could – it could go no further.
The man decided to help the butterfly, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily; only it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch because he expected that any moment the butterfly’s wings would enlarge and expand to support the whole body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly lived the rest of its life crawling around in its swollen body and shriveled wings. It was never able to fly.
What the man had in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon, and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening, was natures way of forcing fluid from its body into its wings so that it would be ready to fly once it squeezed through the opening.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If nature allowed us to go through our life without any obstacles – it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been, and we would never fly.
Success and failure go hand in hand like two sides of a coin. If you never failed at something, it means you never ventured outside your comfort zone and never tried anything new. The secret of success is to manage your failures, which is why so many people turn to a mentor, life coach, success coach, or business coach to learn how to fail forward, so like a butterfly, we learn to fly.
Here are 7 ways you can transform failure into success.
1. Failure: Is Reality
At some point in your life, you’re going to fail, that’s a reality whether you like it or not. No matter how hard you try, there is no guarantee you will succeed. Things are bound to go wrong and it’s your ability to face adversity that will set you free to find a new approach and explore the future.
“Success in life is the result of good judgment. Good judgment is usually the result of experience. And experience is usually the result of bad judgment.” – Tony Robbins
When you learn that failing at times is reality, only then can you move forward and succeed.
2. Failure: A Temporary Set Back
Treat failure for what it is, a temporary detour.
If you fail an exam, fail to land the job you want, fail in an attempt to start a business, fail to land a sale, lose a valuable client, fail to get that promotion, or fail in a relationship, consider it a temporary set back. Often when one door closes, a better opportunity comes knocking at your door, and if one doesn’t, build your own door. Use failure to inspire you to do better.
Remember to treat failure as a single event, not a life sentence.
You can always study more and retake the exam. You can always practice your interviewing skills and land a better job. You can always take what you learned and start another even better business. You can find help in understanding what it takes to grow a successful relationship. All things are possible when you learn from failure.
Failure: Changes Your Perspective
Learning from failure means changing your perspective. Ask yourself these key questions:
- What can I learn from this setback?
- What could I have done differently?
- What skills or training can I take to ensure it doesn’t happen again?
- Where can I find help or who can I learn from?
- What are my next steps?
When you change your perspective, you change your results which means moving on from failures and realizing that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. To realize your vision of living a dream life and achieve all your goals, it takes hard work, not just hard work, work that is focused on what you need to do to get what you want.
Failure: Builds Resilience
The key to success is to build resilience. Resilience is the ability to bounce back with grit, determination, and perseverance. Failing at something can wreak havoc with your emotions where they begin to control you like a rollercoaster sending you up one day and down the next. To build resilience means treating your emotions and your subconscious mind like the lens of a camera, you see what you focus on. When your focus is on your vision values and goals, this helps to pick yourself up and bounce back stronger than ever, for now, you know what not to do. Re-envision your goals which may need to be adjusted to make way for new learnings. The key to success is to stay in the growth zone, not the comfort zone one of the greatest benefits of life coaching.
Failure: Defines a New Strategy
Sometimes when you experience failure it’s because your heart is not really in what you are currently doing. For instance, you may think a degree in engineering is what you want only to find out you have no passion for it and therefore change careers. You may think you want that corner office and the big house on the hill only to find you’re working 80 hours a week and not enjoying the fruits of your labor. You might find yourself starting a business because you are passionate about what you do technically but hate all the stress and worry that comes from being a business owner.
Failing at something gives you breathing space to assess what it is you don’t want and to strategize what it is you do want instead. This revelation can be life-changing where you follow your heart, not your head. The advice of a life coach or success coach can be invaluable in finding out what you do want and what you don’t want and set you up for a successful future.
Failure: Reignites Your Passion
If you allow it, the more times you fail, the more it can reignite your passion. Consider these famous failures.
- Colonel Sanders, the founder of KFC was rejected 1,009 times before he successfully sold his first KFC franchise at the age of 65 years.
- Dr. Suess’s first book “And to Think I saw it on Mulberry Street” was rejected 28 times and at the time of his death and sold over 600 million copies of his books.
- Howard Schultz the business magnate who brought us Starbucks Coffee was turned down by 217 our of 242 investors.
- J.K Rowlings the author of the famous Harry Potter books was rejected by 12 major publishing houses.
- Thomas Edison holds 1,093 patents to his name however when attempting to invent a commercial lightbulb, he failed over 10,000 times. He is famous for saying he proved 10,000 ways a light bulb wouldn’t work.
If you are passionate about your vision values and goals and believe in yourself, a simple change in attitude toward what failure means is your key to success. Failure can reignite your passion and drive you forward with renewed enthusiasm.
Failure: Is the Antidote to Success
Just hearing the word failure evokes and negative emotions in some which is why taking away any emotions attached to the word failure is the key to success. Life doesn’t function without failure and the quicker you learn to give yourself a break, process what you can learn from the event gives you enormous power to learn to fail forwards.
Learning to Fail
When you were a baby, and learning to walk, you failed time and time again yet never once did you say to yourself, “I just fell down. I’m never trying that again.” It’s because like a baby you haven’t been conditioned that falling once means a lifetime of failure. Because you lack language at that stage, you don’t have an inner voice (you know the one that talks to you all the time) telling you that you failed. Why then do you take failures as an adult as a life sentence?
Instead of saying to yourself “Darn, I failed! Never trying that again,” failures are simply a lesson in what not to do. We learn from failures than we do from successes. The problem is most of us avoid failing at all costs. We hate to fail and do everything we can to avoid it. The wonderful thing about failure is that we need failures in our life to learn what we should be doing differently.
It’s important to learn to fly and prosper and chart your own journey in life. Understand that past failures influence your successes and treat a failure for the imposter it is, consider failure simply an intelligent mistake.
On a Final Note
Learn how the Strategez for Success Coaching Model helps you master a life of Success. We start with where you are, where you want to go, identify what failures you have already experienced, and what you have learned from them. By taking this approach you create a shortcut to success and make the changes you need to drive your momentum forwards.
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