Failure IS an option.
By Gary Durkin
I wrote an article on this very subject, with the same title a few years ago. And… it was a pretty decent
article if I do say so myself!
Then I lost it. Gone. Deleted in error with no backup!
Talk about ‘ironic’……..
Well, moving forward (hint) - over the years I have come into contact with a vast array of different people from
all walks of life. Some extremely rich, then those quite the opposite. Some very well-known - others who will never
want their ‘15 minutes of fame’.
Business people, colleagues, employees, friends…… the list goes on and on.
They ALL (just like you and me) have one thing in common. Failure.
Yep - we are ALL failures at something. Or we have all failed at one to or another….. And it’s more than likely
we will all fail again at something.
Hands up all of you who have NEVER failed at ANYTHING?
Relationships, work / employment, exams, dieting, keep fit & exercise, decorating, gardening, keeping pets,
D.I.Y., money, puzzles, competitions, cooking, gambling, auditions, interviews…and just about everything!
It doesn’t have to be a massive ‘failure’ - sometimes these do happen, but anything which goes wrong, you mess
up, you can’t do….. Is failure.
Most marriages end up in divorce. Most new small-businesses in the real world, collapse within their first two
years. Most people trying to make money on the internet - don’t.
The KEY here, is what you do when it happens? How do you deal with it? What happens next?
The solution is a simple formula I have been telling people for years. Whether it’s friends, clients, staff,
peers……. Whether I do it as part of a motivational course, or just straight-forward advice…. The formula is exactly
How you apply the formula can vary from ‘Passive Pre-Event Style’…. up to ‘Aggressive Post-Event Style.
What am I talking about?
It’s like flicking a switch inside you…… from the passive ‘ I know all the steps’…… to the more aggressive ‘
I’ve GOTTA DO IT NOW….’
Have you ever seen the classic comedy film ‘Airplane’ ?
The Cabin Crew carefully explained all the safety procedures to the passengers. But when ‘disaster strikes’ -
all hell breaks loose! Everyone panics! All the instructions go out the window!
OK - it was a movie. But the similarities to real-life are commonplace.
We often know what we SHOULD DO - but we find excuses to ignore it. If you simply ‘give up’ and do nothing -
what are you expecting as a result?
“It wasn’t my fault….” … maybe it wasn’t.
“The system doesn’t work”….. So what?
“Someone told me to do it”….. and if they told you to jump off a cliff?
“The computer made a mistake”…… oh really?!
“Someone criticised me”…… Get over it.
“I’m just not good enough”…… Choose not to be.
OK - time for a few sayings…….. And hey!… these weren’t written by someone for no reason!
‘Try…..try…..and try again.’
‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always had’.
I really like that last one - perhaps the ‘exact’ wording is slightly wrong, but the underlying meaning in
rock-solid (and it may take a minute or two understand where it’s going).
If you prefer to make excuses and simply quit - fair enough. Your choice. But if you simply aren’t happy with
this option….. Then there are 3 main stages you must address.
Firstly, you have to simply accept it. Admit to yourself that you have failed. Sounds easy doesn’t it? But in
reality it can be far harder than you think.
This part is vital because it can mean a change in attitude. YOURS. Stop blaming others, making excuses and
simply giving up. This can be a major change in mind-set, but is important before you can go to the next step.
Accept that ‘it’ hasn’t worked. ‘It’ went wrong. ‘It’ is a dead-end. Don’t personalise / humanise it. The
‘acceptance’ stage normally cannot be successful until the initial anger of the failure has subsided.
Next - another key step is to Learn from it.
Analyse the situation. Review what happened. Make notes. Discuss it with people / friends / colleagues…. But do
so clearly and with an open-mind. Try to develop new methods, routines, rules…. which will avoid a recurrence of
what happened last time.
Note - if during the ’learning’ stage, you start to point the finger at others, or blame the system etc., this
means you haven’t successfully passed the first stage - Acceptance.
Once you have learned from it - the final stage is simple. MOVE ON. Move forward - don’t keep looking back,
don’t let things hold you back. Because once you have accepted it, learned from it - then nothing should be able to
hold you back. Take what you have learned, apply it, use it - get on with it!
A little warning here. Sometimes it simply won’t work. You will get through the stages, do everything right -
only to fail again. If this happens, just go back to step 2 - and start again.
Remember one of those sayings earlier? ….. Try, try and try again.
SO, the formula is simply.
F + A + L + M.
Learn from it.
You can use your own variant to suit your needs. And this applies to business (both online and offline), plus
everything in life.
However, do you remember the second ‘saying’ from earlier on? ‘If you always do what you’ve always done, you
will always get what you’ve always had’.
Successful people - whether they are millionaire business people, or perhaps those who seem to be ‘lucky in
love’, to people who overcome adversity, injury, accident or disability -all have one thing in common.
They don’t quit when the going gets tough.
They accept, learn and move on from failure.
There is a phrase…. ’Failure is not an option’.
I disagree. Failure isn’t something you should strive for (obviously) but if you know how to deal with it when
it arises, then it’s not necessarily the end of the World!