For the purpose of this article, I will define failure as a person’s inability to achieve or meet a set goal.
The thing about life and the world as a whole is that it is purpose driven or purpose oriented. The first step we take when we wake up every morning is the step towards actualizing our dreams, aspirations and purpose.
Little wonder why the word race is attached to every skin color God created: the white race and the black race. Both races collectively called the human race.
This means that every human being walking the face of this earth is in a race towards a set goal. And just like it is in every racing competition, there are no perpetual winners winners nor losers–sometimes we lose and sometimes we win.
The question is: Why do some people fail while others succeed?
Does it mean that those who succeed are super human or does it mean that those who fail are fated to fail?
Come with me as we look at some possible reasons why some people fail and also how to get over a failure.
Excess confidence causes failure.
Ever heard the saying that “over confidence kills even the smartest rat”? Some people fail because they have searched through and through their mind and saw no avenue for failure. So instead of pushing for more or even protecting their already achieved success, they choose to ‘relax’.
Every success is like a running wheel; for it to continue running, it must be lubricated.
there is absolutely nothing wrong with being confident about your capabilities and skills, but you need to realize that no skill is elusive to one person.
Everywhere you look there is a competition. Question is: do you even know that you have a competition?
Many a times, these competitions are oblivious to us because we feel that we are in a league of our own.
Sometimes we are so unobservant that we consider a growing tree a grass or even a weed until it becomes so big—sometimes by our nurturing—and then begins to compete for the available natural resources.
A lot of great business tycoons have been dethroned by the people they least expected because they let their business strategy get into the wrong ears. They did that because they think that only they can pull off that strategy.
It might interest you to know that the worst kind of competition is the silent competition, because this type of competitor is not competing to be at par with you. Instead, they compete to overtake you completely.
Disregard for rules and authority breeds failure.
Some people have what I call a natural disdain for authority or a disregard for process.
When this type of people goes into a field, they usually go with a character ethic that screams:
- I have it all figured out.
- I don’t observe the law because I am the law.
- I know you have an opinion but I don’t want to hear it.
What this type of people doesn’t realize is that for anybody to attain that height of independence in any field, that person must first of all pass through the apprentice phase.
Because of this display of ignorance by this type of people, they make silent enemies; other people in their field sideline them. As a result, a lot of information regarding recent development and occurrences elude them.
It is true that you could be a game changer. But before you make that move you need to understand that the “game” that you are trying to change was invented by somebody else who already has fans. So if you must change it, you have to do it in a way that does not question the intelligence of the person or people before you–accord them their deserving respect.
Not showing regard for the process is like playing the keys to a beautiful song but tapping the wrong note or navigating a city with the wrong map.
Avoid that loneliness that causes failure by showing some respect to whch it is due.
Working outside of your life’s calling causes failure.
One of the most heart breaking and time wasting activities that anyone can engage in is chasing a dream that is outside of their life’s calling. Nothing could be a better recipe for a devastating failure more than an ambition that is not interwoven with ones destiny because no matter how hard that person chases it, they can hardly catch it.
It is true that some people are multi-talented, and if you are one of those people then I invite you to do this mental exercise with me:
I want you take a moment and analyze all your talents. If you observed closely, then you would have noticed that they are all related. Hence, they can only be channeled into achieving one destiny.
Want to read a funny story? OK it goes thus:
When I was younger, I had this dream of sharing the same stage with the likes of Rihana.
I nursed this dream because:
- I am a good song writer.
- I love music to the bone.
Of course this reasons seems quite legit and even rational, but as I proceed, you will see the flaw in it all, stay with me.
So I wrote a few good songs and then went into the studio for the voice recording. Those moments in the studio turned out to be one of my worst moments, ever. Shout out to those producers who worked with me; who had to go through all that torture without complaining, lol, very professional producers.
After each horrible recording session I would look in the mirror and say to myself “OK, you just have to work a little more on your voice, you can do this”. So, I would grab a couple of Rihana songs and listen to it 24/7 trying to imitate her pitch. After some practices I would go back to the studio and torture those producers some more, hahahahaha…lol. I went on with this shenanigan for a long time..
See, that is the thing about me, I hardly give up. Sometimes I think it is a problem, lol.
Of course, I understand the whole “never give up” mantra. But I want you to understand that there is a thin line between being tenacious and wasting your time. And if you must make it young in life, you need to be able to recognize that line when you get to it.
So, later on I came to an epiphany: That I am a good song writer does not mean that I am or will be a good singer.
Remember what I said earlier that if you look closely, you will notice that all your talent are related, hence, should land you in a particular career.
Take me for instance, I am writing this article and remember that i said that i am also a good song writer.
What does that entail? It entails that I am good at writing not singing. So if I wanted to be in the music industry, I could have chosen a career in song writing, not in singing, then build on that.
One of the things that cause failure in life is our inability to build on what we have. Every empire in the world today was built on what is, not on fantasies.
Working outside of your life’s calling can cause failure in more ways than one. the time wasted alone can cause a heart attack when you think about it.
Lack of confidence causes failure.
There are two types of failure:
- Failure from an unsuccessful venture
- Failure from not venturing, at all.
As human beings, it is common for us to dream. But what is not common is the audacity to go for it. 60% of a person’s success lies with that person’s ability to say “yes, I can”.
