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The philosophy of failure. How failures help achieve success

Many people have a cherished dream. But why does not everyone decide to implement it? Perhaps it’s because you’re afraid to take on a difficult task: what if it doesn’t work out?

This article will be useful for those who want to start a business, but are afraid that they will not succeed. And for those who are constantly faced with new challenges and do not know how to start them. And, of course, those who have just experienced failure and think that this will always be the case.

Success does not come to anyone immediately. It is usually preceded by a series of failures that we know nothing about.

The great losers
Thomas Edison, for example, failed 1,000 times before the light bulb caught fire. He later said: “I haven’t had 1,000 failed attempts to light a light bulb. I just took 1000 steps to invent the electric light bulb.”

Walt Disney — now no one needs to explain who he is — was fired from the Kansas City Star newspaper at the age of 22 for “lack of creative thinking,” and his first company, Laugh-o-gram Studios, went bankrupt.

Stephen king, at the age of 20, offered his novel “Carrie” to one of the us publishers, and it was returned with the wording ” we are not interested in science fiction with a negative view of the world. Such stories are not for sale.” In total, the novel, which later became a cult, was accepted by no more than 30 publishers.

Steven Spielberg failed to enroll at the University of southern California three times due to poor school test results. In 1994, the Director of “Jaws”, “Jurassic Park” and “Indiana Jones” was given an honorary degree at the University.

JK Rowling, a billionaire writer and author of a series of Harry Potter books, Received rejections from 12 publishers before her novel was agreed to be published by Bloomsbury.

The list of successful people who had to face rejection, misunderstanding, and skepticism about their abilities at the beginning of their lives could go on and on.

Many people still think that a failure in some business indicates that they do not have the necessary knowledge, skills, and in General — competence, so it is better not to try at all, so as not to lose faith in yourself, or by any means avoid mistakes.
However, this is not the case. Often it really doesn’t work the first time. How to survive a failure, not to give up and continue to move towards the goal? Here’s what to do.

Focus on results
One of the most serious obstacles to success is the fear of failure. In fact, being afraid of losing is worse than actually failing, because it leads to the fact that many people do not use their potential.

To stop being afraid of failure, you need to change your attitude to it. The authors of the study, published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, found that it is easier for people to succeed if they focus on the result of their actions, rather than worrying about how not to make a mistake.

Yes, in a difficult case, we all try not to make mistakes, but it is better to think about the goals that need to be achieved than about caution.

To set ourselves achievable goals
When you clearly realize that you are able to complete the task that you have set for yourself, it motivates you to work — and you will immediately stop being afraid.

For clarity, it makes sense to write down what you intend to achieve, place the list in a prominent place, and make sure that each phrase begins with the expression “I must” or “I will”, and not with “I will try”.

Forget about “I’ll try” at all.

Barry Effron, American businessman, founder of Effron Enterprises Inc. someone who has made a fortune working with information systems in the field of financial investments claims that such expressions simply can not be used, you will not actually do anything with such settings.

To make your goals really look achievable, divide big tasks into small ones: by achieving them, you will go step by step to success.

Stop thinking about what will happen if you fail
An imaginary failure is far worse than a real failure. This is also claimed by scientists, this time Dutch .

A series of experiments by researchers from the Netherlands was devoted to comparing the feelings that people feel when they imagine that they will not succeed, with their emotions in the event of a real failure.

The scientists divided the participants into pairs and warned them that they would have to do the task. A prize was awarded for successful completion.

Half of the “test subjects” were asked to describe how they would feel if they failed. The other part was not told anything like this, but when the task was completed, these people were told that they did not succeed, moreover, they were to blame for the failure of their pair.

After that, all participants in the experiment were asked how they now feel.

It turned out that those who imagined failure in advance experienced much stronger negative emotions than those who did not think about failure, but really did not succeed.

The fact is that the subjects who were supposed to predict their feelings overestimated the significance of their future guilt and the irretrievability of the error.

Perhaps this is why people refuse to fulfill their most cherished dream: they think that if it doesn’t work out, it will be a disaster.

But a study conducted by specialists of the Kellogg school of management showed that we underestimate our bitter feelings that we did not try to make a serious step.

Yes, at a certain point, it is so scary to act that inaction seems safer and more justified.

But the more time passes since we decided not to do anything, the more often we think back to that moment and regret that we never tried.

Wasted opportunities and untapped opportunities will forever remain with us. Isn’t this an excuse to do something you’ve always been afraid of?

Treat any project as a series of experiments
A single scientific experiment does not work the first time. In fact, this is the experiment — you can only get to the truth through trial and error.

It’s the same in your career and business: any new business is a risk, but when you stumble, you find the right path.

Any mistake can be turned to your advantage if you take it as a lesson. More precisely, as a signal: now you know how not to do it and what needs to be corrected.

In fact, the popular Agile project management system is based on this philosophy.

Instead of debugging a product (for example, a mobile app), it is released to the market as soon as it is developed, so that all errors and shortcomings are corrected at the output, according to the reviews of consumers who have tested the product in practice.

Admit that you made a mistake, not hide it
We have already learned that we should not be afraid of failure. But what if something went wrong?

First of all, you should openly admit this to your subordinates, superiors, and anyone who needs to know about it.

Keep in mind that when explaining yourself to other people, you should not make excuses for yourself or blame others. We need to find an explanation for why this happened.

Next, you will simply have to figure out how to fix it (in a good case, you will already have a backup plan for how to do it). And get back to work.

You may fail again, but this will only mean that you haven’t found the right path yet. And you will find it. Just don’t stop looking.

Draw conclusions and move on
1. Only those who don’t do anything can fail. They don’t have success.

2. Any failure allows us to draw conclusions and learn from our own mistakes.

3. If it didn’t work out once, it doesn’t mean that it won’t work out the second or third time.

4. When planning something, you should not say “I will try”, but if you have something that did not work, you need to perceive it as a failed attempt. The next one will be more successful.

5. To openly admit your mistake is to give yourself a chance to correct yourself and show yourself a responsible person on whom you can rely.

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