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Why We Should Stop Using The Word 'Failure'

06/01/2016 9:36 AM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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In recent times, people are focused on failure. On how it is healthy to fail and to admit to failing. While it is good to understand it's okay if something doesn't work out, what is bad is the word used to describe it.

Unfortunately, in life there will be many, many times that things technically don't work out. But we should not be using the word failure to describe it. In fact, we should eliminate that word from our vocabulary altogether.

Life and business both bring us opportunities, some good and some not so good. But should we be branding each opportunity that didn't go the way we planned as a failure? No.

If we did, we would be constantly putting ourselves down instead of picking ourselves up. Imagine saying "Oh I failed at that" every day. This is wrong and can have a negative affect on people who are struggling.

Having something not work out is not something to be ashamed of. After all, if you never face a situation where something you tried didn't work out, you're probably not trying ideas that are different enough.

Instead of failure, think of strategic decision making. That is, if something isn't working, we make the strategic decision to cut it off and move on. This can be applied to both our personal lives and our careers.

If you get divorced, imagine spending your time labeling yourself as a failure. How will others think of you if this is how you see yourself? This isn't the way to motivate, inspire, and get you moving forward.

Likewise, if a job turns out not to be the right fit for you, do you go around telling people and yourself "I failed at that job" or would it add value to your brand -- and frame of mind -- if you took the approach that "it was time for me to make the strategic decision to move on".

When a businesswoman decides to let go of a business venture or an opportunity (which I have done many times) does this make her a failure? No. This means she is savvy and strategic enough to know when something is not working and it is time to redirect her path.

So let's stop encouraging people to use the word failure -- pushing the notion that it is "good to fail" in order to succeed.

Instead, let us see every decision we make as positive which adds value to our ultimate goal of serious success.

Reframe your thinking

Instead of saying "I failed at my relationship", say "It was time for us both to focus on different priorities separately".

Instead of saying "I failed at running a business so I closed it down", say "I have decided to change focus in my career and will revisit running a business in the future".

Instead of saying "That idea totally failed", say "It wasn't working out the way I had planned so I let it go".

Remember to always think... success and nothing less.

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