Some people fail because they second-guess themselves. While some people achieve mediocre success because people expect them to; so the same people lower the bars to help them over and they get over using the low bar or standards that other people have set for them.
I don’t think that there is any such thing as accidental maximum success. Every maximum success is a bi-product of a calculated plan laced with the right dose of confidence.
Bad timing breeds failure.
Of course, bad timing can be detrimental to a person’s success.
Look at it this way: the reason why some people check the weather before going out is not because there is any kind of weather that will kill them. But they check the weather because they know that there are certain weather conditions that will not be suitable for their schedule or activities for the day. Example of such people is fishermen.
Waiting for the right time to set your dreams and aspirations in motion gives you the opportunity to garner more force, more experience and the technical know-how, that you need to pull it off. This will greatly reduce the probability of a failure.
Procrastination causes failure in life.
Procrastination is a function of fear. This fear stems from a self-imposed feeling of inadequacy and incompetence.
Some people have a lot of dreams but they never find what seems to be the right time to set it in motion, even with all the tools that they need right there at their disposal.
There are some other people who would even sabotage themselves just so they could have a good excuse or reason why they must postponed.
Do not get it mixed up here; there is a difference between waiting for the right time and procrastinating.
When you wait, it should be because you have checked and seen that there are some variables needed in order to get the desired results that are still missing.
Procrastinators on the other hand, even with all the variables in place, choose to postpone putting these already available variables or resources together in order to balance out and get the desired result. And like I said, this is a function of fear.
It is important that you learn to take audacious steps in your road to success.
Even when you encounter some road blocks or conflicts in the form of a missing variable in the course of balancing out the equation to get your result, instead of postponing immediately, take your time, scrutinize this conflict properly and decide whether it is worth postponing for. If it is, then by all means, wait.
But if it is not, then disregard or removing it out of the equation entirely and forge ahead..
Not asking for help causes failure.
Sometimes, people fail because of their paradigms and idiosyncrasies. Some people think way too much of themselves that even when they feel lost they don’t ask for help.
A dream is like a road map. And sometimes having a road map is not a guarantee that you can use without some help. Sometimes you need to ask the other road user, especially those on their way back for some direction. Don’t be afraid to show your vulnerabilities.
There are people who unconsciously alienate themselves from certain knowledge because of their self-imposed sense of superiority.
It might interest you to know that no sitting president, especially in the country where I come from, made it to that position without the help of a past president. They call it political ‘godfatherism’. But I call it learning from the masters.
Above are some of the causes of failure. Now, let’s look at some of the ways to handle failure:
Vent your frustration to somebody to get over a failure.
When people fail, they are frustrated. One way to get over that failure is to talk to somebody about it. the best time to keep to yourself is not immediately after a failure because at that time a lot of strong emotion are built up; a lot of thoughts are running through your mind; you are seeing pictures of how differently you could have done it but didn’t. This type of picture can drive you nuts.
Regret sets in and following it is the fear of criticism; you just want a quick fix in the form of an escape to someplace nobody knows you. Some people crave a mental escape from the nagging voices in their head, so they take to drugs and other fatal activities.
But the truth is that all those quick fixes are just temporal remedies that can only yield temporal solutions.
Instead of these quick fixes, you can face the situation head-on by talking about it to somebody, like a therapist.
Look at it from a different perspective.
Failure, as defined above, is a person’s inability to achieve a desired result. Because of this definition, when we fail the only thing that occupies our mind is the fact that we didn’t get what we wanted.
But if we could allow ourselves the liberty of looking at the scenario from a different perspective or lens, then a miracle of a paradigm shift might occur. When that happens, we might be able to discover that:
- What you called a failure was actually a blessing in disguise.
- The so-called failure has opened doors to greater possibilities.
- What you thought you wanted and was ready to die for is not really what you need.
When you finally arrive at this awesome epiphany, you will:
- Thank God because apparently you dodged a bullet.
- Count your blessing.
- Get back up again all poised and ready to get back into the fight with a new and fierce energy.
There is something about that incredible power that comes upon you when you finally move into the light after spending so much time in the dark; it makes you feel like everything is possible.
Maybe it is the anger from spending so much time on chasing what you really don’t need laced with the joys of realizing that what you really need is still out there waiting for you to take it.
Forgive yourself to get over a failure.
After a failure, the emotion that is built up in us usually stem from regret. This emotion makes us feel inadequate. We resent our self for making the mistake we did, because, somehow, there is a trace of pride in every human being which makes us feel as though we are above making some certain mistakes.
However, some of us know that the best lessons in life are learned from the worst mistakes. You might not understand why some things happen but I can almost assure you that it part of God’s big plan for your life. So you need to let that self resentment go!
In order for you to do that, you have to first of all start seeing yourself as someone deserving of love, affection and most importantly, forgiveness.
Take some time away from your dream-chasing and treat yourself to some affordable luxuries. Pamper yourself!
Surround yourself with the right people after a failure.
There are a type of people who are so good at reminding other people about their mistakes and failures. It is my guess that they do this because it makes them feel better about themselves. In order for you to keep your sanity after a failure, you need to avoid this type of people.
Surround yourself with positive people and occupy yourself with positive things. You need to tap into the positive energy of positive people and let it grow on you.
The only real failure in life is the inability to conquer death when it comes, because as long as you are still alive, you have not failed, yet.
So get back up, out there and join the fight. Do not declare yourself a loser when you have not even begun fighting.