Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success We are all failures – at least, all the best of us are. –J.M. Barrie
Text of Learning Point
Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success.
We are all failures – at least, all the best of us are. –J.M. Barrie
Questions to ponder on• What makes achievers excel?• Why do some people skyrocket while others plummet?• What’s the main difference between people who achieve and people who are average?• Why do some people achieve so much?
Likely Answers• Luck• Blessing or the Midas touch • Family background• Wealth• Opportunity• High Morals• The absence of Hardship
All these remain vague without a positive PERCEPTION and RESPONSE to failure.
There are many ways to be a winner, but there is really only one way to be a loser and that is to fail and not look beyond the failure.
Many people Fear Failure, Misunderstand Failure and are unprepared for failure.
Failure is more common than success; Poverty is more prevalent than wealth and Disappointment more normal than arrival.
What People think about failure
People think Failure is avoidable – It’s not: Everybody fails, errs and makes mistakes. If you are a human being, you’re going to make mistakes.
God uses people who fail because there aren’t any other kind around.
People think Failure is objective –It’s not: When you err; whether you miscalculate crucial figures, miss a deadline, make a poor choice concerning your children etc you are the only person who can really label it a failure. Your perception of and response to your mistakes determine whether your actions are failures.
People think failure is an event --- It’s not: Neither failure nor success is a destination. Instead, it is a journey you take. It is a process.
No one can conclude that he has failed until he breathes his last breadth. Until then, he’s still in process.
People think Failure is the enemy – It’s not: Most people try to avoid failure like a plague. They’re afraid of it. But it takes adversity to create success. Somebody once said “ Failure is good; It is FERTILIZER.” Observe any high achiever, and you’ll discover a person who doesn’t see a mistake as the enemy.
People think Failure is final --- It’s not: Even what may appear to be a huge failure doesn’t need to keep you from achieving.
People think Failure is irreversible --- It’s not: There’s an old saying “ It doesn’t matter how much milk you spill as long as you don’t lose your cow.
The problems come when you see only the spilled milk and not the bigger picture.
People think Failure is a stigma --- It’s not: Mistakes are not permanent markers. When you err, don’t let them get you down. And don’t see them as stigmas instead make each failure a step to success.
The truth is that all roads to achievement lead through the land of failure. However, anyone can make it through failure.
Too many people believe that the process is supposed to be easy and in response to that Thomas Edison once said:
‘Failure is really a matter of conceit. People don’t work hard because in their conceit they imagine they’ll succeed without ever making an effort. Most people believe that they’ll wake up some day and find themselves rich. Actually, they’ve got it half right because eventually they do wake up’.
Each of us has to make a choice. Are we going to sleep life away, avoiding failure at all costs? Or are we going to wake up and realize that Failure is simply a price we pay to achieve success.
Seven abilities of Achievers
1. They reject rejection: They are people who don’t give up but keep trying because they don’t base their self-worth on their performance. Instead they have an internally based self-image. Rather than say, “I am a failure”, they say. “I made a mistake.”
2. They see failure as temporary: People who personalize failure see a problem as a hole they’re permanently stuck in. But achievers see any predicament as temporary.
3. They keep expectations realistic: They approach each day with reasonable expectations and so don’t get their feelings hurt when everything doesn’t turn out perfectly.
4. They focus on their strengths: What distinguishes winners from losers is that winners concentrate at all times on what they can do, not what they can’t do.
5. They see failures as isolated incidents: When achievers fail, they see it as a momentary event, not a lifelong epidemic. It’s not personal. If you want to succeed, don’t let any single incident color your view of yourself.
6. They vary approaches to achievement: Achievers are ever willing to vary approaches to problems.
7. They bounce back!!
Achievers are able to keep moving forward no matter what happens. And that’s made possible because they remember that failure does not make them failures.
Moving Forward or Sideways?
To reach your potential, you must know who you are and face your flaws. “Failure is the greatest opportunity I have to know who I really am”. John Killinger.Go through the following processes:
1. See yourself clearly: Most of us do not like to look inside ourselves. We see all the bad and deny the good or see all the good and deny the bad. To reach your potential, you must see both.
2. Admit your flaws honestly: You must take responsibility for who you are as a person. Owning up to what you cannot do(based on skill), should not do (based on talent), and ought not do (based on character).
3. Discover your strengths joyfully: No one ever achieved his dreams working outside his areas of gifting. To excel, do what you do well.
4. Build on those strengths passionately: You will improve only if you enthusiastically develop your God-given abilities. You can reach your potential tomorrow if you dedicate yourself to growth today. Remember, to change your world, you must first change yourself.
Read through this and determine which one describes your approach to failure
Failing Backward Failing Forward
•Blaming others Taking responsibility
•Repeating the same mistakes Learning from each mistake
•Expecting never to fail again Knowing failure is a part of progress
•Expecting to continually fail Maintaining a positive attitude
•Thinking I am a failure Believing something didn’t work
The obstacles you face in life doesn’t matter, what matters is that your life can change if you are willing to look at failure differently. You have the potential to overcome problems , mistakes or misfortunes. All you need do is learn to fail forward. Remember you cannot change your circumstance, you can only change yourself.
Some quotes that might help.
“The fellow who never make mistakes take his orders from one who does”. Herbert V. Brocknow
“No matter what happens to you, the important thing is what happens in you”.
“No matter how dark a person’s past is, it need not color his present permanently”.
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great”.
“A realist is an idealist who has gone through the fire and been purified. A skeptic is an idealist who has gone through the fire and been burned”. Don’t allow the fire of adversity to make you a skeptic. Allow it to purify you.
Lord, deliver me from the man who never makes a mistake, and also from the man who makes the same mistake twice. Dr. William Mayo
“Experience is not what happens to you. Experience is what you do with what happens to you”. Aldous Huxley
“There is no failure, except no longer trying. There is no defeat except from within, no really insurmountable barrier save our own inherent weakness of purpose”. Ken Hubbard
So, the next time you feel like giving up;
Remember,God gave us the past so we can have a place to bury our failures…..