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If You Want to Avoid Failure Once and for All, Ask Yourself These 4 Questions

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You just invested in yourself and in your business. You are taking massive action but the results are just not clicking yet. While everyone is making 10X, 20X, and even 100X ROI on their initial investment, you have made $0 return. Failure is starting to overcast your bright shining positive attitude and you are feeling the pain and shame of it.

You could ugly cry, hide under the covers, make excuses for yourself while eating ice cream and watching reruns of Gilmore Girls or, you can fight back and conquer failure once and for all. Failure would love to creep in and hold you down but you are born to be successful. With that mindset means you have to learn how to kick failures butt.

Here are 4 questions you need to ask yourself in order to keep failure behind you:

1. Why am I failing? 

Asking why allows you to go deep into finding the problem that caused you to fail. If you just accept that you fail and are not willing to look for the solution or a way to improve, then my friend, you are a failure. Every time you fail you are able to learn something to take away and apply in your life. If you are not looking for the learning moments then you have given up and that is worse than failing. Many times you may find that it was you who caused yourself to fail all along.

2. What am I able to learn even though I am failing?

Falling in love with learning from your failures is easier said than done but probably the most overlooked at the moment when you are riding the wave of success. And even more, when you are literally trying to drag your lifeless soul from the pits of failure.

I hate failing and I bet you do too. But reframing failure as a key learning tool is a must if you are seeking to climb the mountain of massive success. Each time you fail, if you are able to extract just one new powerful experience and or lesson, you are able to grow quicker and bounce back faster. Thomas Edison failed 1000 times before creating the light blub. Imagine if he would have stopped at the 1st sight of failure?

3. How could this be worse?

I know you have heard comparison is the enemy of success. Well, in this case, it is the opposite. Now, this is a deadly game to play but I know you can handle it. Unless your failure caused you to die, then you are able to bounce back. There is no ethical business failure you can go through that you are not able to bounce back from.

Since being in the military and having a greater understanding of sacrifice, you learn that failure is going to happen but regardless, you have a mission to accomplish. After each mission, not everyone comes home. Think of a 19-year-old young man that will never see his family again or even get to experience the pain of having a business that is struggling. Your failure is a luxury when you ask this question.

4. How can I evolve to avoid this failure again next time?

You have heard insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result. Well, my friend, you and I are freaking evolved insanity and all the entrepreneurs before us. We are built on your failures and remembered by our successes. So the best way to learn from your failures is to get back into the game and start building your business without making the same mistakes that caused you to fail before.

Failure is a normal part of entrepreneurship and life. The faster you start to view failure as a learning tool, the further ahead you will be than your competition. So bookmark this article and when you fail again, revisit this article and let me know how it helped you jump start back into the game and start kicking butt again.

Bertrang Ngampa is a High-Performance Coach that has helped many business owners turn into high performers and achieve levels of success they never dreamt of before. He has an amazing community on facebook geared towards helping high performers have it all in life. Join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/467396397350794/.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Ishan

    Aug 18, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    Really good questions for self evaluation.

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7 Ways You Can Increase Your Concentration Right Away

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In today’s world, an overabundance of information and a large number of distractions is making it increasingly difficult to concentrate on performing the necessary tasks. In this article, I propose 7 simple methods that will train your ability to concentrate, while not taking you from your usual activities. (more…)

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5 Simple Hacks to Help You Develop the Habit That Will Transform Your Life

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It’s excruciating when we know what’s killing us but we can’t do anything about it because as you know, it is not easy to pull the brake on a high way. According to Napoleon Hill, “remember this always – the best (and one might say the only) way in which old habits may be removed is to form new habits to counteract and replace the undesirable ones”. (more…)

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Why Do We Have An Unconscious Bias and How Can We Manage It?

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When I hear someone using my name once in a while throughout the conversation we are having, I cannot stop myself thinking “this person must have read Dale Carnegie’s books or must have been influenced by someone who read them…” Have you just recalled a similar moment and it felt nice?

As Dale Carnegie famously said, “Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and the most important sound in any language”. Why did Dale Carnegie highlight the importance of an individual’s name to that person in his “How to Win Friends and Influence People” book published in 1936?

Each and every one of us wants to feel special and unique. I guess he recommends using the person’s name in the conversation because that is one of the easiest ways to grab that person’s attention so that we can enhance the chances of getting our point across. However, I am more interested in this from the other side; hearing our names directly addresses our individuality, our need or desire to feel special and unique.  

Let’s park this one for now and we will come back. 

