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Fail and fail again – success built on experience

I'd say everyone experiences defeat at some point in their life.

Not that everyone needs to lose before they can win. It's fantastic when people are successful in all their endeavours, so long as they're reaching beyond the norm and attempting big things.

Attempt big things

By 'big things' I don't mean you have to go after the gold medal at the Olympics, necessarily. However, I've observed a certain characteristic in those who are both successful and happy in life. They have an ability to fail forward. They're willing to break free from their comfort zone and risk failure. For some this might mean going for gold. For others, just challenging their norm of being shy might be big, risking rejection by being more talkative and assertive.

Stretch your abilities

We all have limitations. When we try to do something bigger than ourselves, we stretch. When we push out beyond what we're comfortable with, the result is both greater joy and greater success. Success is merely a by-­product of pushing ourselves to the limits and reaching new thresholds. And when we take risks that get our hearts pumping-the calculated risks, not gambles, that cause us to stretch our capacity-joy results.

Dale Carnegie once said, "Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success." Failing forward involves learning from your mistakes, silencing your inner critic, and trying again. It's about overcoming an aversion to risk when pursuing a well thought-­out plan or dream, learning to take a chance when following your passion, and going for it when the time is right.

How to fail forward:

1.    View failure as just a setback.

How you view failure determines whether you achieve greatness or mediocrity. If you view disappointment as just a setback, you'll maintain drive, overcome defeating thoughts and push forward. Don't fall into the trap of defining yourself as a failure just because you didn't succeed the first, second, or even the hundredth time. Failure isn't a characteristic or personality trait; it's an attitude. Keep yours positive. It's been said that success is going from failure to failure with enthusiasm.

2.     Learn from past mistakes.

Examine your shortcomings, shore up any weaknesses, learn new skills to make yourself sharper and better equipped to succeed, and strategise new ways of doing things. Look for the lesson in every unsuccessful attempt you make.

3.    Don't waste time covering up shortcomings.

Maintaining a façade takes precious time and energy and will rob you of your peace of mind. Remain humble, accept your imperfections and believe in yourself. If others aren't willing to be as gracious, don't waste time trying to convince them otherwise.

4.    Don't tie your self-­esteem to victory.

Self-­worth goes much deeper. If you tie your self-­worth to achievements, you'll live on a roller coaster of successes and failures your whole life. When you remove the weight of self-­worth from the things you endeavour, it becomes easier to take on new challenges.

When you believe in yourself and continue taking calculated risks to do things that don't come naturally-regardless of the outcome-you'll find the most satisfaction in your career. You'll develop a deep-­rooted contentment and untouchable confidence that the best in life lay ahead, even in the midst of failure.

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