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What Caused Your Failure?

Try as we might to achieve success, failure is a much more familiar companion. The failures may be small, but life is filled with many small areas in which we've failed. We pick ourselves up off the ground and soldier on, as that's what helps us achieve success in the end. But wouldn't it be better if we could AVOID failure altogether? There are a number of things that cause us to fail:

Lack of planning

A 120,000-word novel doesn't write itself. If you're not planning how to achieve success (in this case, a completed novel), you're never going to get it done! The more specific and detailed the plan, the better! Case in point: At a BootCamp I attended, the daily word count was 1,000 to 1,500 words per day. At the end of the 3 months, we had a fully-written novel at 60,000 to 90,000 words!

Holding back

You will never succeed if you don't go "all in"! If you hold things back, it's like you're telling your mind that you're expecting to fail. Success takes effort, but it takes confidence in your chances of success that will help you keep up that effort day after day. NO HOLDING BACK!

Aiming too high

High hopes can get you places, but not without some bumps and bruises along the way! Planes soar in the sky, but they all need landing gear along with their wings. Having sky-high goals is good, but not without the small, day-to-day steps that will help you get there. If you want to succeed, you need to make sure your goal is attainable.

Wrong place, wrong time

Do you really think you could success as a world-class violinist, astronaut, or NFL linebacker? Probably not, as your skills lie elsewhere. You may be in the wrong country, state, city, or neighborhood, or you may be doing the wrong job or practicing the wrong hobby. Are you in the right place at the right time? Could your location, occupation, or lifestyle be causing your failure? If you can make the change, do!

You quit after a loss

You always hear this line in movies: "They may have won the battle, but we will win the war." It may sound overly confident or optimistic, but it's an attitude you must have in order to succeed! If you quit after just one lost battle, you're done. If you keep fighting, there's a chance you'll win. Success is a hard-fought war, one with many victories and losses. Don't quit after just one loss--no matter how devastating!

You're scared

Who isn't? It's terrifying to try and succeed in anything, as there is ALWAYS the risk of failure. Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, and fear of loss can hold us back from stepping out to try something new and daring, but don't let that be you! Face your fears, understand that they are real but that they can't stop you, and move on DESPITE them. You will never truly be rid of fear, but you shouldn't let them prevent you from trying.

You make excuses

"I don't have enough time/money/resources" is one of the most common excuses. Excuses help to shed the blame of failure, alleviating your guilt at not succeeding at some effort. But that's not the right way to go about it. You have to accept your part in your failure! Yes, you were to blame (in part, at least) for how your efforts failed. Accept it, but don't internalize it. Understand the mistakes you made and use the experience to do better the next time. NO EXCUSES! You don't care The best and most successful people BLEED for their work, their company, their art, or their goals. People who don't throw themselves fully into it may never achieve success, simply because they approach the task with apathy. The more you care, the more likely you will do whatever it takes to succeed!

We've all failed, and often due to one of the things listed above. Now that you know what caused your failure, it's time to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and resolve not to let these mistakes stop you from reaching your goals and achieving success!