Published on February 1st, 20130
Why Victorious Failure is Better than Not Losing
By Tor G. Jakobsen
We have all experienced it; a great idea pops up in your head and you just can´t wait to get started on this new project. It could be anything from a possible new invention, to something more trivial yet equally important to yourself, like getting into shape, or pursuing a new hobby.
Sadly, most of your great thoughts fail; they never seem to get past the first negative and discouraging comments from your family, friends, or co-workers.
Why do we give up so easily? Why do we assume that the skeptics are right and know more about the issue than ourselves?
The reason is that our focus is at the wrong place. Our focus is on the possibility of failure rather than on the reward of success. We are not willing to expose ourselves to possible humiliation and risk more negativity, unless we are guaranteed success.
No guaranteed success
Well, guess what? There is no such thing as guaranteed success, and it is important that we accept this. However, there is a possibility for success if you try. That is, if you carry through with your project despite initial negative feedback.
It is important to stress that what I´m writing about here is not those trying to give constructive and friendly positive advice. What I mean are comments like “that’s a really bad idea” or “you can never achieve that.”
Even if you fail, you are still the victor
For sure, you will not become an A-student or run a marathon instantly. But what you can and should do is to remain focused on your goal and at the same time celebrate your small victories along the way. And even if you should fail, you are still the victor.
Fair enough, you did not get an A on the exam. But you did get a B. And that, when you think about it, is a fairly nice reward for the months you spent studying.
Similarly, you may realize that you will never be able to run a marathon. But you can run five miles, and you are in the best shape of your life. And that isn’t so bad, is it?
Your first step toward achieving great success or, the second best, victorious failure, is to learn to ignore the naysayers. The next time you receive unfounded negative feedback on one of your great ideas or personal goals, you should ask yourself the following question: “What makes this guy an expert on the topic?”
Truth is, naysayers are only experts of naysaying.
*Cover photo by Dainis Matisons, Victory photo by Thomas Quine