Failed To Achieve A Goal? Get Back Up And Learn From It

We tend to think of failure as something shameful, undesirable. Understandably, failing to achieve it often cause negative feelings, no matter how big or small the goal was.

And the only way to overcome those feelings is by changing the way we understand failure – it is part of the process of success and leaves valuable lessons if we know how to learn from it.

Failed To Achieve A Goal? Get Back Up And Learn From It

Three ways to redefine failure and learn from it effectively.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – Learning from your mistakes is about more than just thinking about what went wrong. The first step towards using failure as a tool for success is to stop seeing mistakes as shameful.

 

Think about it – a mistake is not just a natural part of embarking on a new project; it is also part of the human experience. As such, they should be accepted as a necessary step towards achieving your goals.

In her article “Strategies for Learning from Failure”, Amy C. Edmondson classifies mistakes in three categories:

Preventable

These are the mistakes we often think of as bad. They result from lack of focus or attention to the procedures needed to achieve the goal.

Complexity-related

These mistakes happen when the goal is the product of many factors – your own motivation, previous skills, your environment, support network, and the resources you have to accomplish it. If any of these fail, you might be unable to achieve the goal.

Intelligent mistakes

According to Adam Mendler in his article What Sales Executives Can Learn From Failure, having the freedom to make mistakes increases creativity and work performance. Without unnecessary pressures to avoid mistakes and the shame that comes with it, employees contribute more frequently and are able to express more original ideas.

For example, many great inventions were discovered by accident – from Post-It notes to penicillin.

Whatever the source of the mistake, removing any negative feelings about it and re-framing it as a source of new knowledge is the first step towards learning from failure effectively.

But what’s next?

Rethink your approach to your goal

Now that you’re looking at the mistake without judgment, think of how you got into the situation.

In his article The 4 Keys to Learning From Failure, Guy Winch suggests you analyze your motivation levels, focus, and mindset. Did you feel less motivated to achieve your goal at some point? Did something else distract you from it?

If your dedication and focus decreased at any time, make note of it and try to find the cause. Identifying the internal and external causes that affected your resolve helps you prepare for them in the future.

In some cases, discussing the failure with someone you trust can help you see the issues from a different perspective. Rely on your support network to pinpoint what went wrong and how you could prevent it.

Plan ahead

Identifying what caused the mistake is not enough to prevent it in the future. You need to take steps to prevent that mistake from happening again.

If your goal was to write a novel in six months, you’ve probably identified a few reasons why you couldn’t achieve it – lack of time, insufficient planning, or lack of motivation.

But what can you do to prevent those issues to get in the way of your goal in the future? In our example, you could scale down the scope of the novel, spend more time planning the story, or set a specific time to write undisturbed.

In summary, failure is not permanent. By accepting failure, analyzing its causes and defining how you can eliminate those causes, you’re on your way to achieving your goals.

Life Lessons: Finding Meaning In Hard Times

In hard times, hopelessness is a common feeling. There are tragedies on the news every day. The economy never seems to fully recover. On top of that, our daily lives can bring challenges and negativity sometimes.

Every person faces these situations differently, though. Some find comfort in religion and spirituality; others turn to meditation or therapy. And others, unfortunately, adopt unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drinking to manage their grief, anguish, and sadness.

However, looking at hard times in a different light can also help in adopting more positive coping mechanisms.

One good way to reinterpret hardships is to find meaning in them.

And how can you do this?

In the face of a negative event, sit back and ask yourself how you can make the event meaningful.

For example, let’s say you were fired from your job, a distressing situation that can leave you feeling afraid, angry, and ashamed. Especially if you have a family, debt, or live in an uncertain economy where your opportunities to find a new job are slim.

For example, ask yourself questions such as:

  • Did I really like that job? In many cases, we’re stuck in a job that no longer makes us fulfilled, but we are too scared to quit.
  • Is this situation freeing my time for better opportunities? A job you no longer enjoyed could have been a roadblock in your professional development.
  • What did I learn from that experience? The skills you learned at that job can be a jumping board to find better opportunities.
  • What went wrong? In this case, be honest with yourself — why were you fired? Address the causes non-judgmentally.
  • Are there any areas for growth? Regardless of what caused the negative situation, think of how you can use the experience to grow.

By asking yourself these questions, you don’t only give meaning to a negative situation. You’re also taking back control of it. And you take control of it by reframing negative situations as opportunities to grow and thrive in unexplored areas.

For example, a lost job is an opportunity for new enterprises — a new business, a trip, time off to spend with family and friends, continued education, and more.

It is healthy to grieve and to have a bad day. But it’s also important to take responsibility for every stage of our lives and take a proactive approach to every situation. Only then, can we find meaning in our lives and minimize uncertainty.

Luckily, this isn’t the only way to find meaning in difficult times.

When hardships come, it’s easy to over-think the situation. However, focusing at least part of your time to giving to others helps putting life in perspective.

When you give away your time and energy to help others, you create a connection with others. Life is no longer something that happens to you. Instead, it becomes a network, which you can influence in a positive way.

Finally, difficulties are part of life. Trying to avoid them is not only useless, but it also prevents you from focusing your energy in purposeful, selfless work. Therefore, if difficulties cannot be avoided, you should face them with patience and compassion to yourself and others.

Every situation leaves a mark on you. That means something. It means you’re growing, building your own path of self-acceptance and compassion. You have the power to take control of your life by reflecting non-judgmentally, accepting each situation as an opportunity, and working with and for others.

 

19 Hard Things You Need To Do To Be Successful

19 Hard Things You Need To Do To Be Successful

You have to do the hard things.

1)You have to make the call you’re afraid to make.
2)You have to get up earlier than you want to get up.
3)You have to give more than you get in return right away.
4)You have to care more about others than they care about you.
5)You have to fight when you are already injured, bloody, and sore.
6)You have to feel unsure and insecure when playing it safe seems smarter.
7)You have to lead when no one else is following you yet.
8)You have to invest in yourself even though no one else is.
9)You have to look like a fool while you’re looking for answers you don’t have.
10)You have to grind out the details when it’s easier to shrug them off.
11)You have to deliver results when making excuses is an option.
12)You have to search for your own explanations even when you’re told to accept the “facts.”
13)You have to make mistakes and look like an idiot.
14)You have to try and fail and try again.
15)You have to run faster even though you’re out of breath.
16)You have to be kind to people who have been cruel to you.
17)You have to meet deadlines that are unreasonable and deliver results that are unparalleled.
18)You have to be accountable for your actions even when things go wrong.
19)You have to keep moving towards where you want to be no matter what’s in front of you