Columnists Features

How do you handle failure?

SPIDER’S WEB with CHEELA CHILALA
AMERICAN basketball superstar, Michael Jordan, famously said, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
A number of ideas may be drawn from Jordan’s words. First, successful people have failed before.
There is no successful person who has never failed before. It is okey to fail because of trying to achieve something; but it is not okey to give up simply because you have failed.
When you fail, do not look away from your failure in tears – take a sober look at your failure and see what you can learn from it; then try again. Winston Churchill, the one-time British prime minister, once said, “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
Similarly Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, once said, “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”
Second, failing in a particular mission does not mean you will never succeed. In other words, as the common adage goes, failure is not final.
If one strategy fails, try another. If one game plan does not work, change the game plan.
Never listen to people who will tell you that you are nothing, or that you will never make it, simply because you have failed in a particular endeavour. Thomas Edison, the great American inventor, famously said, “I have not failed 10 000 times.
I have successfully found 10000 ways that will not work.”
Third, if you want to succeed, you must not be afraid of failure. Albert Einstein, the famous physicist, was right when he argued, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.”
You can never know how good a swimmer you are if you never jump into the water. A baby does not learn how to walk at the first attempt.
The baby will try to stand and fall, try to walk and fall, many times – but it never gives up trying. Your dream may be stuttering now, stumbling like a baby, but, if you stay the course, it will eventually stand, walk, and run.
When we say you should not be afraid to fail, we do not mean you work expecting to fail.
On the contrary, when you put your effort into something- a dream or – you must be determined to make it work, and strategise to make it work.
However, you must not let the fear of failure affect your determination to pursue your efforts. Put differently, you must be a risk-taker. Any dream or mission always carries a risk factor in it. If you are not ready to take risks, then you are not ready for the challenges that go with the pursuit of success.
There is no single successful person who has never taken a risk. Robert Allen, the famous financier, once said, “There is no failure. Only feedback.”
Fourth, successful people learn from their failures and improve.
The essence of Michael Jordan’s words is that he was ready to play his part, but also not afraid to fail, and that this attitude contributed to his success.
When you fail – as you certainly will sometimes – you need to use your mistakes to create better strategies.
Only a fool does not learn from mistakes.
How to do you handle failure? Do you give up or fight on? Do you sit back in shame and stop trying? Do you use failure as a means to know the wrong way of doing things and try again with a better strategy?
cheelafkc@yahoo.co.uk

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