Too many of us look at failure as a bad thing. There are lessons in the mistakes we make and the wrong paths we take. The key is to learn how to see the positive in situations that seem to be negative at the time.
Understand that Failure is Part of the Path to Success
Some rich and famous people started out as failures. Take a moment to look up the story of Colonel Sanders, the proprietor of the KFC recipe. He didn’t even try to sell his now world-famous chicken until he was in his sixties, and he shopped it around to over one-thousand restaurants before he got a bite.
Let all of that sink in for a minute…
Not only did Colonel Harland Sanders get a late start in the biz that he would become famous for, but he also kept trying and trying until someone said “yes.”
I think that we all give up too easily most of the time. I’m guilty of this also, as a writer. I’ve submitted stories and poetry to journals and contests and been rejected or not placed, and then chosen not to resubmit that same work anywhere else. I’d follow that with a few months of wallowing in the misery of rejection before coaxing myself to try, try again.
I did try again. And then, finally, I got a story accepted into an anthology. That wouldn’t have happened if I did keep trying. It also would not have happened had I not used rejection as a lesson in growth - I learned from my mistakes.
Right there, you have the two main parts that will help you get good at failure - learning from our mistakes and growing from them.
Learning and Growing from Our Mistakes
First and foremost, learn that nobody is perfect. Perfection doesn’t exist. We all make mistakes (even if we hide them well).
The lesson here is to do your best, whatever your best is. If your best doesn’t feel like it’s good enough, learn more about what you’re trying to do. It’s never too late to go back to school, but that’s not even a necessary step anymore. You can find free college courses online or even do your own independent study to learn what you need to know - the internet is full of information on everything.
Learning is also about learning which things you need to change.
- If you’re not having luck getting the job of your dreams, check your resume and cover letter. What could you change on them to make yourself stand out more to the people who are reading about you?
- Getting rejected when you submit stories and poetry to journals? Get some feedback from other poets and writers - take their critiques and run with them.
- Onto your third or hundredth business idea, and it’s still not launching as high into the stratosphere as you’d hoped? Talk to some successful entrepreneurs, take them your business plan, and have them look it over and give you some ideas. Don’t toss it to the side until you find out if a change here or there could make the difference between failure and success.
Growth comes from your willingness to learn and to make changes. I wrote a little bit about how we fear change and why we shouldn’t. Growth is change. Making the right changes, in any aspect of our lives could be the exact thing that leads to success.
Stop Making Excuses!
I used to worried about what other people would think of my writing, that they wouldn’t understand my words, and what I was trying to say. Because of this, I didn’t want to have anyone else edit my work and thought I could do it all on my own. The thing is, editing writing is about more than making sure words are placed and spelled correctly, or that punctuation is correct. An editor can look at your overall story and see that it flows and includes all of the parts a story requires to entertain and enthrall a reader.
My husband pulled me out of my shell when it came to having other people read my work. Now I have him read everything, and I also pay an editor to take a final look at everything I write when it comes to short stories and poetry. Grammarly and I take care of my articles because I write them in a conversational tone (this is what you’d get from me if we sat down for a chat).
Stop making excuses for not fighting for what you want. You’re not too old to chase your dreams or to come up with a new dream. You’re not too poor to launch a business that needs no start-up cash. There are always extra hours in the day; you just have to make the time.
Go for it!