Failure happens to the best of us, but it can still be completely ego-crushing. And when your ego is crushed, it’s easy to give up. Don’t let failure take down your goals. Prepare for it with a “failure expectation” plan.
Picture: Steven Depolo/Flickr
Author Ramit Sethi explains how expecting rejection, and even planning on it, can help maintain your confidence. For example, when he applied to Stanford, he expected to get a rejection letter, so he came up with a backup plan:
Since I had already assumed that I was going to get rejected, I’d already made plans for what I’d do to get in, despite their rejection. I was going to send them recent updates to my coursework, a few recent press clippings I’d done, and some updates on the business/job I was doing in high school. In short, getting a “no” was only the first step.
Had Sethi been rejected, it wouldn’t have slowed down his motivation, because he was mentally prepared for that rejection. And, not only that, he had a plan in place to keep trying.
We all know the cliche: “hope for the best and prepare for the worst.” But many of us don’t actively use this advice. We don’t usually draft an actual plan in case of the worst. We try once, we fail, and we tell ourselves we never really wanted it, anyway. Sethi’s advice goes beyond that cliche, though. He reminds us that success isn’t based on a single attempt:
I learned a very valuable lesson: We gain confidence in our abilities not from a SINGLE successful attempt, but from planning ahead of time and executing that plan until we reach our objective.
In short, prepare for the worst by coming up with a backup plan. Make sure that plan still supports your end goal. This not only safeguards you from the confidence blow of failure, it’s also your actionable next step toward success.
Judo Technique: Turning “Failure Expectation” into domination [I Will Teach You To Be Rich]