Secrets to Bouncing Back from Failure: Converting Failure Into Success
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One of the most common causes of failure is the behavior of quitting when one is hit with temporary defeat. In fact Thomas Edison declared that, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
After growing Apple to a 2 billion dollar business with 4000 employees, Steve Jobs was fired from the same company that he started. In his speech in 2005 to the graduating class at Stanford University he shared, “We had just released our finest creation-the Macintosh- a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. . I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over. I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.”
Steve Jobs went on to tell how getting fired from Apple allowed him to rekindle his creative energy. His newly created company Pixar would go on to create the most successful animated movie in the world, Toy Story. Apple would later purchase his other company NeXT. The technology he developed with NeXT would become the launching pad for Apple’s current success. ”I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.”
After being fired my job, I can certainly relate to the disappointment that Jobs felt. However, I knew that I could not give up or quit.
So, what are the secrets that kept Steve Jobs and many others who have experienced failure to keep going?
1. Faith-Is complete trust and confidence in something or someone (Webster). Research has shown that a person comes to believe whatever they repeat over and over to one’s self, whether the statement is true or false. Faith is the head chemist of the mind. “Faith is the element, the ‘chemical’ which, when mixed with prayer, gives one direct communication with Infinite Intelligence.” Napoleon Hill . Hill goes on to share a poem about our thinking in his book, Think and Grow Rich:
If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you like to win, but you think you can’t,
It is almost certain you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost.
For out in the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will-
It’s all in the state of mind
If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster,
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can!
In fact research shows that patients who felt they would get better and spoke of the outcome, healed faster than those who did not (McAdams, 2005).
2. Desire- A strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen (Webster). Desire has been characterized as the starting point to any achievement. Jim Collins in his bestseller, Good to Great points out that there is no Plan B for success. “You see the boats going up in smoke. That means that we cannot leave these shores alive unless we win! We now have no choice –we win or we perish!” were the words of a great warrior who had just sailed into enemy country with his troops that were out numbered.
Every person who yearns to succeed at something must be willing to burn their ship and cut off sources for retreat. In doing this, one maintains a state of mind known as a burning desire to succeed. I can remember resigning from a couple of jobs with nothing in place, as a strategy to get myself going after the next position that I really wanted. Staying put in a place of contentment was not an option giving the fact that the bridge behind me was now burning. There was no going back.
3. Persistence- Firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition (Webster). A lack of persistence is one of the top reasons for failure. One must be persistent no matter how slow at first because in doing so one will accomplish their desires. Barriers that get in the way of persistence: procrastination, indecision, blaming others, quitting at first sign of challenge, and fear of what others will think if one experiences temporary failure.
Remember, failure turns to defeat only when you give up. Don’t be give up, keep fighting for your dreams, desires, and passion.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Do you agree or disagree with these three strategies? Let me know what strategies you have used in bouncing back from failure.