January 2nd, 2010 By Kevin Ngo
How you choose to react to failure will ultimately determine the quality of life you will experience. If you decide to pursue any worthwhile goals such as your current New Year’s resolutions, you will inevitably experience this thing called failure. Failure just means you did not get the results you were looking for. To some people, it is no big deal, but to most of us, the experience can be devastating. So if failure is an unavoidable part of life, what can you do to ensure your success despite the many setbacks you will be facing? You must learn how to react to failure correctly.
In order to know how to react to failure, you must become aware of the three natural reactions. When you read what I am about to show you, you will probably think that the best way to react to failure is obvious while wondering why anyone would react any differently. The reason is because many times, until we become aware of our actions, we may not even realize we are doing it.
The 3 Ways People React to Failure
1. Give Up
This is the most common reaction. Why? It is the easiest to do. What many people will do when they are met with challenges and obstacles that cause them to fail in reaching their goals is to start making excuses and blaming circumstances and other people for the failure.
Standing back up after you fall and continuing to press forward is difficult. Coming up with justifications to why you failed is easy, and that is why most people choose this reaction. They cannot stand the fact that they are 100% responsible for their failure and because of that, they will set more goals just to end up quitting over and over again.
This is the reaction we have all heard about. When the going gets tough, we must persist, we must keep going, and never give up. The problem with this reaction to failure is that you can put in a huge amount of energy and effort but if you are doing the wrong things, your results are not going to change.
Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” The fact is even if you go out there and you give it all you’ve got and get up each and every time you’re knocked down, you can still fail to achieve your desired results if you’re doing the wrong things. If you react to failure in this fashion, you will either end up giving up out of exhaustion and discouragement or you will spend the rest of your life falling and getting back up but never achieving your goals.
So what do you do instead?
Successful people believe failure is nothing but a feedback mechanism. If you try something and it doesn’t work, learn from it, and only then do you try again. You must be able to not only take action continuously, but also figure out what is working and what is not. Each time you fail, you will gain experience and the more experience you gain, the better you can strategize your next move and increase your chance of success.
So how long do you re-strategize and keep taking a different approach? Until you succeed. This is the surest way to achieve any goal you set for yourself. Persistence is great, but if you persist on the wrong things, you’ll be persisting for the rest of your life.
If you want to speed up the process, then find someone who has already achieved the goal you want and ask them what they did, then, do the same thing. Using someone else’s experience will save you the hassle of having to go through too many trials and errors. When you react to failure in this manner, your success will just be a matter of time.
Until next time…
Love Life. Do Good. Live Well.