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Turn Failure into Success: 10 Ways

The first step to becoming more successful is changing the way you think about failure.
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Failure is painful, right?

Not for successful people.  The most successful people in every field don't consider failure to be a particularly painful experience–because they think about it differently.

Successful people transcend failure because their self-esteem, rather than depending on whether they win or lose, is based upon their own sense of value.

Rather than taking failure seriously, they develop beliefs that allow them to capitalize upon negative feedback and turn it to their advantage.

Rules to Live By

Therefore, if you're really committed to being successful, you'll mothball that "failure=pain" nonsense. Instead, instead adopt some (or all) of the following beliefs:

1. Failure renews my humility, sharpens my objectivity, and makes me more resilient.

2. I take the challenge seriously, but I do not take myself too seriously.

3. If the more I fail, the more I succeed, then failure is a part of the process of achieving my objectives.

4. Failure is temporary when I use it as an opportunity to try new ideas.

5. I learn more from failure than success.

6. Negative feedback is information that helps me correct my course so that I stay on target.

7. I am paid for the number of times I fail.

8. My self-esteem is not based on the reactions of others, but by my own sense of virtue.

9. The unkindness of others reminds me that I need to be kind to myself.

10. It takes courage to fail–because nobody ever got ahead without taking risks.

The above is adapted from a conversation with Art Mortell, a wonderful motivational and keynote speaker and the author of the excellent book The Courage to Fail. If you found this column helpful, click one of the "like" buttons or sign up for the free Sales Source "insider" newsletter.

IMAGE: Flickr
Last updated: Apr 2, 2012

GEOFFREY JAMES | Columnist

Geoffrey James is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed over a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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