How to Overcome Failure Fast

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Overcoming mistakes and failures quickly is a key to massive success, but it happened again…I failed to be perfect.  I made a mistake, which makes about 15,000 days in a row!

We know we are never going to be perfect.  We all make mistakes every day, so the critical skill is to learn to OVERCOME FAILURE QUICKLY.

Here are 4 simple, yet critical steps to truly overcome failure and mistakes fast:

  1. Own it.
  2. Deal with it.
  3. Learn from it.
  4. Get over it.


Today I’ve got to tell you some bad news and that is, it happened again! I totally messed up. I failed to be perfect again, and I think it’s like over 15,000 days in a row that I have now failed to be perfect. I made a mistake, so raise your hand if you’ve ever done the same thing. Yes, everyday single day we’re not perfect.

We have failures in our life, we let people down, we say we’re going to do stuff and we don’t do it, we make mistakes. We try something and it doesn’t succeed, or we set a goal and we don’t reach the goal, or we start something and we don’t finish it. Whatever it is, when you boil it right down to we failed to live up to or we failed to complete something that we wanted to do or decided we were going to do or told somebody that we were going to do there’s no way to say it except to say, “I messed up, I failed.” The question is not, are you going to fail? Because we’re all going to fail, and we do it virtually every single day because nobody’s perfect. Right? It’s not an excuse it’s just reality.

The real issue is not how often do you mess up, the real issue is how are you going to deal with it when you do have failure in your life. Because it’s so regular, it’s such an integral part of our life. We deal with it everyday, How do you overcome it, not only how do you overcome failure, but how can I overcome failure quicker? How can I overcome it faster so I can not let the failure slow me down, stop me, discourage me or get me stuck.

I literally had a failure, and this happened yesterday. There was a situation with a customer of ours and I didn’t handle it right. I just didn’t handle it right. I was like, “I cannot believe I did that.” I felt guilty. I felt upset. I wanted to justify what I did. I wanted to excuse it, and there was just no way around it. I made a mistake. It was a failure on my part and I was like, “Okay, how am I going to get over this?” Because I hate it when that happens. You know what I mean?

You do something and then you’re just like “I feel awful.” I feel bad for myself and I feel bad for them and other people who knew about it or whatever. I was like “Okay, I got to get over this, What do I do? How do I overcome this failure fast?” Because I don’t want it to ruin my day and I don’t want it to ruin that relationship, so how do you deal with it? Here’s the four steps that I took and when I did it, it was not all fun, but it was so liberating and so powerful when I did it.


1. Own it.

The first thing that you got to do, when ever you fail, whenever you make a mistake is, you have to own it. You have to accept responsibility. You’ve got to acknowledge it, you’ve got to acknowledge it first to yourself and go like, “My bad. My mistake. My failure.” What’s amazing is, is when you do that, I used to think that if I acknowledged it or admitted that I made a mistake that I would lose credibility. That people would go like , “Oh, well you’re a loser, you’re a failure.” I think that comes from our school system, our education system that makes making a mistake kind of like the cardinal sin of life. If you make a mistake you’re going to get a bad grade, you’re going to be a loser.

The reality is making a mistake is part of life and it’s part of the process of growth, achievement and success. There’s no way around it. When you make the mistake, when you fail, you want to own it. You want to take responsibility for it because that puts you in a position of being able to solve it and that leads you to the next step. Once I’ve said, “Okay my mistake I have to do something about it.”

2. Deal with it.

The second step is now I have to deal with it. You have to figure out what is the course of action I need to take to fix the problem, to solve the problem. It’s like, “Okay, my bad, my bad, what are you going to do about it? I’m just going to feel guilty for a while and hope that it goes away.” That doesn’t solve the problem, and now, whereas owning it puts you a step forward, a step further ahead… If I don’t deal with it I’m going to still be stuck in it. What we do a lot of times is we creatively avoid dealing with it because it means I’ve got to admit something to somebody. I have to take initiative and that initiative can be painful because it makes you vulnerable. it’s revealing. It’s like, “Okay, I’m ready, I’m going to admit it, I made a mistake.”

When you take initiative and deal with it, one, the moment you do it you gain credibility. You gain respect. You gain ground, both with yourself and with the other person or the other people that are involved. Now, there is a possibility that they’re not going to receive it well. There is a possibility that they are going to be upset. What do you do? You still have to deal with it. Don’t avoid it, don’t run from it, don’t hide from it, don’t justify it, don’t put it off on someone else, and don’t put it off till tomorrow when it needs to be done right away. If you’re going to get over it fast, deal with it fast.

