Feb 26, 2011

Failure is never an option.

I am sure all of you have played Minesweeper before, A single player game with the objective of clearing the mines without detonating any of it.The picture above shows that one minor mistake will cause failure of the mission. You will be thinking it is just only a game but it happened that we do steps on mines(failure)in our daily life too.

Well most people are afraid of failures in every aspects of life which covers relationships, careers, academic achievements, sports and many more. The fact is that fear of failure actually destroys the success of a person.

Trial and error are usually the prime means of solving life’s problems. Yet many people are afraid to undertake the trial because they’re too afraid of experiencing the error. They make the mistake of believing that all error is wrong and harmful, when most of it is both helpful and necessary. Error provides the feedback that points the way to success. Only error pushes people to put together a new and better trial, leading through yet more errors and trials until they can ultimately find a viable and creative solution. To meet with an error is not to fail, but to take one more step on the path to final success. No errors means no successes either.

One of the main reason why people are afraid of failure is mainly due to the cultures of perfection.Too many organizations today have cultures of perfection for example a set of organizational beliefs that any failure is unacceptable. Only pure, untainted success will do. To retain your reputation as an achiever, you must reach every goal and never, ever make a mistake that you can’t hide or blame on someone else. Imagine the stress and terror in an organization like that. The constant covering up of the smallest blemishes. The wild finger-pointing as everyone tries to shift the blame for the inevitable cock-ups and messes onto someone else. The rapid turnover as people rise high, then fall abruptly from grace. The lying, cheating, falsification of data, and hiding of problems—until they become crises that defy being hidden any longer.

The only way towards failure is by overcoming it.The Law of Feedback states: there is no failure; there is only feedback. Successful people look at mistakes as outcomes or results, not as failure. Unsuccessful people look at mistakes as permanent and personal.

Buckminster Fuller wrote, “Whatever humans have learned had to be learned as a consequence only of trial and error experience. Humans have learned only through mistakes.”

Most people self-limit themselves. Most people do not achieve a fraction of what they are capable of achieving because they are afraid to try because they are afraid they will fail.
Take these steps to overcome your fear of failure and move yourself forward to getting the result you desire:

Step One: Take action. Bold, decisive action. Do something scary. Fear of failure immobilizes you. To overcome this fear, you must act. When you act, act boldly.

Action gives you the power to change the circumstances or the situation. You must overcome the inertia by doing something. Dr. Robert Schuller asks, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” What could you achieve? Be brave and just do it. If it doesn’t work out the way you want, then do something else. But DO SOMETHING NOW.

Step Two
: Persist. Successful people just don’t give up. They keep trying different approaches to achieving their outcomes until they finally get the results they want. Unsuccessful people try one thing that doesn’t work and then give up. Often people give up when they are on the threshold of succeeding.

Step Three: Don’t take failure personally. Failure is about behavior, outcomes, and results. Failure is not a personality characteristic. Although what you do may not give you the result you wanted, it doesn’t mean you are a failure. Because you made a mistake, doesn’t mean that you are a failure.

Step Four
: Do things differently. If what you are doing isn’t working, do something else. There is an old saying, “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got.” If you’re not getting the results you want, then you must do something different. Most people stop doing anything at all, and this guarantees they won’t be successful.

Step Five: Don’t be so hard on yourself. Hey, if nothing else, you know what doesn’t work. Failure is a judgement or evaluation of behavior. Look at failure as an event or a happening, not as a person.

Step Six: Treat the experience as an opportunity to learn. Think of failure as a learning experience. What did you learn from the experience that will help you in the future? How can you use the experience to improve yourself or your situation? Ask yourself these questions:

1. What was the mistake?
2. Why did it happen?
3. How could it have been prevented?
4. How can I do better next time?

Then use what you learned from the experience to do things differently so you get different results next time. Learn from the experience or ignore it.

Step Seven
: Look for possible opportunities that result from the experience. Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, says “every adversity, every failure and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent or a greater benefit.” Look for the opportunity and the benefit.

Step Eight: Fail forward fast. Tom Peters, the management guru, says that in today’s business world, companies must fail forward fast. What he means is that the way we learn is by making mistakes. So if we want to learn at a faster pace, we must make mistakes at a faster pace. The key is that you must learn from the mistakes you make so you don’t repeat them.

1 comment:

lael said...

Failure, from where I come, is an identity of shame and misfortune. Nobody wants to be anywhere near a person who has failed. They mourn for his/her loss and do everything they could on their part that he/she does not "fail" over again. That everyone fails at one point of time or the other and that failure in itself is an unavoidable part of life is a distant idea to all of them. Now this attitude in itself is insignificant if it does not hurt anybody else- but when it causes one to jump over a cliff or gulp down rat extinguisher, then it is important that the issue of this attitude be addressed. The failed person does not forgive himself/herself leave alone others forgiving him/her. This anger stays for life-kills his/her confidence and leaves her useless in every sense.

Fortunately now, the younger generation, at least a part of it realizes the truth and accepts it as an integral part of human life. Failure is now merely a state- a temperory one and usually mocked at by the person involved-trust me, that attitude helps.