I Succeeded Because I Failed First

Sure, failure hurts — but it has a lot to teach us. Find the lessons in your mistakes so you can try again.
Be Our Guest | posted by Eran Grayson
Eran Maor, Be Our Guest Blogger

If you see a mistake as the end of the world, then it becomes that.

— Eran Grayson, ADHD coach

What can we learn from our mistakes and missteps? A lot. Individuals with ADHD experience failure more than other people. We run into problems with failure when we attach a judgment to it or allow one or two failures to define us — “I came up short, therefore I am a loser.”

When we see failure as a potential outcome of reaching our goal, we allow ourselves to learn from the experience. When we see failure as a dead end, we don’t learn a thing.

Here’s how to turn mistakes into meaningful personal growth.

> Look for the lesson that failure teaches. Thomas Edison tried over 8,000 designs before he settled on a working light bulb. Those 7,999 other trials were not all produced in vain. Edison learned from the failed designs and kept them in mind as he developed a working prototype. We can learn from our unsuccessful attempts and use that knowledge when we try again. If we don’t, we will probably repeat the same mistake.

> Reframe your mistakes into learning experiences. Let’s say you need a company logo for your start-up business and you don’t know whether to design it yourself or hand it off a graphic designer. You know you have artistic skill and you could create your own logo, but you decide to go with a professional instead. You pay the designer $300 to create a company logo, and you are unimpressed with the designs he did. So you do it yourself and you love it.

You can kick and blame yourself from morning until night for spending $300 on a graphic designer, or you can reframe the experience. You learned that the next time you need graphic support you shouldn’t look any further than yourself. The lesson cost you $300, but you gained a lot of self-confidence.

Yes, you’ve heard it before, but perception is reality. If you see a mistake as the end of the world, then it becomes that. Success, however, is often found on the other side of failure. Many times you can’t succeed without experiencing the flip side first.

Eran Grayson is an ADHD coach and educational therapist in private practice since 2009. He designs and implements programs for children and adults with ADHD and learning disabilities. His web site is www.graysonconsulting.com.

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