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Overcoming Failure: What makes you fall at the first hurdle?

Where do you find motivation?

We all get that feeling. “It’s been a long week.” Why can’t the weekend get here a bit quicker so we can start again on Monday. When you’re struggling to find motivation; overcoming failure is difficult.

It’s important to try and discover, the actual point where something hasn’t worked & when it’s time to move on and try again.

No one likes to fail. Which is why resilience is the most important trait for any entrepreneur.

To obtain success, prepare yourself & try, try and try again.

As Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

What are your daily struggles?

First things first. To start overcoming failure, you need to state what your daily struggles are. What is it that causes a lapse in confidence? What setbacks contribute to your daily struggles? It’s important not to give up, keep updating your goals to minimise setbacks.

The Research

We’ve done some psychological research on overcoming failure. James Clear on Pocket had put forward a theory for 3 stages of Failure and the best methods to overcoming those personal issues that cause stress & and unwelcome anxiety.

His theory is based on the question: How do you know when to give up & when to stick with it?

The 3 stages of failure consist of:

  • Failure of tactics
  • Failure of strategy
  • Failure of vision

Furthermore, it ensures you start to achieve your goals, we’ll also discuss Warren Buffett’s “2 list strategy.” A 3 step process, to help you set career changing goals for overcoming failure, retaining resilience & obtaining success.

3 stages for overcoming failure

James Clear

Based on Clear’s theories

We have reviewed Clear’s 3 stages. With aim of discovering what trends can be used for overcoming failures and knowing when to rethink your goals. Based in a pyramid. We’ll work it back.

To begin with, your general day today tactics — Failure of Tactics focuses on “How mistakes happen.” Which would occur in situations involving poor measurement, laziness and not creating a plan that’s got a clear vision.

In contrast, James Clear looks further back at strategy failures. This block on the pyramid explains how an incorrect strategy can knock you back if you don’t know why & when to make a change.

He uses Amazon as his prime example. For instance, back in 1999 they wanted to take on eBay allowing vendors to sell anything. Launching Amazon Auctions & ZShops, which coincidently don’t exist today. Bezos accepted that he’d failed & relaunched Amazon as it is today — successfully.

Further expressing that overcoming failure provides the perfect learning curve. If you miss it first time act quickly to start again. It’s very rare that an entrepreneur continues to work on the same strategy from startup to year three. Don’t be put off by failure at the first hurdle. Be more versatile, keep adjusting and you’ll always push to succeed.

Have the vision to succeed

The final block on the Failure Pyramid having a vision and having confidence to criticise your views if it doesn’t work out. For instance, it might be bred into you family to run your own business. So the pressure is mounting on you to do the same. You’re the 4th generation and you’ve still got that “go with the flow feeling.”

Clear puts forward, that in order to benchmark and work towards your visions, you should:

  • Re-evaluate your life. Don’t be afraid to make a decision that moves away from traditions. Have the confidence to create a new vision that works for you
  • With the right vision you’ll have the foundations to create a new strategy

Overcoming failure with clear goals

Warren Buffett’s goal setting strategy, is the perfect, focus-shifting approach. Originally, the investment tycoon presented this approach to help his employees overcome their weaknesses and start to achieve their most important goals. His “two list” approach sounds simple. However, the difficulty is choosing and sticking to the goals you’ve selected to achieve.

What does the two step strategy appear like:

  1. Curate a list of 25 career aspirations
  2. Split that into two lists — split 5/20
  3. Stick to the list of 5 goals & remove the 20

Based on Buffet’s published story, about his personal airline pilot, Mike Flint. He once asked “What will you do with the 20 you haven’t circled?” When Flint replied stated that he’ll look to them later. Buffet affirmed that items 6-25, should be your “avoid at all cost list!” Don’t spend too much time on secondary priorities. Hit your top 5 goals, distraction free.

How do I select my top 5 goals?

Creating the list is simple, but the process of elimination is the difficult part. Which is why Buffett remains firm with Mike Flint, when he mentioned the latter 20 goals as important. If you want to achieve anything. Don’t do too much at one. Overcome failure without distractions.

How to ensure I achieve my goals and overcome failure?

To ensure your goals are fully achievable take those 5 goals you’ve put forward & cement them into your schedule. The most important part is limiting distractions.

We’ve merged Clear & Buffet’s theories together to help you to set goals, whilst overcoming failure. We’ve derived 2 lists & selected one goal to discuss as an example.

Number 1 goal is: Career progression
  1. Create a vision: Simply, this is to progress within your organisation over the next 12 months & make a difference to your Department.
  2. Work out how you’ll achieve your goal. For instance, by engaging across all channels in your business. Plan on making a difference
  3. Think about your tactics: Add personal development tactics to your daily schedule, such as skill boosters, scheduling & mentor support.

To conclude, James Clear emphasises, that starting small is important, “the goal is not to achieve those types of results first, but to become the type of person who can.” Which is why we agree. When overcoming failure, in order to set out and achieve those 5 important goals. Come up with 5 supportive tactics that’ll guide you on the way to success.


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Heap Bridge,
Tel: 0161 762 7744

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