Evie Sparkes is a published novelist, content writer and company director from the UK.
It's Okay to Fail
Failure is just a fact of life. It doesn't have to mean the end of something but the beginning of something else or a new and better way of doing things.
I regularly get things wrong and have to change course slightly. That's exactly how I think of it actually. I am adjusting course because i've veered off the road slightly or I took that silly little narrow lane when I knew I ought to have stayed on the main road. My sat nav head thought it knew best when sometimes it's our inner knowing that needs to be listened to.
Our brain is logical. It tells us what it has concluded is the most viable option or the course with a greater statistical chance of being right. Sometimes we have a niggling feeling inside only we don't investigate this intuitive feeling because we've always been told not to follow our heart.
It's okay to take a wrong turn or outright fail at the very thing you think you want. You have decided it must happen in a particular way and it hasn't so you consider it a failure. I see this as a stumbling block for sure, but in every case I have made an adjustment in my expectation and let a new course of action unfold. I take a new road or I move myself back to the previous course depending on what I'm looking to achieve. I never see these little diversions as failures. I really never have to be honest. I've just never had occasion to think about it before now.
Failure Isn't an Option
As soon as you tell yourself this, you are putting a load of extra pressure on your shoulders. Think about it for a moment; You are putting all of your energy into this new project and now you are zapping what you have left of it by telling yourself that you simply cannot fail. That little bit of your brain, you know the bit that says you can't do it, you won't do it, you will probably fail, statistically you won't make it...well that will take over. May I suggest not making such a statement out loud or to yourself.
What is Success Anyway?
How do you measure success? Success means different things to different people. If you get set on one way and one way only, then sure you are going to feel as if that's it, you've failed if it doesn't pan out that way.
I'd go as far as to say that failure is good. It makes you pay attention. It means you are open to other ideas and perhaps a better way of achieving success. You might find a variation, another way that actually suits you better.
Every time I have what you might consider to be a failure I barely notice. I never consider something not working out as a failure. I see it as an opportunity to do it better.
Success is subjective. I see success as accepting a different course because if I was on the right course then I wouldn't have failed at this point would I?
I never sink and struggle to come back up for air. I think right, what now? I sit for a while and then I go out and do something fun. I allow ideas and inspiration to flow to me. Inspiration can't flow in if you are blocked. All you can see is what hasn't worked out. Your failure, if that's how you see it. This is a sure-fire way to more of the same.
Be Prepared to Accept Advice
This is a very good point. Don't go All Theresa May and assume you don't need to listen to anyone else's advice. I find that people have incredibly valid and valuable input. Sometimes getting another perspective can give you a lightbulb moment. You see things way more clearly.
Too much advice is not good however. Why? Because everyone has a different opinion and you'll end up confused about which way to go. You will instinctively know when someone has given you a marvellous little nugget.
Taking advice does not make you any less. It doesn't mean you can't do it alone, it just means that you are open minded and at the end of the day open minded people tend to be more successful at life and business.
Great minds, contrary to popular opinion, do not always think alike. This is what makes advice invaluable.
When I ran an office I would get all of the employees together each Monday morning where we would discuss various projects and I would ask everyone for their ideas, including the apprentice. Actually he had the best ideas and he was just 19!
Evie Sparkes (author) on June 27, 2019:
I totally agree Lorna. We don't need to be scared of it.
Lorna Lamon on June 27, 2019:
You have made some very valid points in your article Evie and I believe that it is only through our failures that we grow.