Goal-setting is an important part of success. Setting goals gives us motivation for short and long-term success. They also give us a tool to measure that success.
But research tells us that 92% of goal-setters don’t actually reach the goals they set. This statistic about failure to achieve goals could give you pause about setting your own. Failure to achieve specific goals doesn’t mean complete failure though.
Before you let fear take over, let’s take a look at the positive side of not achieving goals. Yes, there is a positive side.
The truth is, failure and success are linked. Chances are you will fail several times before you achieve your goals. This just means you continue to get back up.
So, how does failure actually lead to success?
How to Deal with Failure
First things first, you can’t give up. If you’re not failing at something, you’re not doing anything. So many people live in fear of failing that they don’t even try to achieve something.
You don’t want to be that person. Even if you don’t achieve a specific goal, chances are you’ve made some progress. The question is, what will you do with both the failure and the success?
Failure is a Learning Opportunity
As a teacher, I think it’s important for everyone to understand that failure is a learning opportunity. If you fail to achieve specific goals, you can go back and look at where you missed the mark.
Analyzing your failure allows you to change your tactics and come at the problem from another angle. Think of it like a math problem. While there’s one right answer, there’s multiple ways to get to that solution.
Your goals are the same way. When you don’t get the right solution, it just means you used the wrong equation for you. This means you have an opportunity to find another way to meet the problem.
Take the time to look at where things started to go wrong. Where did you get off track? Where did you lose your momentum?
Figure out what caused that failure and learn from it. This works with success as well as failure. Every time we set goals, we have the opportunity to learn something new.
Analyze, do your research, and come at that goal again. Or, if you discover that goal wasn’t right for you, figure out what is.
Failure May Mean the Beginning of Another Opportunity
Sometimes God puts us in situations to prepare us for something else. Maybe the goal was meant to be missed. Maybe you were meant to learn something to help you achieve a different goal.
Failure to achieve goals is always an opportunity. What did you learn from the experience? Is there something you can apply to something else that seems to be opening up?
Maybe your original goal was to be a teacher. You go through your studies to learn what it takes to teach impressionable young minds, but somehow things don’t go as planned. Suddenly you find the door to teaching closing on you.
But what if another door appears, and you find yourself called to sit on a council? (Bonus points to the person that figures out the connection of this example). What part of your teaching studies can help you make decisions in this new situation?
That’s the beauty of goals. Even when we don’t complete a goal, we can still take lessons away from those experiences.
Failure Can Highlight Your Potential
The idea of seeing potential in failure may seem ridiculous to you but think about it before you dismiss the idea. Rather than looking at where you failed, look at where you succeeded.
Even in a failed experience, you’ll see some success at different points. As long as you continue to strive for something you have potential somewhere.
Really look at the steps you took:
· What parts of the goal did you achieve?
· What new strengths did you discover?
· What can you take away from this experience?
You can’t just focus on the failure. You have to take time to look for success even in failure. Make the failure worth the time.
You can’t just lay down after a failure to achieve goals. If you want another chance at success, you have to look for that second chance. This means you have to be just as willing to seek your success as you are your failure.
Always Look at the Bigger Picture
Setting goals is just a tool to creating the life you’re meant to live. Before you set new goals, take a look at past goals. Where did you succeed? Where did you fail?
How does that failure and success apply to the bigger picture in your life? This is all about creating that balance in our lives. To achieve good balance in all aspects of life, we have to continually check our progress.
You also have to be willing to change goals where necessary. Don’t get stuck on something just because it was your original idea. Sometimes you have to let yourself fail now so you can succeed later.
Let your failure to achieve goals lead you to better results overall. The most important thing to remember is, Never Give Up!
Have you had a good learning experience from a failed goal? I’d love to hear how you applied the learning process. Tell me about it in the comments.