Learning to deal with and overcome failure


Few paths to success are uninterrupted by challenges or failures along with way. In many cases, if you’re not experiencing some failures along the way, you’re really not trying that hard.

This article presents some very useful tips regarding ways to deal with failures. The general theme of the article is captured here:

A successful response to failure is all in your approach. In a study recently published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, researchers found that success in the face of failure comes from focusing on results (what you hope to achieve), rather than trying not to fail. While it’s tempting to try and avoid failure, people who do this fail far more often than those who optimistically focus on their goals.

This sounds rather easy and intuitive, but it’s very hard to do when the consequences of failure are severe. The researchers also found that positive feedback increased people’s chances of success because it fueled the same optimism you experience when focusing solely on your goals.

The people who make history — true innovators — take things a step further and see failure as a mere stepping stone to success. Thomas Edison is a great example. It took him 1,000 tries to develop a light bulb that actually worked. When someone asked him how it felt to fail 1,000 times, he said, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”

The quote from Thomas Edison expresses the appropriate attitude, particularly for those that aim high with their career.


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