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“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

-Winston S. Churchill

When we are confronted with failure, we primarily see all the negative aspects that come with it. We entirely oversee the benefits of failing. Yes, benefits of failing! Each failure provides the opportunity to grow stronger. Failure offers the chance to return stronger, wiser and smarter than we were before. But we have to actively make use of this opportunity. If we don’t, then failure will destroy us.

We all fail. But there’s always a chance of getting back up...

Failure teaches us two important lessons. The first lesson is that we’re doing something completely wrong. The second lesson does not only teach us that we can always overcome failure. It primarily teaches us that we must (!) get back up and continue the pursuit of our dreams. If we don’t learn these lessons, we will remain lying on the ground not knowing what happened.

Lack of self-discipline

Success requires discipline. As such, exerting self-control over yourself is a central requirement for being successful. If you lack self-discipline, you’re more likely to give up too quickly when problems arise. Similarly, a lack of discipline makes you more likely to give in to short-term temptations that lead you nowhere. If you’re undisciplined, you see no reason in making sacrifices today in order to prosper tomorrow.

Lack of persistence

You can be talented and intelligent. But if you don’t combine these two with persistence, you’ll fail eventually. A lack of persistence is a great obstacle to success. There are so many incredibly talented and gifted people who fail time and time again because they rely too much on their talents. They are not willing to persist until they’ve completely mastered what they’re doing. Instead, they quit when the going gets tough.

Unwillingness to swim against the current

It’s always easier to swim with the flow. But it will lead you where everyone else goes. It will only give you the same results everyone else accomplishes. Society is designed to make you swim with the current, even if you’re not good at it. It puts a great number of obstacles in the path of those who seek to strive for their own greatness by going against the current. People simply feel threatened by those who challenge prevailing opinions. At the same time, however, society greatly rewards many of those who successfully managed to go against the stream. Without these individuals, there would be no airplanes, electricity and computers.

Have the courage to meet decisions that go against existing opinions. Swim against the current if it’s in your nature to do so. Pursue those activities that align with your innate strengths and talents.

Lack of planning

If you don’t have a proper plan, you are less likely to succeed in life. It doesn’t matter if the plan is imperfect or if things are not going to work out exactly as planned. All that matters is that you have a plan. It will help you to steer all your actions in one direction. Without a clear plan, you’ll most likely go left, right, forwards and backwards, but you’ll never come closer to your goals. The importance of planning is supported by scientific research which highlighted that entrepreneurs are less likely to fail if they created a plan.

Develop attainable, measurable, specific and time-bound plans. Carefully think things through before you start pursuing a specific goal. Create plans on what to do next and how to respond when confronted with problems. Update your plans regularly and make adjustments if necessary.

Fear of failure

Being afraid of failure paralyzes us. It makes us reluctant to seize rewarding opportunities. We fear failure, which is why we don’t even try. But isn’t that the greatest failure of all? Isn’t not trying worse than failing? Progress can only be accomplished by taking one step after the other. It doesn’t matter if you slip here and there. All that matters is that you get back up and continue walking.

Wanting too much too quickly

A great number of people dream of accomplishing the greatest things. They set themselves incredibly challenging goals, but are quickly intimidated once they realize how high the mountain they’re standing in front rises into the sky. Consequently, they quickly become discouraged because of a lack of results. These are the people that (figuratively) hike for an hour, only to realize that the distance to the mountaintop hasn’t become shorter, which is why they give up.

Lack of belief in yourself

Intelligence and talent are not necessarily what separates successful people from unsuccessful ones. The major difference lies in the fact that successful individuals believe in themselves. They believe that they can accomplish the goals they set themselves. They believe in their ability to find solutions to the challenges they are confronted with. Their strong belief in the capacity to figure things out as they progress encourages them to seize opportunities that seem initially too big to tackle for them. Successful people understand that nothing will work for them if they are not absolutely convinced of it.

Lack of humility

Despite being pretty unpopular, humility is considered by many successful individuals as an important key to success. Some even consider it to be vital for success. As it turns out, humble people are more likely to be high performers, as scientific research indicates. But there are many other advantages of being humble. It helps you to think less about yourself (not to be confused with thinking less of yourself). Humility helps you to assess realistically your strengths, weaknesses and limitations. But it will also help you to realize that there’s a great deal of things that you don’t know, yet.

Excuses

If you blame other people for your own mistakes and problems, you are destined to fail. At the same time, we all are confronted with problems that derail us from our paths. It’s only when we stop using these problems and challenges as excuses that we will make progress in life.

“He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”

-Benjamin Franklin

Successful individuals don’t allow excuses to stand between themselves and their goals. They understand that making excuses will lead them nowhere. For this reason, they resist the temptation of finding a “feel-good excuse,” accept responsibility for their actions and start taking matters into their own hands. There’s always a reason that justifies inaction. Don’t let your fear of failure, rejection or change confine you within the boundaries of your comfort zone.

Unwillingness to network

You’ll miss quite a number of opportunities if you don’t invest time to build strong relationships with those who can help you. Unfortunately, many underestimate the importance of networking. Our relationships can help us to reach out to others and to convince them of working with us, not against us. Networking helps us to meet exactly those people whose interests align with our own.

Inclination to give up

Giving up automatically leads to failure. Unsuccessful people tend to give up way too easily. They fail almost always because they simply didn’t try hard enough. They dream of succeeding smoothly without too much effort. This way of attaining success, however, is extremely rare if not even nonexistent. It will always be more comfortable to simply give up when the going gets tough. Giving up spares you a lot of trouble, hard work and pain. But it also takes your chance to succeed.

Being resistant to advice

Some people fail because they do not accept valuable feedback. Instead, they seek – for various reasons – to argue why they believe what they’re doing is right. Even if their endeavors are unsuccessful, they remain resistant to advice. These kind of people prefer being right (in their own subjective point of view) than opening themselves up for feedback. The reason for this is simple. Listening to feedback and other people’s advice resembles the acknowledgment of their own faults, which is something they try to avoid at any cost. As a result, they prefer to convince others that they’re right instead of learning to do things right.

Failure to take responsibility

The unwillingness to take responsibility is closely related to making excuses. Both have in common that we seek the fault for our situation outside of ourselves. It is a fatal thing to do, as we give away our control. If we don’t assume responsibility for what happens in our lives, we are not in a position to do anything about it. In order to solve the challenges we are confronted with, we must be in a position of control. Otherwise, everything that happens to us happens by coincidence or accident, which means we cannot do anything to change that.

“Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”

-Zig Ziglar

Always, Rekah.

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