“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”— Michael Jordan
7 Important “Failure Habits”
We all face rough patches in life. We fail, hit roadblocks, and suffer setbacks and defeats. Life likes to throw us curveballs that way. If you’re like me, then you’ve suffered your fair share of failures. But there are a set of habits that can help you weather the storm, so to speak.
Recently, I did a post about 12 Famous People Who Failed Before Succeeding, and it got me thinking. What are the best habits that can help people through those difficult times in their lives? Lots of people (including myself) like to talk about health habits, financial habits, and a slew of other habits, but what about “Failure Habits?”
Sound strange? Well, I think not. Failure habits, as I like to call it, can help you through the difficult times. Because, it’s not what happens to you in life that’s as important, it’s how you react to what happens to you. Life is like a lens in that way – you get to choose what you focus on. Focus on negativity, and you’ll see more of it.
So, failure habits let you look past the negative. They help you focus on the positive. You sow what you reap, so if you can instill these habits in you early on, you can get through anything. When I’ve failed in the past, these are the habits that helped me to push forward, wading my way through the seas of struggle.
#1 — Focus on Your Reasons
If you failed at something that you thought you really wanted, did you know the reasons why you wanted them? In some past posts I talked about the importance of goal setting and having strong enough reasons why you wanted those goals. Remember, the reasons come first, and the answers come later.
You can focus on the reasons by ensuring that you know what you wanted, or presently want something out of life. These reasons have to be strong enough for you. When they are, you can get through anything. Some powerful reasons would be things like: Family, Security, Freedom, and Contribution.
Can you think about the goals that you have in life and see why you want them? Do you have strong enough reasons? Focus on the reasons, and if those reasons are powerful enough, you can get through anything. Create some emotionally-charged language that will help to push you through or past any obstacle.
#2 — Seek Daily Inspiration
It’s easy to get sidetracked, dissuaded, and discouraged, especially when we fail. But, if you can seek daily inspiration, and find other people who are living the life of our dreams, it’s easier to push through. No one likes failure, but it’s failure that helps to define us. And when you constantly fail, eventually you’ll get it right.
I’ve failed so many times in life at so many different things. Each time, I hated it. I hated the feelings associated with failure. I hated having to withdraw as I dealt with the blow to my ego. But I realized that failure helped to fuel me, and I searched out inspiration to help me get through it.
Whether it’s photos, videos, or articles about people, places, or companies that help to inspire you, seek them out. Use social media: sites like Pintrest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to find your source of daily inspiration. Do this every single day without fail. Remind yourself of what you want and picture it vividly.
#3 — Daily “Me” Time
Too often, when we’re pushing towards our goals, during success and failure, we forget about the “me” time. Whether you want to call this your “Hour of Power,” as Anthony Robbins does, or anything else, you have to schedule time for just you. This is where you focus on doing something for yourself. Whether it’s something active, meditative, reflective, or even educational, it has to be something that will help you get grounded and focused.
“Me” Time gives you the chance to disconnect from your problems in the world for a short while. It doesn’t have to be a full hour. But it should be at least 20 minutes at the start of your day. When you schedule me time, a few things tend to happen. Firstly, your mind automatically stops getting overwhelmed because it feels like there’s more time in the day. When you can schedule time for yourself to just “do you,” a mental shift occurs.
#4 — List Building
One habit that can help you see the tough times through is list building. If you’re not accustomed to building lists, then now is the time to do so. List building allows you to organize and prioritize your work. This includes everything from daily to-do lists that are prioritized using a time management system, to overall project checklists.
Without the usage of lists that help to prioritize your goals and daily activities, it’s easier to get sidetracked. Setup a list-building system for yourself that includes either the traditional pen and paper, or an application on your smartphone or other device. Use daily reminders to help guide and steer your time, and avoid procrastination.
#5 — Welcome Criticism
One of the most difficult tasks we have is to grapple with the critics. Yet, some criticism is necessary in order to achieve your goals. Why not welcome criticism in your life besides for avoiding it? Why not play devil’s advocate? Maybe someone has a point when they mention a flaw in your plan or design.
This doesn’t mean that you should allow people to steer you from pursuing your dreams. What this means is that you should listen to all advice from all sides and make educated decisions on what you’re trying to achieve. Success involves going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm, and that also includes welcoming criticism.
#6 — Be Decisive
It’s easy to be wishy-washy when it comes to making decisions. Most of us can tend to second-guess ourselves. But, part of driving towards success is listening to your instinct. It’s your instinct that will allow you to ultimately achieve your dreams. But it’s easy to overthink something, or even outthink yourself from doing something.
The saying goes that successful people make quick decisions and change them slowly, whereas unsuccessful people make slow decisions and change them quickly. Get in the habit of being decisive and doing all that you can to follow through with your goals. If something means enough to you, the only thing that separates you from it is time.
#7 — Take Risks
The final habit that will help you get through the tough times is taking calculated risks. This doesn’t mean to head to Vegas and bet it all on black. This means you should do the math, determine what works, sort through the numbers, then take a calculated risk in whatever it is you’re pursuing.
You have to be bold. Even if it means that you hit some roadblocks or even fail a few times, don’t allow it to diminish your propensity to take those risks. Often, our fear of failure stops us from pursuing our dreams. That fear can be greater than the failure itself. Learn to recognize that and build awareness towards it. The only thing holding you back in life is you.