Stories I only tell my friends: The Power Of Belief-System

May 12, 2012

Failure is must once in a life

Filed under: Uncategorized — mylittleblackpen @ 7:39 am

Learning how to accept failure is not about learning to feel good after failure then doing nothing but its all about learning how to stand up again after falling.

Do you know that 3M, one of the largest US companies now, was previously operating in the mining business and was barely bankrupt before it became today’s 3M?

Why did 3M Gave up its mining business and completely changed its structure to manufacture other products like sandpaper?

The management of 3M believed that 3M will become a large company one day and the same for its employees who had to work for free sometimes to keep the company going. After its failure as a mining company 3M didn’t stop doing business and instead it started doing something completely different.

The mining business died but the 3M company lived and succeeded later on. People of 3M succeeded because they understood one of the most important success concepts that most people are not aware of which is that products die but companies live.

Accepting failure happens when you understand success

You might be asking yourself what does this story has to do with accepting failure?
Just like companies survive and products die dreams survive and goals die. You don’t have to achieve all the goals you have set and you don’t have to succeed every time you try.

As long as your dreams are still there then you can manage to start all over and find something else to do. One of Johnson and Johnson directors once said, failure is our most important product.

This man understood the fact that if he kept testing different products he will eventually end up with some products that work. He understood that the company will survive even if some of its products failed.

The same goes for you, as long as you hold on to your dreams and as long as you keep trying you shouldn’t care about failure because one day you will find the right way to reach your goals even if you had to change everything about your life (just like 3M changed its products).

How to achieve your dreams

Who doesn’t know Kentucky fried chicken? most people know about Kentucky but a few of them know that the founder tried to sell his secret recipe to many shops who refused to buy it before he opened his first KFC store.

The man failed many times but he understood that his dreams are separate from his failures and that dreams are achieved by failing many times until the right method is found. You know the rest about KFC i don’t have to say more.

So what about you?
Did you lose hope upon failing once?
Were you laid off or even fired then lost hope in success?
did you start a business then failed to make it successful?

even if you answered all the questions with yes still you will be successful if you understood the concept that this article is trying to deliver. As long as your dreams are intact then failure wont affect you but it will only be a message telling you that you have to try something else until you reach your dreams.

How to accept failure?

There was something that meant a lot to me two years ago, that I desperately wanted to achieve, yet failed. The opportunity it no longer valid, it has come and passed me by. Yet I still spend time obsessing, wishing I could do it over and prove that I am not a failure.

How can I just accept this failure? It is driving me mad. I am obsessed, and filled with anxiety. I NEVER give up on anything, but the time window has passed. I’m the kind of person who likes to think, “It’s not too late! I can do anything!” but really it is and I am just banging my head into a brick wall.

How do I overcome it? I just want to move on and look for new opportunities in the same field, as opposed to dwelling on my specific failure.

Teaching Your Child How to Accept Failure

Certainly all individuals want to be a winner in every competition that they participate in and in all aspects of life in general. As parents, it is normal that you would want your children to win and become successful in all their endeavors. However, this does not mean that you would push your kids too hard for the sake of getting the trophy or the certificate that is due for the winner. More than that, you should not instill in the mind of your child that winning is the only important thing that matters. Conversely, you should not in any way teach your child that losing means being weak.

As a parent, it is your duty to teach your child about how to accept failure. It is important that you remind him all the time that losing is not a weakness and teaching him how to accept it with open heart and mind is a lesson that would remain in him for the rest of his life.

While it is true that it would be painful for parents to see the hurt feelings in the eyes of their child when losing is realized, this should not stop them from teaching their kids the proper way of handling defeat. If you are a parent, it would be worthy to consider some tips that can help you teach your child how to accept failure.

· First of all, it is important and greatly significant that you assure your child that you love them no matter what. Whether they win or lose, your love for them would never diminish. You see, children need to be reminded of how much they are valued for who they are and not only when they win. You have to delete from their memory the wrong notion that how well they fare would be the basis of how much their parents would value them.

· Never suppress the feelings of your child. Let them cry and get angry if they need to. You have to learn as well that they need to release their emotions for them to overcome the negative emotions that usually come when they are defeated.

· Always encourage your child to talk about how he feels over a loss. However, do not be too insistent; just let him feel that whatever happens, you are always there to listen to what he has to say. In case, he is eager to talk about the competition, allow him to.

· Never criticize or blame your child for a particular error that he committed during the competition even if you know that it is actually the reason behind the loss. What you need to tell him is that it is not about winning but how he played the game. Instead of blaming your child, it would be more preferable to ask him what he had learned from that experience. Constantly dwelling on his mistakes would not be helpful and healthy for him.

