How to Fail at Practically Anything
March 06, 2008
Most people try to avoid failure. But failure is one of life’s great forces; it’s driven far more innovation than talent, creativity, or necessity. The failures you face, large and small, make you who you are and give you the opportunity to make yourself better.
Part of being able to “fail well” may lie in your attitude. Are you a generally optimistic person, or do you dwell on the negative?
According to an experimental study published in Nature magazine, students who had a pessimistic outlook, and expected to do poorly, felt far worse than those with a better attitude who thought they’d succeed but didn’t.
But worse was the fact that the pessimistic students also tried to deflect any responsibility for their failure. In effect – they didn’t take the opportunity to learn something that might help them do things differently in the future, which is one of the main benefits you can reap from failure.
Here are a few other thoughts on how to fail from Lifehack.org:
- Fail with grace: Take responsibility for the mess you’ve made, and for cleaning it up.
- Have a Plan B: Embracing failure means accepting the risks you’re taking and preparing for the worst.
- Get perspective: Tell an outsider your story, and ask what they would have done differently.
- Do something: Failure is the path of least persistence -- don’t just give up.
One of my favorite ways of handling failure is this: always assume that whatever situation you’re facing at the moment is exactly the right situation you need to ultimately be successful.
Assume that this situation has been sent to you to help you learn something; to help you improve in some way; to help you expand and grow. By seeking out the valuable lesson in each adversity, you can gain insight, and ultimately wisdom, from every setback or difficulty.
For even more tips on failure, click the link below.