Overcoming Failure, is There a Formula?



Great achievers are people who tenaciously overcame their failures to pursue their dreams!

If you desire to be successful you too must develop a strategy, a formula for overcoming failure.


Here are some tips I believe will help you –


Recognise failure for what it is

Failure is not final, only a temporary set-back, unless you make it final. Delays need not be deadly; pressures need not be permanent. Failure can be viewed as mileage markers on the road to success, how you see failure then is a function of your attitude.

Review your failure in order to learn

William Ward said “Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker, failure is delay not defeat, an important detour not a dead-end street.” When you are able to view failure in this way, it frees you to take the second important step in overcoming failure. You must be able to view failure as an opportunity to learn. Anyone who has ever learnt to play the piano, to cook, to speak in public, start a new business or any new skill has learnt, according to Bill Hybels, by “Failing Forwards.”

Recognise your weakness

The most difficult part of learning from your failures is finding and facing your personal weaknesses which cause mistakes, in fact it’s been said that there aren’t any mistakes only lessons. The process takes genuine honesty and real character, a bit of tenacity also helps, Dr Norman Vincent Peal called it “Stick-to it tiveness” Once you recognise a personal weakness like procrastination it’s time for you to use self-discipline to correct it. History is full of stories of people who overcame weaknesses, difficulties and even disabilities to achieve great success in their lives.

Readjust your efforts

Another important part of this process of overcoming failure involves readjusting your efforts in order to succeed. You cannot overcome failure by repeating the same flawed process over and over, yet that is what some people do. They repeat the same error and expect different results. As Jim Rohn said, “For things to change you have to change, for things to improve you have to improve.”

Re-enter the game

My final point in the strategy for overcoming failure is to encourage you to get back into the game, or else you will never have the opportunity to succeed. Winston Churchill said “Never, never, never give up!” It’s a cliché to say that we learn from our mistakes and I will state the case more strongly than that, I would say you cannot learn without mistakes, it’s all part of the process. It’s a truism that the person who never makes mistakes is probably not attempting anything new in life, not trying to stretch or grow in life. When you live on the cutting edge, you make a great deal of progress and a few mistakes. As you learn new skills you will go far when you accept that progress and mistakes go together toward learning new skills. They play an integral part in your personal development, every time you succeed in a new venture you gain competence and from competence comes confidence, which produces more competence. It’s an upward spiral to living an exciting and interesting life.

Are you in the right game?

And finally, make sure you are doing what you were cut out to do. Are you involved in work or activities that fit your talents and natural gifts? As an example, I love new challenges and working with people, I have been in sales and marketing for many years, not afraid to canvass or do cold calling to get new business, yet my wife and business partner could think of nothing worse than calling on strangers and trying to sell to them. But put her in front of a computer and she will be happy to do the accounting, working with figures and columns and spread sheets analysing profit and loss statements.

So if you enjoy working with your hands, or have an artistic talent then you could make a good artist, interior decorator or a landscape designer. If music turns you on you need to be in that industry. Will you make a good lawyer, doctor, teacher, trainer or engineer? Should you not be sure of your calling then take a look on the internet and you will find sites that will get you to answer a questionnaire. Your answers will indicate what your strengths are and what sort of work will be best for you. An excellent source to try is Strengths Finder 2.0 a book written by Tom Rath. In the back cover of this book is a sealed envelope with a code, you go to his web page and enter this code which then allows you to take the survey after which you receive a comprehensive print-out listing your strengths and guiding you in finding the best work that you are suited for. When you are in the job that you fully enjoy, you will never work a day in your life, it just won’t feel like work, only doing what comes naturally.

No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress. You’re still way ahead of anyone who isn’t even trying.  

The only thing achieved in life without effort is failure!

The person who gets ahead is the one who does more than is necessary and keeps on doing it.


To your success

Martin E Louw

Think and grow Wealthy Healthy and Wise

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