Failure can offer valuable feedback that will help you achieve your goal. Unfortunately, many people lose the learning opportunity by attributing the failure to an external factor, such as luck.
As a result, they enter a downward spiral: each failure makes them less motivated to try again, and soon they give up, frustrated at how unfair the world is. It wasn’t really the world that was responsible; it was their own failure to take responsibility for their failure and learn from it.
Consequently, instead of identifying the root cause in something they did, they wrongly assume that they had no control over the situation. This not only makes them less likely to exert equal effort during subsequent attempts (which in itself reduces their chances of success), but also increases the risk they’ll repeat the same mistakes over and over again.
Make sure that whenever you fail, you always look for the cause of the failure in something that you did, and not in something that you couldn’t control
Even when it looks as if something was indeed outside of your control, it doesn’t mean that you didn’t make any mistakes that might have increased the chances of such an outcome. Identifying those mistakes — even if they were only partially responsible for the failure — will help you in future attempts and prevent you from developing the unhelpful mindset that you don’t have direct influence over your life.
For example, if you weren’t hired by your dream company, perhaps it wasn’t your fault. Maybe there was a better candidate, the hiring manager didn’t like you, or the company later decided against hiring a new employee.
However, even in such a case, it’s valuable to ponder whether there was anything you could have done better. Perhaps you could have improved your resume, asked better questions during the interview, or been better prepared for
the questions you had assumed were unlikely to be asked.
Maybe it still wouldn’t have resulted in success, but at least that way you will have learned something new that will increase your chances of getting hired the next time, and consequently, you get to lift your spirits and boost your determination.
365 Days With Self Discipline – Meadows, Martin