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On today’s show, I’ll explain why Failure can be a good thing.
Some of the most successful people, got that way, even after huge failures. They realized how beneficial it can be to use their failures in a more productive way.
During the show, I’ll show you how to flip-the-switch, and turn the negative into a positive.
Constant failure and review can bring huge benefits in the end.
There are a couple articles on the site about failure. The first one “Why be a failure, become a success”. You can read that one by CLICKING HERE and the second one, “Why it’s good to be a failure”, you can read that one by CLICKING HERE.
There’s also a short post about asking better questions. You can find that one HERE.
If you have any questions, or comments, please leave them in the comments section below.
Podcast music: Is ‘Sweet Life’ by Twisterium.
Music Link: https://www.twisterium.com
Hello, and welcome to Episode 13 of the everyday confidence podcast, from theskillfulmind.com. Today I’m going to show you why being a failure isn’t always such a bad thing.
Hello again and welcome to the show. Today, we’re gonna be talking about the big bad wolf of failure.
Failure is a part of everyday life. I’m sure you’ve realized that by now? No matter how good you are at anything, or how much you practice, there will always be times when you’re going to fail. That’s just a fact of life, Everybody fails.
So the one thing you can do, is to remember that failure is really just a learning experience. As you know, to improve anything, you really need two different things.
You need to first of all learn as much about the subject as you can. And secondly, you need to practice. Because learning what doesn’t work, is just as important, and sometimes more important, than learning what actually does work. So, if you learn what doesn’t work through failure, then eventually, you’ll find the answers that you’re looking for.
Let me give you a short example. Have you heard of the company Rovio? No, I hadn’t either. But, even if you have, then this story is still going to be of interest to you.
Now, Rovio was a company that made, video games, specifically for mobile devices. They were a small company that started in 2003. During the first six years, they designed, developed and bought to market, 51, different video games.
Of those 51 video games, none of them were really successful. In fact, most of them were just complete failures.
In 2009, the company was almost ready to file for bankruptcy. Then in December, along came the little thing called Angry Birds which I’m sure you have heard of.
Now, Angry Birds, as you may well be aware, is one of the most popular games around. In the first three years in fact, it had over a billion downloads. And now, they’ve moved into merchandising, and there are television shows for Angry Birds. I think now there’s two feature films with Angry Birds, And now, they’ve got 400 employees and their annual turnover is $300 million a year! And all of that, because they learned from their 51 failures. And by attempt number 52. Everything fell into place.
So, redefine every failure you have in your mind, as a learning experience. Then it lessens the negative emotional impact and the fear, for next time. Because failure is really only feedback.
Let’s give you a silly example… How many times would you let a baby try to walk and fail, before you just decided to stop letting them try? And just admitted that this baby was never meant to walk in the first place. That this baby was never going to be a ‘walker’.
Obviously, you’d never let that happen. And that’s why every child walks.
I’ll give you another example… Do you think that a person would just wake up in the morning and suddenly decide that they want to be an Olympic sprinter? So for 30 minutes a day, for the next week, they run around their local neighborhood. And then after a week, they’re good enough to become an Olympic athlete?
No, of course not. That may well be how it starts. But, then they spend months, even years sometimes, practicing for hours every single day.
They get a coach, or sometimes a series of coaches, work out what’s going wrong. Put those things right, and then try again with more information.
And then eventually, after months of practice, years of practice sometimes and hard work. They eventually get where they need to be. And it’s the same with everything although not always quite to that extent.
So, seeing failure, simply as feedback. And listening to the advice that that feedback gives you, you will over time, get better.
And also, except that it’s the process that’s failed when you fail, not you personally. Whenever anything goes wrong, it’s always the process that goes wrong, and not you as a person. And if you start to believe that, then your level of confidence doesn’t take a drastic hit every time you fail, or even every time you feel you might fail. So concentrate on blaming the process. The process, you can always change.
But, every time you believe that it’s you personally that’s the fault, that’s something that you’re not going to be easily able to put right. So, concentrate on fixing the process.
How we view failure, controls how difficult it is for us to pick ourselves up again, once we have failed. And most of us are taught from a very early age that failures are hurtful and demeaning. And it’s something you should really try to avoid whenever you can. But what’s surprising, is that the most successful people are usually the ones who failed more times than anyone else. And that’s because they’ve got a different response to failure. Compared to the response that most people have got.
They’ll see a failure is an opportunity to learn something. To learn what went wrong and then they’ll use that learning experience to improve. So that next time they try, there’s more chance of success. Whereas most people see failure as the final nail in the coffin of the experience and then they give up.
This ‘abundance’ mentality isn’t only restricted to the professional world. You can also find the same sorts of things in relationships for example.
In a relationship, people with an abundance mentality realize that not everyone in the World is going to be right for them. Not every partner they have, is going to end in a successful relationship. People grow every day. People change over the years and what people want changes. What people don’t want changes. People just generally change regularly over the years.
And they realize, that it’s not always going to be successful and sometimes they’re going to be rejected. But again, they don’t see it as a failure in themselves. But as another step up the relationship ladder. It’s just another learning experience.
Okay, so what we really need to do is to find a good way to change our perspective on failures. And as usual, one of the most effective ways, is to ask the right questions.
So what are some good questions to change failure from what you currently feel about it, into seeing it as only feedback?
Well, the first thing you could ask is…
“What’s good about this?” So what’s good about this particular failure? You’ll always find something good if you ask the right questions. You can ask…
“What can I learn from this?” And again, there is always something to learn in every experience. You can also ask,..
“What about this situation, can I improve on next time?” Once you’ve learned a little bit about it. And you’ve worked out what you feel might be a reason, why it went wrong, you can improve on that next time. And also things like…
“What will this failure really mean to me in the next five years?” Will it really matter? Will it really make that much difference?
Now, I’m not saying that it’s going to be easy. Nothing like this is ever easy. And in the beginning, it will be difficult to remember to ask the questions. But, you have to work on your skills to sharpen them. And like everything else, the more you practice, the better you’ll get at it.
So initially, just decide that from today, that failing or rejection, isn’t something that’s entirely negative. It isn’t something that you can’t ever possibly come back from. And most importantly, don’t see yourself as the failure. Failure of any type, is when something you tried didn’t work out the way you expected it to.
So always remember that it was the act that’s the failure. It was the process that failed. And it failed because it needed to be refined. You, as a person didn’t fail, only what you expected failed.
Okay, so what’s next? Just practice asking yourself those questions when you feel like something you did has failed. And remember that by failing, you’re actually giving yourself a chance to try again with better information.
So these are the three things.
– Remember that the process was the failure, not you personally.
– Remember that really, the only way to get better is to learn something from it, and then to move forward.
– And no matter how many times you fail, always get back up and try again. Because the only time you really fail, is when you stop trying.
And that’s it for today. So thanks very much for listening. The show notes as usual, will be over on the podcast page. Which is theskillfulmind.com/podcast/13. So again, thanks for listening. I’ll see you soon. Bye for now.
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