Teaching your child how to accept failure is one of the best things that he can learn from you. Always remind your child that there is always a lesson learned when losing and what is important is that you tried and you should not lose hope.

Failure to Accept Responsibility

You may ask yourself, Why would anyone not take responsibility for his or her actions? The answers, while often irrational, rest with the individual. All people who neglect to accept responsibility for their actions have justified the neglect in their minds. The refusal to accept responsibility is usually based in self-survival.

Some people refuse to take responsibility because they may lose money if they admit the truth about an action or mistake that could get them fired. Some people refuse to take responsibility because they may have to suffer physically at the hands of others if they admit their mistakes. Still others fear more harsh “punishments” if they accept responsibility, such as jail or prison time, divorce, or the loss of something valuable.

They become so blinded by the fear of the punishment that they refuse (or simply cannot) take the responsibility that could lead to the punishment. They are like the child who lies when he or she breaks the priceless antique Tiffany lamp. To accept responsibility for that action is too frightening to face.

The Twinkie Defense

A perfect example of neglect of responsibility came from California in the 1970s. One of the first public trials to use the “I’m not responsible for my actions” defense was the trial of San Francisco County Supervisor Daniel White. In 1978, White murdered Mayor George Moscone and Harvey Milk, a member of the board of supervisors.

A year earlier, Harvey Milk had become the first openly gay politician in America. White was staunchly antigay and clashed with Milk on numerous occasions. White became so disgruntled that he resigned his position as supervisor after continued clashes with Milk. A short while later, White went to Mayor Moscone to rescind his resignation, but Moscone refused. This enraged White, a highly decorated Vietnam soldier, policeman, and fireman. He went to city hall, found Moscone and Milk, and shot them both to death with a .38 caliber revolver.

White’s lawyers used the defense that his junk-food craze had led him to murder the two. They claimed that his senses had become clouded because of too much sugar. White became known as “the junk food assassin,” and his defense was called the “twinkie defense.” He served only five years in the Soledad State Prison before being released.

The “Stop Me Defense”

Another growing trend seems to be the “You should have stopped me” defense. Lawyers and defendants trying to shirk responsibility or pass the blame have used this more and more in court.

The illogical and irrational arguments go like this, “You knew I had a weakness for children, so you should have stopped me from being around any child.” “You knew that I was angry with John Doe and had rage toward him; therefore, you should have known that I was going to kill him, and you should have stopped me.”

The “stop me defense,” both in and out of the courtrooms, causes incalculable damage to all parties. It damages the real victims by negating their hurt or death, it damages the legal system because it forces a judge or jury to make the decision of responsibility for another person, and it damages the person using the argument because if they win, they will never be able to accept responsibility for their actions again.

The “twinkie defense” and the “stop me defense” are only two of the strategies used to force others to take the blame for someone else’s actions. Your self-esteem rests in knowing who you are, what you value, and how you take responsibility for your own life and actions.

The Anatomy Of A FailureIf you do something often enough, you’ll start to see some patterns. If you fail enough, you’ll start to discern the hidden structure of a failure. And this what I’m going to talk about for the rest of this post. In my experience, failure comes in 6 stages, each of equal importance.

1. The Experiment

That’s the first stage and also the most alive and most pleasant of all, so to speak. This is the part where you start something new, exciting, interesting. You take a risk. Start a business. Fall in love. Embark on an unexpected travel. This is the stage where you actually dive in without really knowing what’s going to happen. The experiment is the most intense part of a failure, because it releases our inner guardians. We act free of inhibitions, jumping around and being in the moment.

Unfortunately, this is also the stage we use to blame the most. We somehow associate the thrill, exhilaration and enthusiasm of this stage with the actual failure. Which is not entirely true.

For example, when you fall in love with the “wrong” person, this is the romantic phase. The phase in which you’re totally blind and helpless, enjoying every second with your new partner. You don’t really care if he or she is married, if he or she is an honest person. You just don’t want to know more, all you want is to feel more, to experiment more. I think we’ve all been there. And I think we’ll all be there too, at some point. But the fact that we felt good shouldn’t make us feel bad after we realize we did a mistake.

2. The Outcome

Something happens after this experiment: there is an outcome. Maybe your business idea wasn’t validated by reality (or, most likely, you did something wrong). Maybe your partner proved to be dishonest (or, most likely, you ignored some very obvious signs that he/she was actually flashing from the very beginning). Maybe the trip turned out to be a fiasco because the budget exploded and now you have to do the dishes in a restaurant to pay for your plane ticket home (or, most likely, you ignored some very common sense rule and it turned out that rule was for real).

