Posted by: Madhavi CN | September 18, 2013

The Opportunity that Failure Presents

Whether you have tasted success at least once in life may be a debatable issue but it’s a fact that each one of us has failed sometime in our life – be it in school, relationship or career. You could have easily avoided the bitter taste of failure. All you need to do is to accept whatever life throws and never attempt learning or strive for success. And what a life it would have been! Boring and tasteless!! A complete waste!!!

Why stick to the mundane and waste the opportunity that failure presents?

Failure unveils tricks to avoid it. It is the critical scrutiny of defeat that gives a true insight into our true selves. We may wince at the thought of failing but once we are already in the dismal land of defeat, the finest way of coming out of it with the best deal is confronting it with an open mind.

Find the Right Fit

When failure is staring at us and questioning our self-confidence, it is time to question back and ask how genuine was the failure? Is it a case of mismatch of the challenge to our talent and potential? If that is the case, we need to pick challenges that fit our personality, abilities, interests and style of work and that does not mean that we should start aiming low! If we are more of the outspoken, risk-loving, authority hating, instinct driven individuals, it would suit us to bring out the hidden entrepreneur in us and be the owner rather than an employee.

A good start for finding the right career is to know our motivators.

Gain the Social Skills

Instead of talking about how obnoxious the office politics are in our work environment, let us consider them to normal interactions among people and study how we are dealing with people. It is no longer sufficient to be a top performer at work; we need to be a great contributor as well. True brilliance is when academic intelligence combines with social intelligence (and commonsense).

Social intelligence is about being a good listener, showing empathy, handling criticism well and managing the situation. Team support and leadership is a product of social and emotional quotient. If we rub people in the wrong direction they help us to fail but if we are super intelligent on the social and emotional front, people willingly cut us some slack even on the serious mistakes. Perhaps this explains why some mediocre executives survive corporate downsizing. The boss would further their career in appreciation to the mature and responsible way they handled their mistakes or failure.

The best part is social intelligence is an acquired skill. So keep practicing and you can soon master it.

Crank up with Continued Commitment

A complete lack of commitment to pursue our aspirations works as a great cushion against failure. When we are not committed, we offer ourselves scope to pat ourselves saying that we really did not care about that so much anyway. It is the fear of failure that forces some of us smart people 😉 into confining to our comfort zone. It is the half-hearted effort that weakens the entire endeavor and increases the likelihood of failure rather than success. When our self-esteem is low it will show directly on our self confidence. If people doubt our caliber, we too start believing that and hesitate taking up the challenge. However good we may sound, there would be that tinge of self-doubt in our voice which eats away our commitment.

Persistent effort is only possible by passionately involving into the task with conviction.

Re-Focus and Recover

Take up a dozen tasks and we may end up finishing none of them well. The excitement of the challenge that the job offers may entice us into accepting too many projects. Performance may get affected not because of lack of our capabilities but due to poor management of time, stress and task overlaps. Whatever task demands attention will be taken up rather than what needs to be done. This is one of the reasons why really talented people performance suddenly starts plunging. By recognizing our limitations and reorganizing the priorities we can re-establish our high success rate.

The simple answer for greater success lies in staying focused.

Discover the Hidden Barriers

The bias against could be based on age, sex, region, religion or for that matter anything. If we get to know the real reason behind the bad deal that is leading to the failure, we can come up with the right strategy to overcome it. Remember if nothing works, instead of pointlessly hitting the wall trying to fight it we may as well explore other options with some lateral thinking.

At the core of every path-breaking change lies an honest self-analysis.

Is it bad luck or short sight?

When things do not go the way we are expecting or hoping them to, instead of the tasks about the bad luck it would do lot more good if we start looking inside us for new ideas. Opportunities may not remain the same but if the vision is set right on the future and we are ready to look for choices rather than limitations, we are assured of being on the right path. We, smart people may fail at times but it is how we make use of the learning from that failure that differentiates the really smart ones from the rest.

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