10 Ways to Fail Your Way to Success
I hate failing. Failure feels like wasted life. Yes, I know I’m supposed to embrace failure and learn. But, given the choice, I’d succeed more!
I haven’t failed for lack of good intentions. Frankly, I’m troubled that the path down is faster than the path up.
Fear of failure:
Afraid to fail is afraid to try; afraid to try guarantees failure.
The fear of failure prevents success.
Stunning success stands atop many stunning failures. Edison said, “I’ve failed my way to success.”
10 Ways to Fail Well:
- Pursue next time more than last time.
- Reject finger pointing. Blame gets you off the hook but never produces success.
- Respond with optimism, not anger. Confidence answers anger; inadequacy fuels it.
- “Forgive and remember,” Bob Sutton in, Good Boss Bad Boss.
- Share lessons learned from failure. Leadership’s greatest influence occurs through failures. Frailty enhances your influence as long as it’s not an excuse.
- Seek clarity. Resist urges to close your eyes. Open them instead.
- Call “failure meetings” and ask, “What isn’t working?” Make talking about failure normal not taboo.
- Celebrate adaptation, if you can’t celebrate failure directly. “We changed.”
- Fail small in order to succeed large. Try, test, improve, and move forward. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
- Dig into ways that failure makes you better. “Failure changes for the better, success for the worse.” Seneca
Often I fail because I don’t listen. I know too much. I’ve learned confidence becomes over-confidence when it closes my ears. True confidence listens.
What’s at the root of many of your failures?
How can you or organizations fail well?
Excellent read, 🙂
I think the root of many of my failures has been pride. And that leads to not listening, and just being a turn off to people. I am much better at not being jerk today as compared to the past.
Great Post Dan, massive action = massive results, at least that is the theory I am applying for myself right now! Got a HUGE mountain to climb so step by step…..making progress. One by one making a difference for that one. Last week helped a lady with a service we provide and saved her a WHOPPING 1600.00 dollars on a 2000.00 quoted job! We did what she was quoted by another company for 2k for 399.00!!!!!!!!!!!! Horray US!
Love this topic, what I have done to adapt to the way things happen so it is less likely to stop me. Basically, what will stop me is death, mine or yours!!! LOL. For instance one of “those” self-help or sales books or tapes or cd’s I have listened to over the years told me “every No is just getting you closer to yes”! THAT dog can hunt!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So I worked with that like foreva, still doing it! It helps take the sting out of NO! No one likes rejection, well maybe some twisted folks do but this response is not for them.
So teaching myself how to hear NO as KNOW, then it is a request from the person I am interracting with for more information! If they ain’t smelling what the rock is cooking(that would be me) it is only because they do not “know” enough to make a quality decision.
Dan I am sure you know or could find easily how many sales are consumated after the first initial “no”! No then can be communicated to self as KEEP GOING, not stop of God forbid, GIVE UP!!!!!!!!!!
Follow Churchill about not giving up but multiply what he said x 100!
It is not(my opinion) the sharpest tool in the shed that gets the sales, it is the one who asks the most. Sorry, supposedly sharp tools with all your fancy smancy ways and strategies to sell your wares. It all boils down to a numbers game. Proof, McDonalds according to EVERYBODY breathing does not sell the highest quality of food or have the most dazzling sales presentation. They have the MOST locations. PERIOD! I KNOW I KNOW I write with conviction so if you do not want to listen or respect or TRY what I say, it is ok, it is just my opinion, strongly felt.
Ok communicate with myself failure, how can I communicate that concept with myself that inspires me to keep going? When I saw you wrote that word, Dan I thought of this: Failure -Failure temporary, A-always, I-introduces, L-learning, U-unless, Ridiculous idiots, E-exit!
That might need some work or some polishing but I hope you get the idea. Hey first try with that turned out pretty pretty good!
If I am seeing a request for more information go back to the beginning and see what more info I can provide, get some wise and loving counsel and prepare how to share information next time I talk with that person.
Leave with my favorite quote of all time(Yes in AA Book, can’t tell ya’ll how much wisdom is in that book. All you have to do is read it a if it was written to you, not just to a bunch of drunks).
“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance that principle is contempt prior to investigation.”
Have a great day Dan, go 49er’s!
Great article. One cause of failure is not acting boldly enough with willing to be wrong. Not acting boldly leads often leads to such small changes that don’t add up to a significant impact.
Pessimists will believe that the “10 Ways to Fail to Success” are the acts of fools. On the other hand, we optimists sometime need to manipulate our minds away from the easier temptation of giving up.
Author on success and failure- http://www.joeegan.com
Personally, I think #6 and #7 are extremely important. Always remember to evaluate your projects. Seek clarity and know why you failed and what you can learn from it.
But we also need to evaluate our successes. Know why you succeed and what you can from that.
I think everyone is failing every day! It is just a matter of how you manage failure, how do you get over it and the future decisions you make. Personally my project “will to inspire” brings me everyday a wonderful cocktail of frustration, hope, happiness and all sorts of other feelings. I stay persistent, ambitious and i improve my skills my target orientation and I KNOW that at a point i`ll find the group that will listen and my hard work will pay off. Have i failed my way to success? NO. I`ve just taken the wrong left or right. I`ll get there. Great article as always.
Quitters never win, Winners never quit! Each no just u gets you closer to the next yes.
Much deep admiration!
My fav is #2, 6 and 9. Great stuff.
Thanks for the clarity and brevity and humor. I thrive in ambiguity and relish learning from failures but I am lucky to work with hundreds of other folks at dozens of organizations that aren’t as comfortable with making mistakes. #2,3, and 4 will be my mantra this month.
Nice! Short and to the point! I like number 5 the best. There is a reason they always say that hindsight is 20-20 – and oh – now I see what not to do next time. Thanks for sharing!
Phenomenal post. I will be posting the link to this article under my own recent post on exactly this topic on my blog.
I absolutely love point #7 on your list. Such a thought makes most organizations shudder. But what a fruitful process!
My own take on my site, was that the “Secret of Guaranteed Success” is to only attempt undertakings with an inherent personal growth value that is significant enough to render the experience profitable, regardless of outcome.
I suggested that planning your failures into projects worth the experience, guarantees that you will never waste a good failure.
I appreciate your insights on this. One area in my own life that I have wrestled with on a chronic basis may be in one critical area…
What tends to hold me back most often is in fearing that a bad decision could cost someone their life or negatively impact someone else around me and/or actually hurt them.
I don’t mind people who challenge their own limitations and fears in life. Yet I do feel (based on experience) that far too many don’t count the cost and trample over far too many people due to their fear of failure. They fear failure so much they will do anything at any price in order to succeed, regardless of impact on those around them.
It can be a tough balance in a world that prides themselves on being ‘successful’.
That’s great…but at what cost?