How To Handle Failure?
Every now and then, during our seminars, I meet someone who tells me
“Oh Yogesh, things are different for you. You are successful. You won’t understand what I am going through. Life is tough and I have failed so many times, that I want to give up. I have no hope left.”
Most people see only the face of success. They see the cheering, the applause, the awards, the fame, the wealth – just the parts that look attractive and appealing. They don’t see what goes behind the success.
They don’t see the struggle, they don’t see the failures, the pain, the hurt, the sleepless nights, the rejection, the frustrations and people all around saying, “What makes you think you can do it?”
Almost everyone who has succeeded and is at the top has gone through this journey. It doesn’t matter who this person is – the journey is filled with struggle, challenges and people telling you “Don’t even try! You will fail!”
I have failed so many times. And every time I have failed, I have told myself, “Yogesh, get up and start over. Become stronger. Tap into your inner strength. And a higher force, has guided me to grow further.”
I have started companies that have failed. I started a solar energy company, just out of college and it failed badly. I have quit doing things I haven’t enjoyed or been passionate about. I quit a job at a law firm. I quit a real estate development company I had founded because I didn’t feel passionately about what I was doing.
My very good friend and partner with whom I started a financial services company, split with me just a few days before I was getting married. Imagine being a newly married guy and being unemployed.
I have had phases in my life, when I didn’t have enough money to even buy a cup of coffee.
I faced massive rejection from almost everyone around me. Everyone told me, “Yogesh, you can’t do it. Don’t even try!”
When I was in 28, I blanked out and collapsed because I wasn’t paying attention to my health and didn’t have any balance. I was focusing only on my professional and financial side. I shared about this in Succeed The Happionaire Way (get your free preview copy here) too.
And each time, I failed as the world knew it – I learnt something powerful. I had an amazing experience and I grew more. All the failures I have had helped me succeed. They helped me understand people, mindsets, relations, health, personal goals and spirituality much better.
Because, I failed, I understood patterns needed to succeed. I understood that all I needed to do was reverse engineer failure.
I failed so much, that I got frustrated. I got frustrated of failure and became hungrier for success. It’s that hunger for success that really lead me to actually succeed.
The greatest people in the world, have failed a lot more than others. They have failed so much, that they eventually succeed.
You just need one big success to change your life forever. If you have failed 10 times, just try once more.
Don’t give up hope. Don’t tell yourself, “I have no future left. I have no hope. I have failed so many times.”
The best things that have helped me handle failure are the following:
Spirituality also plays a big role in overcoming failure. Once you realize that everything we are going through is temporary, it’s a game, you will stop taking things so seriously. If you start thinking that way, you will start playing the game better. You will start winning more.
Don’t get too attached to failure, don’t feel too bad. And at the same time don’t get too attached to success, don’t get too elated, stay humble.
A lot of times people think spirituality, means to give up everything and go and live in the jungle and meditate. In fact true spirituality is the opposite of that. It gives you power to fight your battles. It gives you mental and inner strength.
This is why my spirituality has played a big role in my success. I believe in a higher intelligent force that guides me and give me infinite powers.
2. Learn From Your Childhood
Think about yourself when you were a child. When you were a child, you learnt and grew because of multiple failures.
So for example, you learnt to walk, because you feel so many times. You learnt to speak, because you babbled at first. You learnt to cycle, by falling and getting bruised.
Humanity has learnt and succeeded because of this quality we have. We learn new things by failing.
Whenever you tried learning something new, in the beginning you struggled and gradually as your practiced your learnt and grew. That’s the principle of life. Anything you start, there will be a struggle, keep at it and you will grow.
3. Don’t Listen To People Who Say NO
When you face a lot of rejection you become thick skinned. I have faced so much rejection, that I really have become super thick skinned.
It doesn’t affect me if people say No to me or criticize me. You need to stop listening to everyone around you who are stopping you from growing and moving ahead. Because only if you do that will you be able to move ahead.
The Wright Brothers didn’t pay attention to everyone who told them that they are crazy to think of building a flying device.
Stop listening to everyone around you. Only listen to your inner voice and let it guide you.
4. Associate With High Performers
Start interacting, associating with people who are masters of their game. So whatever you want to do, find out who has already succeeded and learn from them.
It could be by reading their books, attending their seminars or just hiring them as experts.
I have always done this and search for people who have excelled in their field. I then learn from them, hire them or simply work out a barter with which both of us can benefit.
High performers understand what it takes to succeed and overcome failure.
5. Learn From Your Failures
While it is good to learn from the failures of others, sometimes you just have to fail yourself. If you wanted to learn to ride a cycle, you can’t watch someone else falling and bruising their knees.
You need to get on the cycle, try it out and fall for yourself. Life is about living it on your own terms.
Every time you make a failure, learn from it. And make sure you are prepared the next time you start over.
So for instance when I started my solar energy company, the thing I learnt was that the market was not yet ready for it. People weren’t eco-conscious and didn’t want to spend more money on solar energy. This will and is changing with time.
When I collapsed at the age of 28, I learnt my lifestyle was wrong and I changed. I ended up becoming healthier, losing weight and becoming a lot more productive and fulfilled.
Don’t criticize yourself, instead learn and move ahead.
6. Laugh More
The more you laugh, the more jokes you crack, the easier things become. When things get tough, sometimes you simply need to laugh.
Play a prank, call a friend from school, jokes about things. And suddenly what seems to be a major challenge will become lighter.
Joking and laughter is a great way to handle failure. The past is what we make of it, let’s add joy even to our failures.
7. Be Grateful
There is always something you have that you can be grateful for.
Right now, no matter how bad things have been for you – you are still luckier than millions of people just because you can read this. You have electricity, you have a laptop or mobile device, you are safe and you have a mind to understand what you are reading.
You need to be grateful for what you have. There is always a lot more you have. Thank yourself for having the small things.
When you look at life this way, your perspective changes and you are filled with hope and ready to start again.
8. Have No Fear & Just Keep Taking Action
I read the Geeta and it changed my life forever. The message of living without fear and taking action is the most powerful thin anyone can do.
Stop being afraid of anything and simply take action. Every morning you need to wake up and run fast and take massive action.
Right now, go ahead, try out everything I have shared and make the most of this wonderful gift we have – the gift of life.
Life is not meant to be lived out of fear, but to be lived with passion, love and joy.
Smile more, laugh more and don’t let anyone or anything stop you from making your vision a reality.
Best of luck!