Monday, June 27, 2011

Think "Better, Not "Bitter"

Failure is an absolute pre-requisite for success.
You learn to succeed by failing. (Brian Tracy)

Life is full of potholes and we trip every now and then.

No one can tell you he lives a life with uninterrupted victories. We all experience failures, setbacks and losses and we have been wired to respond negatively towards such experiences.

The difference between winners and losers is not that the former experience less failure. The difference lies in their ability to respond to it.

If you are not failing,
you are not pushing yourself enough.

It is all in your mind

Your ability to take failure depends on your mindset. I call this the "Bitter" or "Better" mindset. Check out which is yours.

"Bitter" Mindset

This mindset needs no introduction. Typically, people faced with failure feel lousy and will do anything to avoid having the same feeling again. In doing so, they shy away from any similar attempts. In short, they quit easily.

Are these some of the things you would do when you fail? If so, you have a "Bitter" mindset.
  • Blame someone or something?
  • Feel embarrassed?
  • Give up and concede that you are not good enough?
  • Find excuses to avoid being in the the same situation again?
  • Belittle yourself and focus on your inadequacies?
  • Condemn others who persevere and soldier on?
  • Feel like it is the end of the world?

Successful people turn every failure
into a learning experience
. [pic]

"Better" Mindset

On the contrary, if this is what you tend to do, you have a "Better" mindset.
  • Keep trying the same thing again and again
  • Review past experience to discover failure points
  • Focus on the outcome and not the process of re-attempting
  • Say "I fail because I didn't try hard enough"
  • Review and change strategy
  • Get feedback for improvement and take criticism constructively
  • See failure as part of being successful
  • Remind yourself that successful people failed before they succeed
  • Accept imperfection and believe in the continuum of growth
  • Understand that failure is a discovery of a wrong strategy, not a bad person
  • Accept that it's OK to feel down but will not wallow in misery for too long

In short, a loser takes a failure as a failure. A winner, on the other hand, takes it as feedback.

You really don't have you beat yourself up for failing. [pic]

"Bitter" or "Better"? It's a matter of choice

Thomas Edison took almost 10,000 attempts before inventing the light bulb. He said he found 9,999 strategies which did not work. He then used this feedback to refine his strategy until he succeeded.

The famous story of Thomas Edison is a classic illustration of the difference between a "Bitter" and a "Better" mindset. What kept him from quitting was his amazing "Better" mindset.

Do not curse at your fate

When you fail at something, remember that millions others have experienced the same failure and millions more are going through the very same thing at that moment.

You may think that you have a raw deal. Just picture those who are going through greater challenges in life. Compare your 'raw deal' with their unimaginable experience of being deprived of basic needs: food, love, security, shelter, education and health.

So, don't curse at fate as it is not aiming at you

Your ability to succeed is determined
by your attitude to failing.

Essential Life Skill

While it is important to strive for success, it is even more important to learn how to deal with defeats. Like it or not, there are going to be more failures in life before some successes arrive.

Talk yourself out of "Bitter" mindset. See "Self Dialog: Look Who's Talking?" and 'persuade' yourself to take on a more positive mindset. Learn to take criticism in the good light and benefit from it. See "Go Ahead, Criticize Me" and learn to accept criticism with grace and appreciation.

So remember, if you have not succeeded, it is because you have not failed enough.

Finally, if you are currently going through a rough patch, try and "Get Yourself a "'Cheer Up' First Aid Kit" and do something to "Up Your 'Feel Good Factor'".

"Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent." ~Marilyn Vos Savant~

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