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Life Lessons

Stop Failure From Defining You

November 3, 2016
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I have experienced failure at many things in life than I care to remember and endured pain, shame, discouragement as a direct result of these failures. Consequently, such encounters have lead to strong desires of quitting and I have often found myself, turning inwards, trying to figure out what was wrong with me? Why is it that other people always seemed to succeed at what they set out to do and I simply struggled? How is it that I had aspired to do something positive with my life and yet never quite got there. Img via:one 


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Such self-examination carried with it, it’s own line of scrutiny, questioning and uncertainty.space‘Was I good enough?’ Was I ever going to get the opportunity I always wished for?’ ‘Did I have what it took to actually achieve my ambitions?’

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By all standards, this perception of myself in relation to what I deemed as ‘failing’ was demoralising and at the best of times, undermining of my abilities. Not to mention, it was detrimental to my own self-belief and esteem.

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Yet when I look back now, on all these episodes during the course of my adulthood, I am embraced by a sense of enlightenment, insight and gratitude.

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I have come to the realisation that in order to feel empowered by life’s lessons ‘good and not so good’ I am required to comprehend their true purpose in life. >

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Otherwise, I leave myself at risk of self-contempt. Of Course, some may say, this is easier said than done and in some cases it is.

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The level of pain, shame and a sense of loss that is accompanied by certain situations, such as a failed business, a breakdown in marriage, a loss of a job, a stagnant career, unsuccessful job interviews can be excruciating and hard to bear. 

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However, like most things in life, it all falls down to perception. How you perceive what is happening in your life right now is critical to how you are able to move forward.

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It can either defeat you or make you aware of changes that need incorporating, in order to gain peace, satisfaction and ultimately success.


As the famous Samuel Smiles once put it “We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably those who never made a mistake never made a discovery.”Dailygood


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So take failure as an opportunity to make changes, get wiser, be smarter and use it to achieve your goals. Below are a few pointers to keep in mind next time you feel like you are in the midst of dealing with a failure.

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failure55@tommyton

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1. START BY ASKING YOURSELF: BY WHOSE STANDARDS DO YOU DEFINE YOUR FAILURE?


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This may seem like a straightforward question but nevertheless, one that is imperative. We are often programmed from a very young age to conform to ideologies of what is considered desirable, acceptable and how we can make that our reality.

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Evidently, these expectations, sets of beliefs & opinions become very influential in the manner in which, we view ourselves. And how we determine what constitutes as success or failure in our lives.spaceWe tend to align our aspirations and ultimately the life goals we set out to achieve, based on what is considered the ‘ideal’ thing to do, to become or to accomplish.

failurefailurefailureA great example is the idea of completing a high-level education in what is normally regarded as an impressive subject area. Law, Medicine, Engineering, Accounting and so forth.

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Then going on to land a well-paying job in a reputable company, working your way up the corporate ladder, getting married, having x number of kids, getting a mortgage then retiring with an amazing pension. >space

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Now, imagine the implications of not being able to live up to any of those expectations or going against the norm? So you start out well on the assigned path but midway through, you conclude it’s just not for you.

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Instead of completing med school you decide your true passion is in freelance writing and proceed to quit medicine. How would others – family, friends, colleagues, mentors, respond to this decision?

failurefailurefailureIf their reaction was negative, how would you internalise this and process it? Would that make you feel any less than about your life? Or that you were failing at something?

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Would you feel like you have failed because you are walking away from the norm of what is expected of you or would you feel like you are succeeding because you are finally doing something that you love?

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A  Simple Note To Self

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Before allowing emotions of failure to overwhelm you. It is important to distinguish whether what you are experiencing is true, failure according to your own definitions and self-expectations.

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More often than not, you will realise that what you tend to process as failure is actually based on what other people think, their opinions and reactions.

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And not necessarily, based on what is important to you. Define what your own success looks like and let this be the driving force behind your life decisions >

What are your Insights? 

