Failure does not exist. There is only what works and what does not work. Edison said it best when he said “I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” When you redefine your definition of failure in a way that is empowering to you, you will be able to develop a new, more powerful relationship to your unfulfilled expectations. Remember, expectations are pre-made resentments.
For example, if you go into an interview and you prepare for hours rehearsing your answers over and over, yet you still get passed on, chances are you might wind up beating yourself up and thinking to yourself how unfair it is that you were not hired, or how you are not worth hiring. If instead, you look at this as a learning opportunity, you can create something very powerful. You could look at being passed on as a chance to grow yourself as an individual and as a potential employee. Take this opportunity of being passed on to evaluate what was missing in the interview that might have made a difference and ask yourself “Would I have been happy in this job?” Often times we sabotage an interview because we know intuitively the job is not what we want. Perhaps not being hired for that particular position is the best thing that could have happened. Look at what possibilities you can create out of NOT being the one who was chosen, and create an empowering context for your next interview.
Many people relate to failure as though failing means something is wrong with them, however, this perspective can be detrimental to one’s personal growth and development, as well as, to achieving one’s goals.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. If you find you keep getting the same results that don’t work for you, then it is time for you to branch out and expand yourself in a whole new way. A great exercise that I often give my clients is called the “3 NOs.”
This exercise entails attempting to get 3 NOs from people about something that is important to you. Your objective is to get the person you are asking to say NO. Some of you reading this might cringe at the thought of hearing NO, and others might think that getting a NO is no big deal. Wherever you are at is perfect. The purpose of this exercise is to get present to your relationship to failure. By better understanding your relationship to failure and being able to be unstoppable in the face of hearing NO, you will learn to become fearless. A great example of practicing getting NOs is with dating. If you are someone who is single, I would encourage you to ask 3 complete strangers out on a date and be intentional in getting a NO from them. You might even be pleasantly surprised by a YES. The same goes for a job seeker. As a job seeker you can practice calling CEOs and HR Manager on Linkedin and asking for an interview. You might be surprised by the results you produce!