Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is courage that counts.” Our courage is born from the actions we choose to take when we face our failures and we reflect on what we have learned.
The path to success is not straightforward, and getting things right all the time is not realistic or helpful. Failure is a learning experience that shows us how not to do things, and it gives us the opportunity to keep fixing what we are doing wrong until we get it right.
Your failures are your learning opportunities. Thomas Edison said,
“I have not failed. I have found 10,000 ways that don’t work.”
He did find one way that did work for one of his famous inventions, and that was the electric lamp.
Failure offers you the opportunity to grow, to become wiser and smarter than you were before. However, if you are not using the opportunities that your failures offer you, then you will never be able to achieve the success you want in life.
Here are 7 reasons why you may feel like you are failing in everything you do. Address these 7 reasons and you will find that instead of experiencing constant failure, you will be achieving more in life.
1. Fear of Failure
Being afraid of failure paralyzes us. When we feel like we are failing all the time, we begin to see failure as something that is designed to punish us((Blinkist Magazine: The Psychology Behind Your Fear of Failure)). This is not a great mindset to have when you are presented with an opportunity. If you have a fear of failure, then you are setting yourself up to fail before you have even started.
2. Wanting Too Much Too Quickly
Social Media has a huge influence on how we live our lives. There are thousands and thousands of people on social media describing their incredibly successful lives with very short snips of video and lots of pictures of their material wealth: flashy houses, cars, planes, clothes, shoes, boats, and the list goes on.
We are constantly exposed to the concept that success is in the palm of our hand and all we have to do is go get it.
The message we get told over and over is that you can have anything if you dream big. That is the first mistake we make—we go dream big and set incredibly challenging goals, and when we don’t get the results we hoped for, we become very discouraged and give up.
There is no problem with aiming high and dreaming big. What you do need to take into consideration when aiming high, however, is the amount of effort, dedication, and work it takes each day to get even close to your goals.
Instant results are not realistic, so be very aware that the goals you set to reach the mountain top are realistic and achievable, one step at a time, not 100 steps at once.
3. Lack of Planning
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” -Benjamin Franklin
Lack of planning works hand in hand with wanting too much too quickly. To achieve your dreams and goals in life, you need to have a plan. No plan means you are less likely to succeed. A plan gives your direction, keeps you on track, and holds you accountable.
A good plan will have attainable, measurable, specific goals all heading in a direction that will take you closer to achieving your goals. Also, think about and be prepared for the challenges and obstacles you may face, and have a plan to manage these as well.
4. Giving up Too Easily
Giving up is the number one reason why people fail. The road to success is tough, and there are a lot of bumps along the way. When you experience failure or rejection, it becomes easier to give up.
The next time you want to give up, remember that you are not your failures. Don’t attach your success to the project that failed or the rejection you experienced.
Reset your mind and use your power of choice to determine what you do next—nobody else has that power over you!
5. Resistance to Seeking Advice and Help
“Never let your ego get in the way of asking for help when in desperate need. We have all been helped at a point in our lives.” Edmond Mbiaka
The journey to achieving your dreams and goals in life can not be done alone—this is not a solo journey! One reason why you are feeling like you fail at everything you do can be because you are reluctant to get feedback from people or seek help.
Constructive feedback is important to hear as it offers you a different perspective on what you are doing and what you are hoping to achieve. It may be that what you believe is right, others don’t, and that’s okay. However, it is always good to know why they think that way.
In situations where you are confronted with hardship and failure, it is important to seek feedback and advice. What they tell you might be uncomfortable to hear, but if it is constructive feedback, it will help you gain insight and learn important lessons about how to move forward in your life rather than going backwards.
6. Not Learning From Past Mistakes
Important lessons are learned from the mistakes you make. However, these lessons are irrelevant if you choose to ignore them. The consequence of you ignoring those lessons is that you will keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again until you finally get the message—or not!
Don’t bury your mistakes. Spend time reflecting on what went wrong for you and what you learned about that experience. Find out what did not work, and then figure out what you can do to avoid similar mistakes in the future.
7. Not Believing in Yourself
You can be the most intelligent and talented person in the room, but if you don’t believe in yourself, then failure rather than opportunities will dominate your life.
What separates successful people from unsuccessful people is that successful people believe in themselves. They believe they can achieve the goals they set and that they can deal with the challenges and obstacles that will confront them.
If you are constantly seeking reasons for why things are not working for you or have a habit of blaming anyone or anything but yourself, that is a definite sign that you have to work on your self-belief.
When you start backing yourself and believing in you and what you can achieve, you will be less likely to give up. Instead, your conviction will fuel you to find that solution that will work for you.
Our power of choice is the only thing we can really control. We can choose to allow failure to discourage us, or we can choose to use the experiences of failure to strengthen our determination to keep moving forward.
The Bottom Line
Once you choose to take action and eliminate these 7 reasons that are blocking you from living a successful life, you will find that success replaces failure, and you will naturally have more self-belief in what you can achieve.
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” -Henry Ford