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What would you say is your definition of failure in your life and have you ever felt like you failed in something because of what other people thought? spacespacePlease feel free to share your thoughts and tips in the comments box below. We would love to hear from you.failurefailurefailureRecommended Article

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The feeling of failure can lead to giving up on your dreams. Below is a recommended article on 4 things to remember when you feel like giving up on your dreams.

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1.4 Things To Remember When You Feel Like Giving Up On Your Dreamsfailurefailurefailure

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anaria
@tommyton

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2. CAPTURE YOUR REAL FAILURE, GRIEVE IT & ALLOW IT TO TEACH YOU A THING OR TWO


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Failure is when you think you are doing everything right and it goes horribly wrong.

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Once you reach a conclusion that the ‘failure’ you are experiencing is actually based on your own dream, own aspirations & own expectations, then you need to give yourself time to fully grieve.

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Don’t pretend everything is ok, even when you are in pain or feeling disappointment. This can only prolong the experience. >

Acknowledge what you had control over and equally, what you had no control over.

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Don’t focus on placing blame, being in denial or trying to justify your own mistakes. Instead, aim to use these aspects of your experience as vessels to learn from.

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Every time you are tempted to look at why something happened, follow it up with what you are going to do about it and most importantly what you are going to do differently next time?


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A  Simple Note To Selfspacespace

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Failure is inevitable and nobody – not even the most brilliant – is immune to it. It is crucial to learn how to deal with it and overcome it, in the most positive manner possible.  This can be done by:spacespacespace

  1. Acknowledging it – Don’t allow denial to take placespace
  2. Realising that failure is part of the process. And there is no getting around that law of life. Until you attain what you deem as successful, every try before that point will be deemed as a failure. The trick is in recognising that failure has a part to play in this equation too.spaceEvery time you fail, you get a clue into what needs doing differently. Implement that into your strategy and this will get you closer to the ideal point you call ‘success.’space
  3. Embracing the process, Learning from it and moving on. When we hear the word ‘failure,’ we associate it all sorts of negative connotations and do everything we can to avoid it. Some of it with good reason, but being overly conscious can also be quite detrimental to growth as it means we miss important opportunities.spaceSimply because we are frozen by the fear of failure. Trying is always better than not trying. So plan to the best of your abilities to manage risk but also be open to dealing with those blind spots that are unforeseen.space

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What are your Insights? space

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It is a sensitive issue but how you effectively deal with failure when it occurs in your life. Please feel free to share your thoughts and tips in the comments box below. We would love to hear from you

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@oraclefox

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3. DON’T LET FAILURE DEFINE YOU – INSTEAD APPLAUD YOURSELF FOR TRYING


A  Simple Note To Self

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Failure is capable of leaving a bitter and negative residual if not dealt with appropriately.spaceJust because something in one area of your life, did not work out, does not mean you are genetically unlucky, a bad person, unintelligent, will always fail, are going nowhere in life or deserve everything bad that happens to you.

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Remember, that sometimes you just don’t have control over what happens in life. And that’s ok, just don’t let it define your character. >

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A failed relationship, redundancy, unemployment, unsuccessful business etc, can make anyone feel like a failure because most times we define ourselves by how well we do in these areas of our lives.

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And when we fail, our identity is questioned. But you have to learn not brush the paint of ‘failure’ all over the different areas in your life.

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Just because your business is making a loss or was shut down, doesn’t make you a bad mother, sister etc. Isolate that incident in its entirety, focus on what you can learn from it and give yourself  5 stars for your efforts during the process.


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What are your Insights? 

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Have you ever allowed an isolated case of failure to trickle down in the other areas of your life? Please feel free to share your thoughts and tips in the comments box below. We would love to hear from you
spaceRecommended Articles

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The feeling of failure can lead to giving up on your dreams. Below is a recommended article on 4 things to remember when you feel like giving up on your dreams.

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1.4 Things To Remember When You Feel Like Giving Up On Your Dreams


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Thank You For Your Visit

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We appreciate you taking the time out to visit Anaria. If you found this post useful, be sure to share it with you family, friends, colleagues or people you may know that are in need of a word of encouragement. You might just be the person that makes a difference to their day. Have a very blessed day. 

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