Failure. Defeat. Destruction. Despair. These are just some of the words that we think about when our lives come crashing down in front of our eyes. Failure can be catastrophic. It can wreck havoc and take us on a mental and emotional trip that we would much rather not go on. But failure has a purpose. There’s a reason that we fail in life. When we’re in the midst of the pain, we oftentimes can’t see that reason. We can’t witness the bigger picture when we can only see the hurt in front of our eyes.
When We Fail We Ponder
If you’ve ever failed at something in your life in the past, it most likely forced you to think deeply about the situation and everything surrounding it. When we fail, we have a tendency to ponder, but when we succeed, we have a tendency to party. Yes, success should be celebrated, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with celebrating failure.
Why is that?
Failure helps to build and breed a foundation for a future filled with success. It’s through our failures that we make deeper insights into life, that we expand our horizons, and we chip away at our egos little bit little. And, it’s our egos that tend to get in the way of our lives, pushing us to do things that we wouldn’t normally have done had it not forced us into an autonomous mode of impulsive and habitual behavior.
Understand that Failure Isn’t the End… It’s a New Beginning
Depending upon how you look at your situation and all that’s surrounding it, you should come to realize that failure isn’t the end. When Walt Disney was fired from his job at the Kansas City Star in 1919, he was told by the editor of the paper that he “Lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” But that wasn’t his last failure. Walt Disney later went on to purchase an animation studio named Laugh-O-Gram, which he later drove into bankruptcy. Failure most certainly wasn’t the end for Walt Disney, as we very well know today.
Countless Others Have Failed Also
So many notable individuals have failed in life more times than they have succeeded. People like Oprah Winfrey who was fired from her job at WJZ-TV by a Baltimore Producer who said that she was “Unfit for television news.” Of course, she later went on to create the most successful daytime talk show in history. However, at the time, she felt like the daytime talk show was a step-down for her. Could you imagine where she would be today had she decided to call it quits for good?
Failure can only Break you if you Let it
The only way that failure can break you is if you let it. What you have to understand is that everybody fails. But not everyone gets back up and tries again. All too often, we’re so interested in the instant satisfaction and immediate attainment of things that we’re usually unwilling to tough things out for the long term. However, by toughing it out and not giving up, failure can be used as a platform – it can be a launching-board towards something incredible.
How to Overcome Defeat in the Wake of Failure
Specifically speaking, there are a number of ways to overcome defeat in the wake failure. When you’re drowning in a sea of hopelessness, you’ve failed at something, and you feel like all your faith is lost, there are ways to recover.
#1 — Forget What Others Think of You
One of the biggest hurdles in overcoming failure is the potential for embarrassment that might ensue in the aftermath. When your whole world comes crashing down around you, you’re thinking “Oh, God, what are they going to think of me?” But, what others think of you is immaterial. It doesn’t matter what they think. And the sooner you can come to this realization, the better it will be for you in the long run.
When Sylvester Stallone was rejected over 1500 times by agents in New York City and didn’t have enough money to pay his $25 electricity bill so he had to sell his dog, how do you think he felt? What do you think his friends and family members were saying? And, where would Sylvester Stallone be today if he had given up hope on his dreams, caved in, and gotten a 9-to-5 job?
Who cares what other people think, right?
You can’t please everyone, and you shouldn’t be trying to. It doesn’t matter how you look in front of other people. What matters is that you don’t give up on your hopes and your dreams. Keep pushing through, and break through your present-day limitations.
#2 — Don’t Lament, Learn
What you have to take away from failure is the lesson that failure gives you. Anna Wintour, the famed Vogue Editor, was fired just 9 months on the job at Harper’s Bazaar because the editor thought she was too edgy. But, getting fired there helped her to dig deep and learn from that, taking away an important lesson that pushed her through the tough times.
When Jerry Seinfeld was fired from a small sitcom role on Benson, no one had even told him until he showed up for work one day and saw his part missing. It was one of the most humiliating experiences of his life. But, thereafter, he went right back to the comedy-club circuit. He didn’t give up. He was able to overcome his failure by learning and growing as a comedian.
#3 — Focus and Envision
One of the worst parts about failure is a total and complete loss of focus. When everything around you collapses, you, it’s hard to stay focused. When it seems like your whole world is crumbling, it takes an extraordinary amount of focus to regain your footing. But you have to be aware that failure is not the end of the world; it’s only as bad as you make it out to be in your mind. You have to focus and envision a bigger and brighter future. Understand why you’re pushing past the hurt and the pain. If you have a strong enough reason, you can overcome anything.
When J.K. Rowling, the famed writer of the Harry Potter series, was fired from her secretarial job for working on the book in her spare time, it wasn’t the end of the world for her. Although it took her 7 years to publish that first book, and suffering through government assistance, a divorce, and the death of her mother, she did it. She persevered. She focused and envisioned a bigger and better life. And you can too.
Failure is a Sign of Life
If you’ve never failed at something, then you haven’t pushed yourself past your comfort zone. We all fail. Failure is a sign of life. Don’t take failure as a sign of death. You can accomplish anything you put your mind to; literally anything.