Today I had a great conversation with my intern. (I have to admit, she is wise beyond her years!) We were discussing failure and how people react. I was reminded about the lessons failure has taught me. If you think about it, failure is a natural outcome for a guy that calls himself, “Laosy.”
Ain’t No SHAME!
As I started reflecting back to my moments of failure, I came to realize the valuable lessons I have learn. I used to blame myself for all the trouble I was in – “Why didn’t I see this coming? Why did I make this decision? How stupid can I be? I should be smarter than this. Why me!”
It was all my fault. The more I hated and blamed myself, the more depressed I became. My hole of despair seemed impossible to climb out. It was a hopeless and helpless feeling. I had no motivation to do much of anything because I felt like a complete failure and a bigger loser.
Today, when I do make mistakes and fail, I take a moment to sort out the key steps/decisions and perform a self-evaluation to understand the reasons behind the mistakes. I start asking myself a series of questions:
- What were the circumstances that influenced this decision?
- What factors led me to react and move in this direction?
- What was I feeling at that time?
- Was I acting emotionally? Logically?
- What factors did I missed? Did I take into consideration all the relevant factors?
- How could I prevented this?
- What can I take away from this experience?
- What areas do I need to develop and grow?
Performing a self-evaluation is a key exercise that helps me understand my gaps and guides me to identify areas where I need to improve. I feel more confident and assured that I will be smarter next time a similar experience arises. This is a complete shift from self-hating and blaming myself where I would feel helpless and hopeless.
Embrace and Celebrate Failure!
How have I changed from then to now? One of the key differentiation is taking ownership and responsibility for my actions. I openly admit that I failed and accept the consequences. In the same breath, I am also celebrating my failure. As odd as it sounds, celebrating my failure is another lesson I have learn from my past experiences. Failures become an opportunity to remind me of my shortcomings and learn something new. The lessons I will learn will help me get closer to my goals and success. I have accepted that making mistakes and failure is a part of life and with the right approach, failure will help me grow.
Share the Good News!
Perhaps the biggest and hardest lesson that I have learned is trusting others with my problem. Historically, I would never tell me people I failed. I would be ashamed to share with others my misery for many reasons. Plus, I was taught at an early age not to trouble people with my personal problems and to be strong. Yet, sharing was not as difficult as seeking help. I struggled with this tremendously due to many beliefs like, “people have their own problems, why add to their burden” or “it’s all my fault, I have no right to ask for help.”
Through the influence of a great friend and mentor, I was able to break these beliefs and seek help. To my surprise, people wanted to help me just the way I would want to help them.
All in all, I am excited to say that I am happy to be a “Laosy” guy that always fail. Failure has done wonders for me. I hope it can do wonders for you. Here is the “The Laosy Life’s” guide to a successful failure:
- Ain’t No SHAME! – Don’t blame and beat yourself up for failing. This will only lead to a dead end. Take responsibility for your actions and grow from them.
- Embrace and Celebrate Failure! – Failure is a part of life, embrace it. It teaches many valuable lessons. The more you celebrate, the more you realize you are moving closer to success.
- Share the Good News! – Look at failure in a positive light. There is a comfort that comes with sharing with others your experience. You will discover many hidden treasures and blessings.
I am always happy to hear from your experience. What are some of the lessons you have learned from your experiences? Also, I mentioned that the way I was raised and my beliefs affected the way I handled failure. What beliefs do you have that affected your experience with failures? Please feel free to share! Thanks!!