“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed” – Michael Jordan. Everyone fails. In different aspects of our lives. And most of the time, it’s the most successful people that have failed the most. Failure is necessary for success, because it teaches us more than success ever will. Everytime we fail, we learn two things: 1. The reason why we failed. 2. That we can bounce back from that failure. But it may surprise you to discover that majority of our failures are caused by ourselves. If we took a little more care, did a little more research and put a little more thought into what we wanted to do, we could avoid most of these failures. A clear example of this is with startups. A staggering 90% of startups fail and the majority of them fail for the same reason: there is no market for the products or services they provide. This is an issue that could be solved fairly easily by doing a little more market research. This would tell you just how much that service is needed.
In most instances, if the listed causes of failure could be avoided by companies and individuals, their chances of succeeding would increase considerably.
These are the 7 main reasons why we fail.
- We lack focus: To improve our focus, there are 3 things we must do. The first is to clearly define what success is for us.
Also read: 7 things successful people do before 9 am.
This definition will vary from person to person, so it will probably be unique for most of us. The second is to break down the path to achieving this success into the fewest possible number of goals we would then focus on achieving. Ensure that your goals aren’t too many, because that will just overwhelm you and splinter your focus up in too many directions. Finally, we must state clearly to the teams we work with these goals and why they are so important.
- We lack persistence: A lot of other people fail, not because they lack the talent or knowledge needed for success, but because they give up too soon. Persistence is necessary for success, because the first few attempts will most likely result in failure. The saying “I didn’t fail, i just found a way that doesn’t work” also applies here. When you try again, make a point of changing your approach and your methods based on what you’ve learnt from past experience. Doing the same things over and over with the expectation of different results won’t get you anywhere.
- We lack accountability: Oftentimes the leadership is to blame when issues of accountability arise, but the truth is that accountability starts from them and then moves down the line. If the people in charge can take responsibility when it’s required of them, the employees further down the line will take cues from them and stop passing the buck among themselves.
- We lack discipline: “We must all suffer one of two things – the pain of discipline or the pain of regret” – Jim Rohn. if there is one thing we all can identify with, it’s unaccomplished goals. Unaccomplished not because we couldn’t achieve them, but more because we were not disciplined enough to see them through. Laziness, procrastination and inability to stick to our guns in the face of challenges are what prevents so many of us from achieving. Discipline doesn’t come overnight – it takes hard work and time, but when we form a habit of committing to a task till it’s finished, the rewards will be worth all the effort we put in.
- Refusal to learn from past mistakes: Smart people call their mistakes experience. Others refuse to acknowledge them. When you make mistakes, take a step back to analyze what led to it and why that approach didn’t work. Some people live and learn while others only live. Refusal to learn from past mistakes only means you were as you were before the error and given the same circumstances, would make the same mistakes again.
- We’re afraid to be unique: To achieve something great, you must face adversity. First of all from the people closest to you. This is mostly because when you break away from the crowd to achieve on your own, it makes people critical of their own complacency. They begin to look at themselves and honestly analyze why they could not seek to also follow the path less traveled. They then lash out at you, with criticism and discouragement. Some may even go as far as telling you why you will fail and why you should quit. If you must succeed at something different,something that isn’t mainstream or regular, you must be comfortable with your uniqueness. Criticism will be brutal, unfair and most probably come from those closest to you. Don’t let this throw you off your game.
Also read: Coping with fear of failure: lessons from Elon Musk.
- We don’t believe we deserve what we want: Steven Chobsky, author of “The perks of being a wallflower” said in the book “we accept the kind of love we think we deserve”. Most people don’t think they deserve to have good things. They don’t believe they deserve to be famous or great or wealthy. Some people, when they succeed feel like kings, others feel like frauds. We must rid ourselves of this mentality that we don’t deserve to succeed. If you’ve worked for it, then you most definitely deserve to have it.