Let Failure be Your Stepping Stone to Success
Boxers know that the outcome of a fight is determined before the actual fight. Your chances of winning are based on how much training you put in versus your competition. What's more, it's based on your mental attitude. If you're scared of your opponent or if you're too 'in your own head' then you will be more likely to lose. You'll be more likely to fail.
The same goes for pretty much everything in life. Your chances of victory or failure are based on the way you prepare for the event and the outcome then just 'plays itself out'.
And that's why planning can help you to survive every situation.
How to be Ready for Failure
The problem is, that too many of us plan only for victory. We make plans based on the assumption that everything will go well and that we will have good fortune. This is a result of a generally positive attitude but it's unfortunately not always the smartest move.
What's smarter than is to make sure you're also prepared for the various contingencies. What will you do if you lose your job? How will you cope if your partner leaves you? What will you do if the project you've been working on falls through?
This is an attitude that is always taken by businesses because they know it's smart to plan for failure. They will have plans of action based on new releases going well but also just as many that are based on them going badly. Likewise, they will have plans for things go 'just okay'.
By being ready for every possible outcome and contingency you will always be ready to deal with situations as they arise and nothing will catch you unawares and unprepared.
When making your plans, it can often be a good idea to think of them as a flow chart. Rather than a to-do list, a flow chart works better because it takes into account the fact that situations can change and are uncertain. Your plans should take the form of an 'IF' and 'THEN' approach.
To do this, you need to apply a little imagination in thinking of the things that could go wrong. You need to make contingencies not only for likely outcomes but also those that are perhaps less likely. As such, it can also help to look back at past failures and to assess them honestly.
By doing this you will have a plan for dealing with every possible scenario. You'll survive any failure and you'll be confident no matter what happens. So we encourage you to internalize the idea that failure is not the end but may simply be your beginning. Here are a few examples of where failure wasn't the final chapter.
- Steven Spielberg. His cinematic output has grossed more than $9 billion and brought him three Academy Awards, but the master of the blockbuster failed to be accepted twice when applying to the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts.
- Oprah. She’s a billionaire with her own TV channel and a penchant for giving away cars but Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first TV job as an anchor in Baltimore.
- Walt Disney. Can you imagine your childhood without Disney? Well it could easily have been if Walt had listened to his former newspaper editor. The editor told Walt he ‘lacked imagination and had no good ideas’. Undeterred, Old Walt went on to create the cultural icon that bears his name.
- Albert Einstein. His name is synonymous with intelligence yet it wasn’t always that way for Albert Einstein. As a child he didn’t start speaking until he was four, reading until he was seven, and was thought to be mentally handicapped. He went on to win a Nobel Prize and altered the world’s approach to physics. I guess he was just thinking of the right thing to say for those first four years.
- R.K. Rowling. Before there was a wizard, there was welfare. Rowling was a broke, depressed, divorced single mother simultaneously writing a novel while studying. Now one of the richest women in the world, Rowling reflects on her early failures:
And the list goes on and on - from Michael Jordan, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Vincent Van Gogh, and so on.
Moral of the story : Don't let failure be the reason you fail, but ratherthe beginning of your success.
We would love to hear your failure to success stories. You can email your story to Connect@totalwellnesscenter.com or we can be reached at (310) 461-4107. Don't forget to sign up below for our weekly Newsletter packed full of inspiration.
Total Wellness Team
Passionate about transforming lives.