Eight Ways Smart People Use Failure To Their Advantage by T. Bradberry
“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
One of the biggest roadblocks to success is the fear of failure.
Fear of failure is worse than failure itself because it condemns you to a life of unrealized potential.
A successful response to failure is all in your approach.
In a study recently published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, researchers found that success in the face of failure comes from focusing on results (what you hope to achieve), rather than trying not to fail.
While it’s tempting to try and avoid failure, people who do this fail far more often than those who optimistically focus on their goals.
This sounds rather easy and intuitive, but it’s very hard to do when the consequences of failure are severe. The researchers also found that positive feedback increased people’s chances of success because it fueled the same optimism you experience when focusing solely on your goals.
The people who make history—true innovators—take things a step further and see failure as a mere stepping stone to success …
Thomas Edison isn’t the only one. J. K. Rowling’s manuscript for Harry Potter was only accepted after 12 publishers denied it, and even then she was only paid a nominal advance.
Oprah Winfrey lost her job as a Baltimore news anchor for becoming too emotionally involved in her stories, a quality that became her trademark. Henry Ford lost his financial backers twice before he was able to produce a workable prototype of an automobile. The list goes on and on.
“If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
So, what separates the people who let their failures derail them from those who use failure to their advantage? Some of it comes down to what you do, and the rest comes down to what you think.
The actions you take in the face of failure are critical to your ability to recover from it, and they have huge implications for how others view you and your mistakes. There are five actions you must take when you fail that will enable you to succeed in the future and allow others to see you positively in spite of your failure.
….5. Get back on the horse. It’s important that you don’t let failure make you timid. That’s a mindset that sucks you in and handicaps you every time you slip up. Take enough time to absorb the lessons of your failure, and as soon as you’ve done that, get right back out there and try again. Waiting only prolongs bad feelings and increases the chance that you’ll lose your nerve.
Your attitude when facing failure is just as important as the actions you take. Using failure to your advantage requires resilience and mental strength, both hallmarks of emotional intelligence. If you’re curious how much emotional intelligence you have, you can try an emotional intelligence test.
7. Optimism is another characteristic of people who bounce back from failure. One British study of 576 serial entrepreneurs found that they were much more likely to expect success than entrepreneurs who gave up after their first failure. That sense of optimism is what keeps people from feeling like failure is a permanent condition. Instead, they tend to see each failure as a building block to their ultimate success because of the learning it provides.
8. Persistence. Optimism is a feeling of positivity; persistence is what you do with it. It’s optimism in action. When everybody else says, “Enough is enough” and decides to quit and go home, persistent people shake off those failures and keep going. Persistent people are special because their optimism never dies. This makes them great at rising from failure.