13 Sep 2016

Rewire Your Relationship to Failure

Let’s talk about how you feel about failure and disappointment.  You hate it, right?  As humans we are hardwired to feel that way, but is it the actual failure or just the fear and feelings associated with it that hold us back from success?

Failure, even the potential of failure, creates an emotional reaction in people: they pull back, they let others take the lead and they miss out on opportunities.  Good or bad, people have relationships to the constants in life – things like failure, disappointment, pressure or the unknown.  When it comes to your actions and your results, what truly matters is not what you think about these things; it’s how you feel about them and respond to them emotionally.

What is your relationship to failure and disappointment, and how has it held you back?

Whenever you get close to success – in business, in school, in your personal life, you get closer to the potential to failure and disappointment.  If success is our destination, failure and disappointment the checkpoints we have to pass on the way.  Some people avoid striving for success altogether, just to avoid the possibility of failure.

Have you found yourself saying either of these statements? 

  • I refuse to try.  I’ll just be disappointed.
  • Why bother? I’m sure it will fail.

If you find yourself relating to these statements, you likely have a negative relationship to failure and disappointment.  With a negative relationship such as this, you might do ok, but it will slow you down and prevent you from taking advantage of every opportunity. 

High performers think differently.  Steve Jobs once said, “The greatest artists like Dylan, Picasso and Newton risked failure.  And if we want to be great, we’ve got to risk it too.”  High performers challenge themselves to be their absolute best on a day-to-day basis. 

Having a positive relationship to failure and disappointment gives you the greatest chance of success.  I’m not saying you want to welcome disappointment, but when it does occur, you will deal with it positively. High performers are wired to learn from their mistakes and use this knowledge to discover new opportunities and new approaches.  Embracing small failures is the key to big successes.  You can’t avoid failure and disappointment forever, they are a constant in life, but you can change the way you react to them. 

Everyone’s goal should be to be the best they can be and take advantage of every opportunity.  Changing to a positive relationship is key.  Like a muscle, it can be developed and strengthened over time.  Our company has successfully worked with many leaders to help them change their point of view and reach higher levels of success.  We hope that you can change and experience greater success as well.

I would love to hear about a disappointment you may have had in the past, and how it helped you succeed in the future.  Be the inspiration for others by telling us about it in the comments below.

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