The 3 Components To Succeed At Failing!
“Success is often just failing until you get it right.” The C-Master
Why You Need To Learn How To Succeed At Failing
Life is all about chance. There’s risk and reward and it is often up to us to evaluate risk and reward. We have to look at the payoff versus the chance we take. If it is too much of an imbalance, we decide not to bother and to do something else. What is never mentioned is that failure is something that is a skill in and of itself. It is often how one recovers from failure and approaches failure that determines their chance of success. It sounds odd to say it at first but it is true no matter how contradictory it seems.
When you try to do something in life, especially out of your comfort zone, there is a good chance you will fail at it. The quicker you recover from failure and learn from it, the more chances you can take. The more chances you take, the more you increase your chances at succeeding. When you realize you can maximize your chances by taking more swings at the bat, you start to change your approach.
1. Take An Experimental Approach To Failure
In life we’re taught that failure is bad and that we are incompetent if we do it. In reality we should take failure with an clinical approach. In other words we should look at things we’re attempting to do as a series of experiments, and your approach towards that experiment as a test. For instance say you’re advertising in your business. You might try a variety of approaches. You will almost certainly fail at first. If you fail and get quickly discouraged you will give up and the effort will be for naught. However if you look at what you’re doing as a series of tests where you try something and evaluate before moving on, it will change the way you do things for the better.
Let’s say my advertising produced poor results and I didn’t reach my market.
1. Do it again without changing anything.
2. Give up.
3. Learn from it and adjust a few things and try again.
Your best approach would be the third option. Once you take this approach to getting out of your comfort zone, you’ll succeed much quicker whether it’s business or working on your social skills. Learn to mitigate the pain of failure and treat it as an experience rather than as a negative thing about you.
2. Adjust After Failing
As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the best way to handle failure is to see what went wrong after testing something and then doing it again with a few adjustments. Perhaps your advertising didn’t work because you targeted the wrong demographic. Perhaps your call to action wasn’t good enough. On this site I’ve experimented (and I’m still experimenting with) many avenues to see what works when it comes to generating traffic. When one doesn’t give me the result I want, I move on. Schedule, plan, and write these things down so you know in the future what works.
Failure is also important in the free market system. It tells us where to allocate resources. If I do something properly and satisfy my customers, I’m rewarded with profit. If my product or service isn’t satisfactory or reaching enough people, I suffer a loss. This is important because it is a signal to do something different or to take a different approach. Many times failure can lead to a success. Sometimes failing at one idea leads to another idea that generates success. Many times failure can in fact be an inspiration for the next thing that succeeds. Many of the world’s most successful people failed many times before their big idea that made them wealthy and famous came into fruition.
3. Try the PAFA Approach
One approach I like to suggest is the PAFA approach. This approach is based on planning, attempting, failing, and adjusting, in that order.
1. Planning: Make a plan and don’t rush in blindly. You want to have a dedicated course of action. What will you do, how will you do it? What is your method and the goal you plan on reaching? Don’t take too long trying to make things perfect; what’s important is that you take action. Make a plan of action and then immediately test it, like a science experiment.
2. Attempting: This is the part where you actually go out and *do* something. Get out of your comfort zone and make an attempt to do it. Whether it is business related or something social like asking out someone you like, this is that part where you have to dive in. Expect to fail (even the best don’t have a 100% success rate) and then adjust and adapt off of it. You’ll eventually develop a method with experience, which is why trying is so important.
3. Failing: This is the part people don’t like. When you fail you need to evaluate what you did and what you could improve on. Perhaps you targeted the wrong audience, or perhaps you had a bad call to action. This part is important because if you don’t evaluate and adjust you’ll never learn and improve. This is what separates the ones who succeed in the long run vs. the ones who don’t.
4. Adjusting: Take your evaluation and then make the adjustment. At this point you loop back to step one until you get the results you desire. When you do, make the adjustments to keep what’s beneficial and discard the things that aren’t.
Make The Change
This should become a lifestyle habit for anything you want to do. Focus on how to fail successfully and constantly test yourself by getting out of your comfort zone regularly. Once you do this you’ll find your success rate not only increase, but you’ll get there faster. Do what most people are unwilling to do and start failing. Being a failure isn’t always a bad thing… as long as you learn from it and succeed.
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