Have you ever had a day when you feel like a flat-out failure?
If you answered “Yes.” You’re in good company..
Everyone who has ever had the courage to become a better version of themselves has days when their whole plan seems to fall apart. Maybe your scholarship didn’t come through, or your dream date turned out to be someone you have next-to-nothing in common with.
On days like this, it can seem like the whole Universe is conspiring against you.
Yet some of the world’s most successful people have experienced epic ‘fails’ on their way to reaching their goals, and they tell a different story about failure. Contrary to widespread belief, it was in these moments that they learned their greatest lessons on how to be their most authentic and passionate selves.
Take a look at how the wise philosophies they developed helped them stand back up, dust themselves off, and move forward into greater abundance and achievement.
5 Famous People Reveal How Your Failures Increase Your Chances of Success
“Failure is just life trying to move us in another direction.” – Oprah Winfrey
The path to our comfort zone is linear and easy to follow, but the path to success resembles something closer to a zigzagging maze. Sometimes it feels like the world’s greatest adventure, and sometimes it’s just plain confusing. This is because we’ve never before been in the exact spot we’re in now. Therefore, we don’t always know which direction to turn in order to reach our final goal the fastest. The dead ends that we encounter along the way aren’t so much failures as they are sign posts that we need to change up our strategy, without altering our final destination.
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” – Frederick Douglass
Failure is a sign that we stepped out of our comfort zones into the unknown, and so it often feels uncomfortable and strange. Yet, even though staying in our comfort zones is familiar and therefore somewhat assuring, it’s impossible to create a new life with the same skills, habits, and beliefs that keep us stuck in the old one. Struggles and falls can feel discouraging, but they actually help us develop the perseverance needed to align our outer reality with our inner dreams.
“If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.” – Elon Musk
You probably won’t hear too much about the ‘trial and error’ phase that is part of each new undertaking or invention. Yet in truth, half of new businesses fail in the first 5 years, and leading entrepreneurs say time and again that they’ve been part of a whole slew of unsuccessful ventures.
So why do these leaders view failure as such a positive sign? It’s because learning what doesn’t work helps them eliminate certain processes or paths so that they can more easily find out what does. This is why they’ve learned to embrace their ‘missteps’ by choosing instead to relabel them as ‘future successes’. This change in mindset allows for real innovation to unfold in the world.
“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” – Napoleon Hill
Tenacity and perseverance are valuable assets that allow you to stay positive even in the face of discord and loss. These traits are gained through practice: the more you true to your dreams even through your failures, the more natural it becomes to tune out negativity and naysayers, and keep working on our goals.
Overcoming heartache and adversity by staying focused on each mini-step of our dream teaches us our own immense power to sculpt our world into exactly what we’d like it to be. It also helps us grow our compassion for others who are going through similar experiences to us, which helps lead to greater success and happiness for everyone.
“So the pie isn’t perfect? Cut it into wedges. Stay in control, and never panic.” – Martha Stewart
One of the best ways to recover from your failures is to brainstorm new ways to move forward again, and then break these ideas down into manageable steps. Thinking outside the box is a way to ensure that the unique gifts and skills that we have to offer the world can still benefit others even when things don’t go according to plan. By focusing on what we can do right now, we can better manage our disappointments and begin the process of turning life’s ‘lemons’ into cool, refreshing lemonade.
Not sure where to start? Try spending a little time outside. Research has shown that getting out in nature can increase your creative ‘out of the box’ thinking by up to 50%. Start today with a new mentality, take what you have learned from your failures so far and step forward boldly into the light, ready to tackle life head on.