“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny,” wrote C.S. Lewis. You might just know him as an award-winning author who has only known success, but this guy was an expert on adversity, too. When he was a young boy, his mother died from brain cancer. He had to drop out of college due to series of respiratory problems. And he even survived blood poisoning and a heart attack. His life wasn’t just about the Chronicles of Narnia. But out of his tough times came some tremendous success. If you get sidetracked every time something doesn’t go as planned, you have to overcome your weak mindset. Success isn’t about having things handed to you. It’s about falling down and being kicked while you’re down. Your reaction after being kicked is the one that matters. You have to view adversity as a pathway to success-not an obstruction from it.
Explain Your Failures in Different Terms
Sure, you’ll make mistakes. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t. But stop referring to yourself or your screw-ups as failures. A brilliant article from Forbes said that, “every mistake is a lesson in what not to do”. And that couldn’t be truer. If you view each and every mistake as a letdown or a roadblock, you’ll never move past it. Recognize that failure isn’t really failure. You walked through door number two and it led nowhere. Now, you have a chance to start over and choose another alternative. Stop calling it failure. Think of adversity as an opportunity to reroute.
Start Moving Forward Immediately
Some of the greatest icons of our generation faced tremendous rejection before breaking through. Oprah, who’s now a billionaire and media mogul, was fired from one of her first reporting jobs. Walt Disney was rejected by dozens of newspapers. A mistake does not seal your fate. Before these wildly successful people became household names, they faced adversity just like you. But instead of dwelling on it, they kept going until someone said yes. That’s what you need to do. There’s no time to cry into your pillow or whine about how unfair the world is. Before you can even get to the end of the rejection, you should already be plotting your next move. Someone will say yes to you, too. But you’ll never know if you waste time feeling sorry for yourself.
Learn The Lesson
If you experience failure and learn nothing, you’ll surely experience it again. Every mistake occurs to teach you something valuable and you have to learn the lesson. You have a duty to yourself to take something positive away from a negative experience. Instead of thinking about everything you’ve screwed up, start listing all the things you’ve learned. How will you prevent this again the next time? How are you more prepared to actually succeed in the future? Don’t be a fool. Use adversity to your advantage.
Success and failure go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. But the key to reaching success is using adversity as your stepping stone instead of your border wall. You’re only truly a loser if you refuse to glean importance from your mistakes.