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Are failures really failures?

The  word "failure" can have such a negative connotation for many of us. After all, who wants to be known as a failure? 

If you're open to changing your paradigm about failure, read on. If not, thanks for stopping by.

A couple nights ago I woke up around 2am, with the thought, "I haven't failed enough yet". Don't get me wrong, I've failed at A LOT of things, and succeeded at many. And I started thinking about what my failures have taught me. My failures have provided some of my best learning experiences. Here are just a few:

1) Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

I'm not saying I'm the eternal optimist, but in the past, I've had a few ventures that I wish I would have "planned for the worst" more. It would have saved me some headache, heartache and a few dollars (or a lot of dollars).

2) It's OK to follow your passion.

Some of my best experiences over the last 120 months have been things I've been very passionate about. Finding the right combination between passion and a financially lucrative business can be elusive. Or not. It's OK to pursue your passion for the sake of the passion itself. 

3) It's OK to say no.

One of my rules of thumb when given a choice to do something, join something, or be somewhere is to ask myself 3 questions.

1) Will it add to my personal development?

2) Will it add to my professional development?

3) Is it just plain fun?

If I answer YES to any of these things, then I usually do, join or go. Otherwise, I've gotten very good at saying "no thank you", and I've gotten even better about not feeling the need to explain why.

4) Failure hasn't killed me.

Period.

5) People don't always do what they say they'll do.

I've learned to forgive them (Forgetting is different)

6) I can be naively persistent.

Sometimes what we think we know can hold us back from trying. I'm crazy enough sometimes to not know that something I want to succeed at has a very small chance of happening. Those have been some of my best success stories.

7) We can all do something, but we don't all have to do everything.

Circle back to point # 3. If you're a perfectionist, or the slight bit OCDish, then this might be a hard pill to swallow. 

8) Failure and success can be a matter of perspective.

Don't let others influence your definitions.

10) Focus on the successes.

Our brain LOVES when we spend more time proverbially patting ourselves on the back instead of wallowing in our failures. We need that hit of dopamine to propel us on to more successes.

Did you catch the missing #9? Chalk that up to a big success for you, and enjoy the shot of dopamine while you're celebrating!