Here’s what I’ve discovered about problems. Most big problems that we have in our life were little problems yesterday but we put it off. We didn’t own it and we didn’t want to deal with it because it represented discomfort or pain.

It represented vulnerability and so we go , “Oh I’ll do it later.” Because we put it off, the little problem suddenly now has become a big problem because more people are mad, more people have been let down, The anger intensifies, whatever it is, the consequences of it grow. It’s kind of like a tooth ache. When you ignore a tooth ache it doesn’t go away, it only gets bigger, it only get’s worse right? When you have the failure, when you have the mistake, own it and then deal with it immediately. Get it fixed as fast as possible.

3. Learn from it.

Then the third step, and this is where break through happen. Now, I want to learn from it. I don’t want to put myself in a position of making the mistake again. It’s kind of the debrief. What could I have done to have prevented this problem from happening? Once it happened, did I deal with it appropriately? What can I do better next time? Now here’s the beauty of it, once I own it and I deal with it, now it’s behind me. When I go the next step and I learn from it, now the failure actually becomes a step of achievement. Because I got better, because I grew. You see if you just own it and then deal with it and then “Okay I made a mistake and I fixed it, now next.”

Well if I didn’t learn anything from the mistake, I’m probably going to repeat the same thing over and over. He who does not learn from his mistakes is destined to repeat it right? That’s not exactly how it goes but you get the gist of what I’m saying. I would now learn what could I do to fix it better in the future to prevent this happening and to move my life and my business forward or the relationship forward. Learn from it and then this fourth one and this is so critical because a lot of people have a hard time doing this.

4. Get over it.

That is you have to get over it. Now I summarize this and I teach people this, and I’ve taught Real Estate agents this for a long time in my coaching and that is you need to become a master of G.O.I. and that stands for, “Get over it.” That is once I’ve dealt with the issue, I’ve owned it, I’ve dealt with it, I’ve learned from it, you’ve got to let it go. Don’t beat yourself up and so many people they deal with it but then they still feel guilty about it or they worry about it. They’re like “I can’t believe I did that, oh but it’s going to be okay>” Then we can’t sleep for a day or two and it’s like “Oh.” We pull our hair out as you can see it didn’t work out too good for me.

We don’t let it go. Look, let’s just say that you’ve owned it, you dealt with it and it went horribly. The person, if it was a customer, like in my case it was a customer. What if they just go, “Screw you I’m done with you, I’m done with your company, I don’t ever want to talk to you again. I’m going to give you a bad review on Yelp or bad review on Google.” Whatever it is, and you’re like, “Oh no.” Now I can still learn from it but how long are you going to carry it with you? Get over it, release it, look at the worse possible case scenario, what’s the worst thing that could happen and when you acknowledge that and accept, “Okay if that happens, what am I going to do?” I would deal with it, because that’s what you would do.

Once you’ve acknowledge or accepted the worst possible thing that could happen, now I can get over it. I can just move on and go like, “Okay it hurt, I made a mistake I own it, I feel bad about it but I’m not going to continue to feel bad about it.” Because do you understand there is no value in punishing yourself over time for something that you resolved. The only time somebody should punish themselves over time is because they haven’t learned or they haven’t fixed it and resolved it. Then you’re punishing yourself with guilt. Guilt is not a great way to live, because that emotion of guilt does not empower you it disempowers you. It does not make you stronger, it makes you weaker.

The beauty about owning and dealing with it is now I can take the guilt that I felt. If you’ve made a mistake and you knew you did it and it was wrong on your part and it was your failure…the moment you own it and deal with it, I then can release the guilt. Let it go. I deal with people and I’ve dealt with people for years and I’ve seen it. They still have guilt from a mistake that they made years ago. It may have been something they did in a relationship and a family member or whatever. Because it didn’t go well and they dealt with it or they didn’t deal with it for a long time they still carry the guilt around.

Guilt, and this really is wasn’t the purpose of this video today, but guilt is not a good punishment. Guilt is nothing more than an alarm in your brain, your emotions, your psychology, your subconscious has this alarm, it’s called guilt. Guilt says, “Hello, alert, alert, warning, warning, you are not living consistently with your values. Something is wrong.” That’s what guilt is. Guilt is an alarm that says you need to stop doing something, you need to fix it and that’s what guilt is. Once you deal with it, it’s like putting out a fire, once the fire is put our, stop punishing yourself for the fire. You can’t un-burn it, you can’t undo the fire. You deal with it, you learn from it and then you release it. When you do it and do it quickly, you don’t have to wear it for weeks, days or weeks or months or years. Let it go, get over it get on with your life. Get past the failure part and get on with the succeeding part right now.

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