Lord, deliver me from the man who never makes a mistake, and also from the man who makes the same mistake twice – Dr. William Mayo

Failure is a “bad” word in our society. No one wants to fail or enjoys failing. In school, students learn the lesson that failing is not the objective, passing is. Failure is not inherently negative. It is what we do with our failures that matters. If we allow our failures to be ur teacher so that we can learn from them and improve, then failure can be a positive element in our lives. If, however, we ignore the lessons of failure and keep on making the same mistakes and never learning from them, then, yes, failure is not to our advantage.

So failure is neither good nor bad; it is an experience that happens. However, there are ways that we can actively choose to fail ( or experience failure over and over) simply because of a lack of understanding (or information)  of what it takes to succeed. Often the key to success lies in getting the right information and acting on it. In his book  Failing Forward, Turning Mistakes Into Stepping Stones For Success author John Maxwell discusses the nature of failure in great detail. In one chapter he enumerates the top 10 reasons that people fail.

1. Poor People Skills

This really the #1 reason for lack of success on all accounts. If we are lacking in our ability to relate to others in our personal and professional lives, we will have a lot of difficulties preserving relationships and attaining any success in our professional lives.  Having poor people skills is like not having any money in our bank account. It is a state in which we are constantly withdrawing from our relational account and in which we are unable to make deposits.

Poor people skills include: monopolizing conversations and not taking the time to listen, not being honest and authentic with others, and being demanding of others without respecting their time and their needs,

2. A Negative Attitude

How we react to the circumstances that happen to us and around us determine our well-being and how well we succeed in life. In everything, our attitude determines how we view the circumstances. It really does not matter what we go through or what happens to us; what matters is whether we have a positive outlook or a negative outlook. Our perspective determines whether we will be negatively or positively impacted by the event. We are what we think. We control our attitude, one of the few things in life that we do have control over. And what we think determines our actio0ns and our words. So, having a  negative attitude will always bring about failure.  No one wants to associate, or work with a person who is known for their negative outlook.

3. A Poor Fit

Sometimes the problem is that we don’t fit the environment we are in or the job we are doing. Sometimes it might be that our abilities, interests, personality or values are misaligned with what we are doing or the people we are with. If we do not recognize this mismatch, we may feel that we are the problem. We might have the impression that we are incompetent, unmotivated or the cause of conflict. It is important to take an honest look at our circumstances. Are we where we should be so that our talents, interests, personality, and values can shine and benefit ourselves and others?

It is important to know ourselves, what we like, what we value and even who we are as a person when considering entering into any relationship or choosing a career path (or making career changes). By aligning ourselves in a way that is true to ourselves, we will have more success in whatever we undertake.

4. A Lack of Focus

Losing focus or not being focused can cause a lot of problems and mistakes (sometimes very serious mistakes). It is easy to toss off the “lack of focus” with the quip ” I wasn’t thinking”, but therein lies the problem. Lack of focus usually means that are not thinking correctly about what is important. We can also lack focus in our lives. We chase rabbits everywhere, but we don’t know why. Our lives can seem like a series of decisions and consequences with no direction.  We try to “catch up” with people or tasks, but end up trying to be everywhere and do everything at once and not accomplishing anything of substance.

Usually, the cause of the lack of focus is that we have not established our priorities in life; We have not determined how our time should be spent and with whom. If we want to succeed in life, we need to set our priorities in stone and base all our decisions and activities on these priorities.

5. Unwillingness to Change

Unwillingness to change reveals inflexibility and lack of teachability. When we believe that we do not want to change, we also hold the opinion that the problem is not us, but rather other people or circumstances. If we are not getting anywhere or finding success in what we do, perhaps it might be good to do some interception. Success in anything requires humility and humility leads to a willingness to change what needs to be changed.

An unwillingness to change can be a huge stumbling block in career advancement and in improving our relationships. No one wants to be whipping a proverbial “dead horse” and certainly, no one wants to be that dead horse that no one wants to deal with. Success depends on our willingness to embrace change as a catalyst for growth and opportunities.

6. A Weak Commitment

Commitment is a heavy word – it evokes long term, “in it for the long haul” kind of thinking. It can even seem scary and daunting. the questions we may ask ourselves are: “Can I do this?”  “Will I be able to stay at it even if it takes years?”. Commitment to anything feels permanent. But success is built on commitment – a commitment to ourselves, to our family, to our dream or anything else that we want to see results in.

Success depends on our ability to make a commitment. Failures, setbacks will come and shake us. but if we have a firmly established commitment, we may be rattled a bit, we may experience discomfort or stress, but we will be able to weather the storm because we have made a long-term decision no matter what.

7. Relying On Talent Alone

It has been said that talent is highly overrated, but what does that mean? everyone has talent, but having talent alone will not get you very far. There are many “prodigies” in the world with extraordinary talent, but if they do not combine their talent with hard work and persistence, their talent will be all they have.

Talent, especially when we have been overly blessed with it, can actually be a hindrance to our overall success. why is this? Because we can end up relying on it too heavily and not on developing ourselves. We may lose out on the benefits derived from putting in the day-to-day hard work of honing our skills. as an example, think of the hare and the tortoise. The hare depended on talent, whereas the tortoise understood that he needed to be persistence.

8. A Short Cut Mindset

Nothing of great value can be accomplished by cutting corners. Whether we are talking about building a strong family, a strong business, lasting relationships,  a life of significance, or pursuing a dream, we can not accomplish anything by taking shortcuts. We tend to think short-term rather than long term; we overestimate what we can accomplish in 1 year and underestimate what we can accomplish in 5 or 10 years.

The real problem when we think this way is that we are impatient for results; we want to see results now. Thinking this way also undermines the need and value of self-discipline which is needed to bring about results over the long term. When we seek short cuts and “immediate” results and don’t see them right away, we may be tempted to ‘throw in the towel” – give up, so to speak. But success is built on a solid foundation, built on time and perseverance.

9. Response to Poor Information

Not all information is created equal. Some information is helpful and some information is not. Some information is correct and some information is incorrect. we can not accept or act on all information at face value. Unfortunately, acting on inaccurate or otherwise poor information is rampant given the high-paced over taxing way of life we have.  In our business, we tend to look for fast and effective rather than helpful and true.

In addition, there is an extraordinary and overwhelming amount of information competing (clamoring) for our attention. The most successful people do not look at the quantity of information, but rather the quality and the source. sometimes even a little bit of true and accurate information is more useful than extensive information. Successful people measure information against a standard and don’t allow just any information to influence them.

10. Having No Goals

Joe F. Griffith said, ” A goal is just a dream with a time limit”. What an awesome perspective on goals. We tend to avoid goal setting because it seems dry and tedious. but what if we took Joe F. Griffith’s perspective and attached a time limit to our dreas6 probably we would be more enthusiastic about setting goals because we would actually be planning our dreams.

The other reason we fail to set goals is that we haven’t actually thought about what we really want. We haven’t taken the time to think about it. Dreams and goals seem like something we might do int the future. successful people never think like this. successful people build their lives around dreams and goal setting. It is a way of life for them and they find meaning and enjoyment in doing so.

Did you enjoy this post? Please leave a comment below.

Click and share

Diana Lynne’s passions are family, traveling, learning, and pursuing a debt-free life. She also loves hanging out with family & friends.  Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca