"Failure is an event, not a person. Yesterday ended last night.” - Zig Ziglar
According to the Chinese philosophy of yin and yang, life exists in duality. For darkness, there’s light. For fire, there’s water. For happiness, there’s sadness, and for success, there’s an equal amount of failure in this world. Life is all about balance, and in order to maintain this balance, these contrary forces often complement each other.
Without failure, there is no success. However, when faced with failure, not many of us can maintain a positive outlook in general. And even fewer understand that failure is the first step of learning something new. Everyone fails sometime, and when we do, we have two choices - either to give up, or learn something from it. Although, it’s not always easy, with some self awareness and practice everyone can find the silver lining in the stories of their failures.
Forgive yourself for mistakes
Self criticism is good, but too much of it is not. Be careful of what you say to yourself all the time. Even if no one else is around, you are listening to yourself. If you criticise yourself too much for failures, you push yourself into believing that you are actually no good at anything. And the more you do it, the stronger you believe in it.
Let the failure prick you for a while, but forgive yourself for your mistakes and take control of negative thoughts immediately afterwards.
Mistakes are merely opportunities
Mistakes are merely opportunities in disguise to learn. Our past defines who we are in the present, but our future hasn’t arrived yet and is open to our own interpretation. Too often, we let our past define our future course of action and that’s where we lose the plot. Identify the mistakes from your past and learn from them. Remember, you fail only when you stop learning.
Find a coach
Many times, we end up believing that our failures are our sole responsibilities and we have to fix them on our own.
The truth, however, is that when you fail, you need to take a step back and see how you can do things differently. Often, all you need is someone to guide you, a mentor, a coach, or maybe just a friend who can point you in the right direction.
Don’t be afraid to fail
It’s not the failure itself, but the fear of failure that is the biggest enemy of success. Like all fears, it needs to be pushed back the way it came by staring it down like you are about to punch it in the face. When you start believing that the fear of failure is smaller than the fear of doing nothing, you should begin with your work.
Don’t chase perfection
The only failure that truly matters is when you do nothing. You are allowed to do a few things imperfectly, but if you keep pondering over achieving perfection before you begin, then you won’t be able to begin with your work.
Your inaction will put everything at a greater risk than imperfection.
Bringing It All Together
Whether in life or in business, failure is the only way to learn and grow. Experience is the most effective teacher. Success demands that you never stop learning. The most successful people learn from every mistake, every victory, and keep evolving until the job is done.