How to Succeed by Focusing on Failure

We all experience a fear of failure at some point in our lives, right? Unless, of course, you were born with perfect self-esteem or had a supportive family or something 😉 Impostor syndrome is real, as the hundreds of millions of TikTok views to the hashtag demonstrates. So how do you succeed by focusing on failure? Here are some helpful strategies.

Reframe Your “Failures”

Nelson Mandela famously said, “I never lose. I either win or I learn.” Were truer words ever spoken? It’s okay to try and not succeed. Most successful people — whether that’s in business, relationships, or other areas of life — fail multiple times before they achieve success.

What’s important is your mindset. If you reframe your failures as a learning opportunity, you have the chance to change your mindset about failure. Instead of berating yourself, you will comes to see every “failure” as a win because it brought you experience (hopefully).

Face Your Fears

After a failure, have you ever had the thought, “Well, I’m never trying that again”? The first time I bombed at standup, I decided I would never get onstage again. (Spoiler alert: I did.) The next time I got up, I didn’t bomb, and it left a better taste in my mouth.

No one is awesome at everything 100 percent of the time. But the people who succeed face their fear of failure head on and keep battling it until they win. If a fear of failing is holding you back, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, but you need to run head on into that fear. Show it who’s boss and find success through failure.

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Don’t Give Up

Again, it can be tempting to just jump ship after a perceived failure. But giving up never got anyone what they wanted. Focus on your attitude about what you’re doing. Is it something you really want? Then don’t let setbacks stop you. Celebrate small steps. And don’t give up until you’ve gotten where you want to go.

Figure out the Cause

Did you fail because you weren’t prepared enough? Or was it because you were so scared you self-sabotaged? Or maybe your timing wasn’t great. Most successful people will tell you that timing plays an enormous role in success.

If you can, step back and analyze the failure. Was there something you could have done differently? Analyzing a failure can help establish some distance, so you can view it objectively and hopefully remove some of the bad feelings there.

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Take a Pause

It can be hard to go right back into trying something after you’ve experienced a loss. Be kind to yourself and, if necessary, take a break. I cannot tell you how many times a year I quit something after a setback (writing, acting, comedy, whatever), and end up missing it in a few weeks. Distance can create perspective, allow you to process, and dive back in when you’re ready.

Own Your Part, But Don’t Lower Your Goals

This may take some distance (see last paragraph), but look at your situation honestly and ask yourself what part you played in the failure. Odds are there is something you could do differently to change the outcome. That being said, don’t dull your ambitions just because you don’t achieve something the first, fourth, tenth, or hundredth time. If you really want it, keep your eyes on your endgame and make it happen.

What are some of your strategies to succeed by focusing on failure? Leave me a comment or shoot me a note and let me know!