Failing F.O.R.W.A.R.D.

“Failure” – We all experience failure or failures in our lives. Better expect to experience a few more as you go along. We all had passed this road of failure one way or another in our lives even if we are too pompous to admit it. Some of us maybe currently, are traversing this way. When we are at this point of the road, the path usually separates into a cross road that we are forced to choose which way to go from then on.

The difference between successful people and unsuccessful people are not the amount or kind of failures they have. You might be surprised that they actually have experienced more failures than most people instead of the other way around. The difference is between the way they handle and use these failures. Yes, you read it right. USE! They refuse to accept that they are a failure.

“You are a failure only if you accept that you are”

Successful people see these failures as “failure blocks” and they stock & pile them to be used as steps to climb the ladder towards success. These “blocks” become their stepping stones to reach their goals.

Instead of focusing on their failures, they focus on their goals; they collect the knowledge they gained from the experience and move on.

So, how does one get through failure and still succeed? Well, when you experience failure, instead of lingering on that state, why don’t you choose to rather FAIL FORWARD?

“Your failure doesn’t define you, but it can shape you depending on how you let it. Remember that you’re always in control.

Here’s what I mean about FAILING FORWARD:

F              - Feel the Pain
O             - Open Yourself to New Opportunities
R             - Reset Goals / Redefine Values
W            - Wait for the Healing to Take Its Full Course
A             - Ask for Support
R             - Reinvent Yourself
D             - Document Your Experience

  1. Feel the Pain
- It’s alright to feel the pain. Everyone feels pain. It is an indication that you’re still ALIVE. You better worry if you don’t feel pain anymore; being numb is synonymous to being DEAD.      That’s where the famous tag line “dead-ma” originated; when you’re ignoring something very obvious. Contrary to some beliefs that when you ignore pain you can move on sooner, ignoring the pain might mean that you are still in denial of what happened. Acceptance is the first step in moving on. You might succeed in tricking your mind in blocking the pain for some time, but in time reality eventually caught up with you. When that happens, the effects might be more deplorable. So why not let the natural process takes its natural course? After all there’s nothing wrong in feeling pain and I failing for that matter.
Think of a 1,000 peso bill, yes a bill. Say you have a new, crisp bill. You crumple it, throw it on the ground and step on it. Now it is wrinkled and dirty, but does it value diminishes? Or ain’t it value still the same? It is the same with people, no matter what happened or what you undergo,

  1. Open Yourself to New Opportunities

- “When God closes a door he opens a window.” You just have to realize when this happens. Opportunities are always opening themselves for us; we just often don’t realize it due to our preoccupation to our “routines.” Open up yourself to new and better opportunities. Decide to move forward from your failure. If you’re not moving forward, it means you’re moving backwards. We don’t stay dormant, it’s either you’re growing or you’re dying.
The reason why most people don’t open up themselves to new opportunities is because they are afraid to try new things and leave their comfort zone. Well if that’s what caused the failure in the first place, what’s the point of doing it over again, unless you want the same results?
Find new opportunities after the failure and strive to always improve.

  1. Reset Goals/ Redefine Values

- The words are REVISION and REEVALUATE.
Goals are sometimes called your visions. When you fail it is sometime necessary to assess your visions. Re-vision, it is essential to ask yourself if it is time to change your goals/visions. You might want to re asses if you’re maybe shooting the star with a slingshot. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not discouraging anyone to dream big, in fact I’m actually encouraging you to dream BIG. But what I’m saying is, let’s be realistic; the reason for your failure might be you’re trying to achieve a long term goal with short term efforts. C’mon now, that kind of things very rarely happens. if you’re convinced that you can achieve this, haven’t you noticed that you’re actually wasting more of your time and efforts finding the way to speed up your success instead spending it on more realistic goals and eventually building them up to achieve your true goals? Revise!
Reevaluate. What are you going to reevaluate? Reevaluate your goals as pointed earlier - are my goals achievable or are they really what I want? But more importantly reevaluate yourself. Your goals maybe realistic and very much achievable but what caused you to fail? Haven’t you realized it yet? Yes reevaluate yourself, stop always putting the blame on others or the environment. I’m not saying you’re not capable in fact you’re very much capable. But the thing is you might not be capable yet. So reevaluate yourself. Aim for personal mastery, find ways to always improve. Be the best you can be.

