Aron Govil: 3 Ways Successful People Approach Failure

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I have a friend who is incredibly successful. He started his own company, sold it for a fortune and now runs another very successful business.

He’s also the most pessimistic person I know.

Despite his success, he’s always convinced that things are about to come crashing down. He over prepares for everything and under-reacts to everything (and then complains about it!).

I can’t think of another friend who fails more often but keeps bouncing back so consistently. I asked him what was up says Aron Govil.

Here’s how he talks about failure…

1) Most People Run Away From Failure

“Failures are like stepping stones on your path to success.” Deal with them quickly, move on and stop worrying about them. The only way to get past a stumbling block is to walk right through it.

2) Most People Fight against Failure

If you fight too hard against something, you’ll only hurt yourself. When your business fails, don’t take it personally. You may have worked incredibly hard on it but that doesn’t mean that the idea was right for you.

3) Most People Fear Failure

If people are asking me about my goals I tell them “I’m more afraid of not trying than failing.” Most people are scared of trying to do something new because they know they could fail. So instead they just keep doing what they’ve always done… which is why so many people are bored with their lives!

You have two choices when failure comes calling: stay down or get back up again. Which one will you choose? 

Shaun King’s article is a humorous, somewhat lighthearted description of the average person’s approach to failure and how it contrasts with what successful people do. In some respects, I have more in common with my pessimistic friend than the author mentioned above – I used to be extremely negative about failures and faults of any sort but nowadays am able to better deal with them. 

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In this post, I want to use Shaun’s three points as a starting point for discussion on how successful people handle failure differently from most others.

1) Most People Run Away From Failure

I am going to slightly disagree with this point. In reality, there are two types of people: those who choose to run away from their failures and those who give up trying altogether because they have been conditioned by society that failure is unacceptable. If you’ve been brought up in a family where failing at something was never an option then it isn’t going to be your natural reaction to failure that keeps pushing you forward. Most likely, you will simply avoid taking on any new challenges because the last thing you want is to fail again. I’ve seen this happen time and time again with students – if a coursework or exam proves too difficult for them they simply won’t attempt it again next year even if doing so is in their best interests (e.g., they need another qualification to be able to progress in their career).

2) Most People Fight against Failure

I agree with this point. Our natural human instinct is to fight even when it’s clear that our struggle is futile or that continuing the fight will result in more pain than pleasure. Trying harder isn’t always better if you are on a path to failure. Some of us need someone else to tell us when enough enough is. I’ve lost count of the number of times I have fought for something only to realize after wasting time and energy that I should have given up far earlier. The problem is, some people never learn because they are too stubborn, convinced that they are right whereas others are simply too scared to admit defeat. 

3) Most people fear failure

This point reflects what I mentioned above about people being scared of trying to do something new because they know they could fail… In my opinion, this fear of failure is a major problem in society today. Successful entrepreneurs are often labeled ‘reckless’ or ‘adventurous’ simply because they have the courage to try things that other people would never even contemplate doing. It’s amazing how common sense will abandon an individual when it comes to opportunities for growth and development. If you’re looking for a job then why work for a large company when you could set up your own business and take a chance on being unemployed? If you’re looking for a job then why not go to a new country without knowing the language or having any contacts? 

Conclusion by Aron Govil

Just because you’ve tried hard at something doesn’t mean that you should keep going for as long as possible. Recognize when enough is enough and stop fighting against the inevitable.


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Aron Govil: 3 Ways Successful People Approach Failure


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