You may have read all the self-help books and the autobiographies of men like Abraham Lincoln who failed all their lives and finally succeeded. It all seems so positive and feel good until you fail. One of Mike Tyson’s most famous quotes is, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” There’s just no denying that failure is a bitter pill to swallow. It doesn’t matter how many times you fail, you’ll still feel that twinge of disappointment or some anger when your best-laid plans collapse.
Usually, the most successful people are also the ones who are best at coping with failure. The reason for this is that they fail more than most people but they just never give up. That also means that they do more than most other people who quit the moment failure knocks on their door. There are many ways to cope with failure but you must understand that it is going to hurt when you fail.
Sometimes it may feel like the only thing you ever learn from a failure is that you failed. While this is not true, it will seem that way. We are all human and no one likes to see their efforts go to waste. It could be a business venture that collapses. Or maybe your relationship with your spouse crumbles and is beyond repair. Maybe your health takes a turn for the worse despite living a healthy lifestyle. All of these are events.
Understanding this point makes all the difference between handling failure successfully or letting it break you. A failure is an event, not a person. Like they say, never let success get to your head and never let failure get to your heart. It will hurt and there will be a disappointment but you must embrace the experience and push forward. Success is not final and failure is not fatal. As long as you’re breathing you still can turn your failures into successes.
It’s time to discover the 7 secrets that successful people use to cope with failure.
Different individuals may do it differently but the general rule of thumb is this – Failure is always temporary. Failure is not the opposite of success. It is part of success. Now let’s look at how you can cope with it when it comes your way… and you can rest assured that it will. So be prepared.
1. Don’t take it personally
This is the biggest mistake that most people make. They blame themselves when things go wrong. Or they blame other people. When you do not separate failure from how you identify yourself, then your self-esteem will drop and you’ll be much more tempted to quit.
People usually quit on their dreams because they don’t believe that they’re capable of achieving what their hearts desire. They feel that it’s too hard and the reason they feel that way is because they may have failed. For example, when someone is trying to lose weight and watching their diet closely, there will be times when they give in to temptation and eat something they shouldn’t. When this happens, they feel guilt and regret that they failed at maintaining their diet.
What do they do then? They toss their diet aside and gorge themselves on food that they’re not supposed to. They believe that they lack the self-discipline to stay focused and lose weight… Just because of one temporary lapse in judgment. This is ridiculous and it’s like accidentally dropping your mobile phone once only to pick it up and keep smashing it on the ground over and over because of one accident. It doesn’t make sense… and yet people act similarly.
When you fail at something, whether it’s with your blog or your email marketing or if your latest product launch is a flop, do not assume that you’re useless and just throw in the towel. What defines you is how well you rise after falling. So the most important point to note is that you should not let failure define you as a person. Always know that you can do better.
2. Learn From Your Mistakes
All the most successful people have learned from their mistakes and try not to repeat them. Failure can also be treated as feedback. If some aspect of your online business fails, ask yourself why this happened. For example, if your product launch was a flop, there must be a reason why. Was your niche unprofitable? Did the sales page convert poorly? Did you not actively recruit affiliates?
An analysis is very important so that you do not repeat the same errors. This is the only way to make progress and succeed. Michael Eisner, the Chairman and CEO of the Disney Corporation said, “Failure is good as long as it doesn’t become a habit.”
The only way to prevent failure from becoming a habit is to take stock of your situation, learn from your mistakes and adapt. Try to maintain a certain degree of detachment so that you can evaluate your failure without feeling bitter. Sometimes it might be a good idea to take a break for a short while and come back to it when you’re feeling better. Either way, ALWAYS analyze your failures.
3. Stop Dwelling On Your Failures
You may have noticed that all some people can talk about is how life has treated them so badly. No matter what they do, they fail at it due to bad luck or unforeseen circumstances. We’ve all seen people like these… and while you may not know why these things happen to them, you know that things like these always seem to happen to people like them. Harsh but very true. Do not dwell on your failures.
Analyze them and move on. You have better things in store for you. Missed out on an opportunity? No worries. Better ones are coming your way. Product launch flopped? That’s ok the next one will sell thousands. Picked the wrong niche to monetize? No big deal. You now know how to find niches with people waiting to buy stuff. Problem solved.
It is inevitable to lose time, effort and money when something fails. If you keep focusing on what is lost, you’ll never be able to focus on what you can gain and there is so much more out there for you.
Focus on the positive and bury your failures.
4. Model Other Marketers
There’s a saying that you should always learn from the mistakes of others because you’ll never live long enough to make them all yourself. When trying to build an online business, instead of believing all the hype that you see in all the info products that flood the market, you’d be better off watching what the successful marketers are doing. Do what they do and not what they say.
Most beginners to online marketing encounter failure repeatedly because they follow untested theory and blindly believe what they read or hear. You have to be smarter than that. If whatever you’re doing seems to be failing, then you need to look at what other marketers who are succeeding are doing then model them.
That alone will reduce your learning curve and put you on the path to online success. Stop being like a housefly that repeatedly bangs its head on the window hoping to get out when the door is wide open for it to go through.
5. Assess Your Finances
One of the biggest concerns marketers have, when they fail, is that they’ve lost money. Creating a product costs money. Testing out ads costs money. Outsourcing costs money. There is no getting away from this. To run any business you need money. It’s like oxygen for your business and without it, your business will shrivel up and die. So, you must have a source of income coming in to tide you over if any online endeavor fails.
Some marketers quit their day jobs to make their online business work. When the business fails and the bills start piling up, they start getting desperate. At times like these, you just may need to get another job to get back on your feet. Do not feel like you have failed and are doomed to a life of ‘working for the man.’ This is just a temporary setback and like Joel Osteen, always says, “A setback is a set up for a comeback.”
Go ahead and take that job. It will feel like retrogression but you must understand that even a tiger crouches before it leaps. Once you have money coming in, the pressure that your finances are causing you will ease. You’ll be able to save up some money to keep funding your online business. That’s really how it is. Sometimes you just don’t have a choice.
Do not throw your efforts down the drain and quit online marketing just because you failed a couple of times. As long as you keep learning and doing, success is inevitable.
6. Release the Need for Approval from Others
This is a very common fear and makes failure seem worse than it is. People often worry about what others will think or say about them when they fail. You’ll indeed have friends and family members who will tell you, “I told you so!” when you fail. Some of them may even take pleasure in it. This is human nature. It could even be your spouse or parents who don’t support your dreams.
When you fail and see their disapproving looks or hear their sarcastic words, it can seem worse. The truth of the matter is that you only have one life to live and you need to live it for yourself. It doesn’t matter what others say or think about you. Just because others think you’re dumb for failing doesn’t mean that you’re foolish.
How people see you should have zero impact on how you see yourself. Have faith in yourself and don’t pay heed to the naysayers.
Time heals all wounds. Sometimes when failure gets to you, it may be time to take a break and put some space between you and your business. This will help to clear your mind so that you can think objectively. While taking a break, you can self-reflect and think about your plans. You may decide to have backup plans to correct any future failures or problems that may crop up.
Take the time to exercise. Research has shown that hard training like boxing, Crossfit, sprinting, etc. helps people to release pent up frustration and anger. This can be therapeutic when coping with failure. Instead of hitting the bottle, you can hit a punching bag or lift heavy weights explosively during CrossFit sessions. Do what suits you best.
What is most important is that you not let failure make you quit. That is the most common consequence of failure. People fail a few times and they quit. If you read the story of Colonel Sanders, you’d realize that he was turned down 1,009 times before he finally found someone who would use his recipe. Walt Disney was turned down over 300 times before he received financing for Disney World.