  1. Wait for Healing to Take its Full Course

- This is somehow related to the number 1. Wait for the healing process to take its full course. We can’t abbreviate the healing process. It just takes certain time to heal. It may be different from person to person; some may heal faster than others. But it definitely takes some time and you can’t speed it when you wanted it to.
Let’s take a simple wound for example, you can’t just order your wound to heal when you want it to. Even if you take or apply tons of medication, it just won’t heal instantaneously. You would have to wait for the wound to heal completely; true that medications help, but it can’t magically heal the wound. That is for physical aspect but same goes for emotional, psychological and spiritual aspects. You can administer or try different things to speed up your recovery from your failure, it can greatly help. But let time takes its natural course and wait for your complete healing.

  1. Ask for support

- This is a cliché you always hear – “No man is an island.” This doesn’t require too much explaining. Don’t be too proud, let’s admit it. We can’t do it all. We all need support from our fellow men especially when you’re down. So why don’t we have support? Sometimes it’s very simple; we don’t get support because we don’t ask for it. Ask for support. Don’t assume that people would give theirs voluntarily, well someone will, but not all the time. Also consider that not all want unsolicited support/advise, that’s why most refrain themselves from giving one.
So set aside your pride for a moment and learn to ask. It doesn’t hurt to ask, especially when you really needed it. You might just get surprised on how willing people might be to extend their support. “Seek and you shall find, ask and you will be given, knock and the door would be opened.”

  1. Reinvent yourself

- Reevaluate then reinvent. Reinvent yourself. One should always strive to improve oneself, always. One should want to get better and better. If computers need to be upgraded to cope up with the latest programs/software, we also need to upgrade ourselves with the changing times. Let’s take certain people for example, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg. They failed to complete their college education, but that didn’t stop them from achieving their goals. Amidst the failure, they came to establish their respective companies and became successful people. But they didn’t stop seeking ways to improve themselves and their companies even though they were already successful. Even though they failed in the getting their education, they seek other ways to improve themselves. I’m not saying you quit school (if you’re still in school) and find other ways also. I still believe that education is very important, but let’s admit it, it’s not for all especially in our times. But don’t let your lack of “institutional education” stop you from reaching your goals.
Let us see the other side of the coin, how about professionals who completed their degrees? Well let’s see, for most people who finished college and have their professions, they treat as the end of their education instead of the start.
One should always seek to reinvent themselves - improve! There’s always room for improvement. Even successful companies strive to reinvent themselves from time to time. If not our civilization would not have progressed. Same as with individuals, we must reinvent ourselves in order for us to progress.

  1. Document Your Experience

- Writing actually helps to relieve tension and stress. That’s if you don’t put pressure on yourself how your article would read like. One productive way of coping with failure, is to write about your experiences. You never know, you might be one of the best-selling authors yet. Have you noticed how successful people have written and shared their failures and success stories thru books and articles? Even if they didn’t written it themselves, articles/books written about them center on their life experiences. You might want to consider also documenting your experiences; you might be surprised that you might see a different perspective when you can actually read your own experiences.
This is one way also to help others. If others can read about your experiences even if you’re not yet successful, they can actually learn from your failure and experiences. And be guided not to repeat those mistakes themselves. In a way you’re giving them and yourself as well a guide.
We always read books on “How To’s “, we learn from the experiences of successful people and try to emulate what they’ve done hoping that we would have the same results they had. So why not try to document your own experiences too?

“Don’t accept failure, no matter how often it visits you.”
Now, what are you gonna do when you are the crossroads of failure? Are you gonna stay on your path or would you rather go FORWARD and towards success?
The choice has always been and is always yours.

I hope you have picked up something useful in my article. If you have, please show your appreciation by liking my page on Facebook here.

I would also like to read your comments on my posts here. “Every man/woman I meet is superior to me one way or another, that way I learn of him/her.”

Thank you for taking time to read my post.

Until the next post,

Joel Magsisi

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