Most people get hung up on what went wrong. They see the failure of their past attempts and it paralyzes their movement forward. Growing up under the social pressure of success and incessant attempts to satisfy other people’s expectations of you (beginning with your parents) instill deep fears of failure – a subconscious belief that trying and not succeeding is somehow worse than not trying at all. “Lay low, avoid risk and your face will be saved.”
The truth is the most successful people have fallen down on their way to success more times that you can count on. That’s why they’re thriving today. They took every wrong left turn; and when that didn’t work out, they tried every right turn. And if that still didn’t produce the results, they tried to go straight. Eventually they figured out what the right move was. They tested their own theories. I call it the ART OF REDIRECTING.
Let me give you an example. You tried XYZ with your prospects, but you didn’t succeed. What could you learn from that? Perhaps that your clients would respond better to ABC. Why not test that theory?
Let’s say ABC worked out. You gained a valuable experience and new strategy that works. Boom! Keep implementing that.
But what if it didn’t? The ABC campaign flopped instead. I say it’s not a big deal. It sounds like a new lesson and time to redirect again. What did you learn from that? Perhaps you concluded that it would take a combination of X and B to make it work. You decided to test it again. It worked! Congratulations. Now, you’re a success. Just a few minor redirections along the way.
It’s like learning how to walk. How many times did you end up on your bum before you got it right? If falling was a failure, there wouldn’t be any people walking on Earth at this time. We would just be crawling to avoid “failure” of falling down.
Embrace all trials that didn’t immediately produce the results you wanted or expected. They were part of a bigger story called “You The Expert.” See the progress you’ve made. How did you use the knowledge of your trials to plan your next move? What new strategies did you implement?
Your expertise of WHAT TURNS NOT TO TAKE is just as valuable as which ones to pursue. It reminds me of my mother teaching me how to drive for the first time. She would give me all these tips: “Don’t press hard on a break if you’re on the ice if you don’t want the car to slide,” or “Look over your shoulder before your turn or you can hit a blind spot.” I was a bit irritated with all those do’s and dont’s. Then she looked at me and asked: “Why try to reinvent the wheel if others already did? Do you need to repeat my mistakes to become an expert at safe driving?”
My view is IT AIN’T FAILURE IF YOU LEARNED SOMETHING. Embrace your expertise. You might even want to share it with others.
Most importantly – GET OFF YOU BUM AND KEEP WALKING. EVEN IF IT’S WOBBLY AT TIMES. One day you might end up teaching others how to walk based on your “failures.” How do you think I became that smart? 😊