Failure has such a negative stigma, but it can be one of our greatest teachers if we’ll just pay attention and learn with an open mind.  The problem is too many people don’t.  Or won’t.  Here are 10 ways to flip failure from a devastating experience into a powerful advantage.

Overcome fear

Overcoming the fear of failing is the first step towards success.  Tony Robbins said, “No matter how many mistakes you make, or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.”  Some people are just afraid of change, rejection or embarrassment. Fear locks you in your comfort zone and nothing remarkable usually happens there.  You can only make progress if you take that first step and sometimes that leap of faith.  Confront your fears today!

Plan, plan, plan

You have a better chance to succeed in life if you have a plan.  Your plans should ideally be specific, measurable and have deadlines attached to them.  Some goals are ongoing, for example, starting each day with affirmations or waking up at a certain time.  If you are working as part of a team, create team goals together with regular follow up meetings/conference calls and perhaps a computer tracking program to monitor your team’s progress.  Plan to succeed!

Hang in there

There is no substitute for persistence.  Ask any successful person you know and they will have a story to share about how they didn’t give up.  Maybe you just need more direction or help from someone who has done it so seek out a mentor.  Everyone needs some encouragement along their success journey.  When you do achieve the success you’re looking for, be sure that you don’t think you can stop working and live the rest of your life on easy street. You may be able to reduce some hours and stress, but in order to maintain your success there is always effort involved. Stay the course!

Doubt not

Your mind’s unconscious beliefs and self-talk play a significant role in the amount of effort you put into your work.  Read and listen to people that teach positive self-talk.  If you don’t really believe in a successful outcome, you won’t push yourself hard enough to get there.  You must do more than wish and hope for it.  Think back to something that you achieved in the past that you doubted you could do and remember the feeling of success. Believe in yourself!

No excuses, no victims

When you make excuses, you are simply saying, “I’m not in control.”  Making excuses robs you of your personal power.  Don’t allow yourself to become a victim of excuses or blaming others for your failures.  Rise above your circumstances and let failures strengthen you.  The next time you experience a setback or challenge, don’t make an excuse; see it as a challenge, learn from it and move on.  Be strong!

Walk the talk

Have you ever been around someone that is a great talker, but they don’t seem to be able to turn their words into actions?  How much time are you personally spending dreaming or talking about what you want to do?  Of course some talk is necessary and productive, but enough talk already. Act!

Just do it already

You have your plans in place and are just waiting for the right time. Waiting for the perfect moment is like waiting for rain in early Summer in Phoenix.  It’s most likely not going to happen.  Waiting for this magical window of opportunity is procrastinating and making the ultimate excuse about why you haven’t acted yet.  Do it now!

Look up, not down

Negativity breeds negativity.  It can become a habit that is hard to break.  Stop hanging around or limit your time with negative people.  This can be a hard thing to realize, but if you are one of those negative people, then maybe others don’t want to be around you.  When you feel the urge to say something negative just bite your tongue.  Be positive!

Roll up your sleeves

All of us have heard the story about a tech entrepreneur selling an app overnight for millions of dollars.  That entrepreneur may have created 30 unsuccessful apps before that.  Thinking we can get rich or became a star overnight is one of the ways we can have unrealistic expectations and give up when it doesn’t happen.  This can also lead to the belief that you don’t have to work hard to achieve your dreams.  The idea that you just need a lucky break can cause you to be cynical, jealous or think that life is unfair when you aren’t “lucky”.  Thomas Jefferson said, “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.”  Work hard!

Don’t ignore your gut

Have you ever had that bad feeling deep down in your gut? You know the one that I’m talking about. Remember the last time that you ignored your gut and things fell apart?  Be in tune with and respect your gut feelings.  No matter how badly you want something, it can be detrimental to ignore those gut feelings. Listen!

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