The outcome is the part when we pay. When we realize we did something extremely wrong and we have to put up with the consequences. Sometimes we simply call this “the disaster”. If there’s something that could go wrong in the experiment, this is the stage when it actually explodes. Usually, in our faces.

Out of all 6 stages, this is the one we hate the most. This is the one which totally blows out the experiment, uncovering an ugly reality and making us feel miserable.

3. Denial

The first reaction is to deny the whole result. You avoid it altogether. Take refuge, step back, isolate, reject. The third stage is the stage of the blind man. You chose not to see the reality.

If the failure is about a business, you simply ignore the numbers. Act like you still have all the money you lost and their real absence is just a temporary glitch in the matrix. It will be fixed in a moment. Everything is ok. No worries.

Denial is more than often some kind of pain alleviation. The disaster was so big, that we simply couldn’t accept it. Our reality was so drastically challenged, that we can’t recognize it anymore, so we chose to run away and hide in a mental castle. Denial is also, more than often, the stage in which many of us are stuck for ever.

4. Excuses

Hopefully, at some point, you’ll get tired of living in denial. You’re going to realize you did a mistake. You’ll start to acknowledge the mess, but you won’t take responsibility. No, it wasn’t me: the market was tough. No, it wasn’t me: my partner lied. It’s the stage of excuses: somebody else did it.

As hard as it would be for you to accept this, I’m going to tell it anyway: this is the stage in which 90% of the people are stopping. They never get out of here. Accepting the mistake give them some sort of a relief, but they lack the power to take responsibility. Personal development is never possible if you blame others for your own failure. Never was and never will be.

What’s interesting at this stage is the enormous amount of creativity people are using in finding excuses. They’re ready to turn the world upside down and claim the rain is going from earth to the sky , just to avoid admitting that they turned on that stupid water hose.

5. Acceptance

Then, finally, you accept the outcome. Yes, you started that business, nobody forced you to. Yes, you entered that relationship, nobody forced you to. And it was a mistake. And you did it. And that caused a lot of a mess. And you still live in that mess, minute by minute.

That’s the most difficult stage of all. No wonder 90% of the people are stopping at the excuses layer. It’s so difficult to accept a failure. Because acceptance doesn’t only mean a verbal “yes”. It means a lot more. It means taking responsibility for what you’ve done. Accepting you did something that hurt somebody (most of the time, it’s you who is hurt, that’s true).

Acceptance makes things manageable again. When you were in denial, there wasn’t any handle to reality. Denial is a form of rejecting reality. And in the excuses layer, you were giving away your power to somebody else: you did it, not me, please solve it, so I can feel better. But now, if you made it to the acceptance stage, there’s hope.

6. Learning The Lesson

Which means taking some sort of real action. Acceptance in itself will only make you feel better on the inside, but will not change your external surroundings. If you did a major mistake and you accept it, that by itself won’t change the consequences of that mistake. You’re still on the same mess you created. Until you take action and get out.

And that’s the beauty of a lesson. You learn by doing. You see what you did wrong, when and how, and start to fix it. It’s like a DIY session, only it’s for the entire Universe. You broke something in your reality but now you know exactly how you did it. It’s like you have a map on how to re-assemble the pieces, so you pick your tools and start fixing that stuff.

The last stage is the stage in which you’re actually growing. It doesn’t really matter if you’re broke or alone, because now you’re doing stuff. You’re taking action. You’re exercising your powers again. The first and the last stage of a failure have something very subtle in common: enthusiasm. Only this time you’re not sleepwalking on the roof of your house, you’re fixing the roof  of your house.

Failure And Personal Development

Now, one may ask the following question (if nobody will do it, I’ll do it for you, I know you’re all thinking at it): if we know the anatomy of a failure so well, why aren’t we avoiding them altogether? Why do we keep making mistakes?

The short answer: because we can’t. The long answer: because this is how we learn. By experimenting, evaluating, accepting and taking action again. That’s the whole personal development process. As you can see, at the core of it it’s no secret of success, but rather the secret of failure. We grow up by identifying each stage of our failures and moving on.

One could argue that if we really know the anatomy of a failure, we could avoid it next time. Partially, this is true. But only partially. We may know a certain type of failure, but that wouldn’t prevent us from bumping into it again. On the contrary: have you noticed that we tend to make the same mistakes again and again?

Because it’s not about knowing the mistake and avoiding it. It’s about putting up with it. It’s about getting square. Learning the lesson. Once you learned the lesson, you won’t be attracted to that failure again. The glue to the failure is the fact that you didn’t consumed it entirely. There is still a very deep need for that specific lesson. You still need a cup of it to quench your thirst.

Once you’re not thirsty again, you’ll finally be free to try another lesson.

A Little Black Pen



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