It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us.
When you encounter a setback in life, how do you react?
Do you complain about it or succumb to frustration and anger and allow it to derail your progress?
Do you see it as a sign from the universe to quit or use it as an excuse to give up on your goals?
Or do you treat it like the valuable learning opportunity it is?
Today I’d like to teach you how to “fail forward” in life and transform every failure you experience into a powerful launchpad that catapults you even closer to your dreams.
See, this is the thing about failures.
All our lives, we’ve been told that they’re bad and something to avoid or be ashamed of.
The idea of failure has been built up to be so catastrophically terrible that most people choose not to take any risks at all, rather than risk even a small chance of failure.
And that is a huge problem — because if you don’t take risks, you can’t grow as a person.
You see, growth only happens when you leave your comfort zone. It requires you to venture into unknown territory and try something different. That’s how we learn the new skills and knowledge we need to become the kind of person who is capable of taking our lives to the next level.
Growth requires risk. And if you’re so scared of failure that you refuse to take risks, then you’ll always remain right where you are.
This is the difference between highly successful people and those who never achieve their dreams.
Successful people realize that failure is an important part of the learning process. They know that failure is just a way we learn by trial and error. Not only do we need to stop being so afraid of failure but we also need to be willing to fail — even eager to fail.
I call this kind of instructive failure “failing forward.”
Simply get started, make mistakes, listen to the feedback, correct, and keep moving forward toward the goal. Every experience will yield more useful information that you can apply the next time.
That’s why I always encourage my students to view failure as a learning opportunity.
CS Lewis once said, “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.”
They point you in the direction you need to go next if you want to reach your ultimate destination.
So please don’t let fear of failure stop you from taking the risks you need to take to achieve your goals. It’s only by taking risks, making mistakes, and learning from your failures that you will ever reach any real measure of success.
To make it easier for you, here are some tips on how to fail forward by learning from your setbacks and transforming your failures into powerful lessons that actually accelerate your progress toward your goals.
Every time you experience a setback or failure, I want you to ask yourself the following questions…
First off, ask yourself, “How did this happen?”
What was the outcome you wanted — and what prevented you from achieving that outcome?
What unexpected complications arose? In what ways were you unprepared to deal with them? How can you prepare for them next time?
What role did YOU play in creating the setback? What skills or knowledge do you need to acquire to make sure it doesn’t happen again?
Who can you ask to help you acquire those skills and knowledge? Who can you ask for feedback on how to do better next time? Who can you ask to support you in your efforts? Do you need to add anyone to your team in order to get better results?
What went RIGHT during the experience? What did you do right? Which of your efforts produced good results and how can you replicate those efforts or expand on them to get even better results next time?
Once you’ve answered these questions to your satisfaction, your next step is to write down everything you learned from the experience and come up with a plan for what you are going to do to get better results next time.
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