Categorization is essential to our survival

There is countless scientific research telling us about how our brains recognize similarities and put things into categories, which has been crucial to our survival in evolution and still helps us with a lot of things from learning new things to coping with the continuous influx of massive amounts of information through our senses. 

The continuous influx of information is mostly handled by our subconscious mind rather than conscious. It is estimated that our brains receive about 11 million bits of information every second through our senses, of which only 40-50 bits can be processed by our conscious mind. We process more information than we are aware of. The magic here is the subconscious mind.

An example is when you are at a very loud party where you hear a lot of words flying around without you recognizing each one of them, then suddenly, you immediately catch it when you hear your name. Your subconscious had been processing all of those words, without your awareness, but informed your conscious mind when your name was out there because it was relevant to you.

In order to most effectively process this much information and inform the conscious mind with only the relevant ones, our subconscious employs categorization as one of its strategies.

When our ancestors encountered some deadly predators in the African savanna, their subconscious prompted their conscious mind to immediately fight or flight by categorizing the information gathered through their senses into “predator / life threat / take action”. Most probably we are not descendants of the ones that were frozen rather than fighting or flighting! 

Although it is a completely different situation, the same strategy applied in remembering lists. Let’s look at the below two lists.

  1. lion, eagle, shark, leopard, hawk, whale, panther, falcon and dolphin 
  2. lion, leopard, panther, eagle, hawk, falcon, shark, whale and dolphin

The second list is easy to remember because it is reordered into relevant groups even though the content of the both lists are identical.

Subconsciousness is the magic and categorization is one of its key strategies. It is essential to our survival, learning new skills and processing information as well as bringing back the information we had processed and stored. 

This amazing skill has its drawbacks

As a result of our brains’ categorization strategy, we also categorize people, especially if we don’t know them as well as our closest ones.

Imagine I am sitting at the table next to yours while you are having your favorite coffee and working on your computer or reading your novel at your neighborhood coffee shop. I stand up, very calmly grab your bag, and start walking away. Your reaction might be quite different depending on my outfit. It could be much more vocal and harsh if I have a dirty T-Shirt and a pair of torn jeans on. However, if I have some navy colored, 3-piece suit and well-pressed white button up shirt on, you might even say something like “Excuse me, you might have picked up my bag by mistake”. (There is an experiment done by social psychologists which reported similar results)

Similarly, I would not be surprised to hear that my co-worker’s spouse is very skilled and knowledgeable in English grammar and literature because he is an English teacher. However, I would not expect it from my co-worker herself because she is an outstanding chemical engineer.  

This is defined as unconscious bias or stereotyping, as a result of our subconscious brain’s categorization strategy. The outfit I have at the coffee shop impacts your response to my action, because it puts me into a different category in your mind depending on my outfit. My co-worker’s and her spouse’s backgrounds make me put them into different categories, which might mislead me sometimes.

Just like we categorize things, it is very natural that we categorize people.  

The key question here for me is; how do we truly treat people as individuals so that they feel unique, just like as they would want, while we know that our brains categorize people

We can overcome unconscious bias 

Leonard Mlodinow, in his enlightening book “Subliminal”, suggests that “if we are aware of our bias and motivated to overcome it, we can.” That doesn’t mean that we need to fight our brain’s categorization strategy. We just need to employ our conscious mind more when we are working or dealing with individuals. 

Our unconscious bias might tell us scientists are bunch of technical nerds who cannot understand abstract concepts that marketers are talking about or it might say that marketers are some daydreamers who need to be grounded by scientists to the real world all the time. I am an engineer and I love thinking in abstract terms and I worked with quite a lot of marketers who thought primarily in factual and concrete terms. 

Spending some effort to learn more about individuals will help overcome unconscious bias. Gathering more information and qualities about them will make it easier for us to treat them as individuals rather than a member of the category we put them in our minds. 

The moral of the story here is to recognize the fact that our brains do categorize, and it is essential; but also, to recognize that every individual wants to feel unique. When we appreciate these two and keep reminding them to ourselves, we are one step closer to figuring out our own way to overcome unconscious bias and treat people more like individuals. 

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Life

The Problem Is Not Actually the Problem: Here’s Why

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With my understanding of the Three Principles, which is deepening month-by-month, I’m becoming more curious about whether the ‘problem’ that we think we have, is really a problem. Not for one second am I dismissing a persons’ experience; I’m human after all and I encounter challenges and what I think are ‘problems’ just like the next person. (more…)

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