The Psychology of Failure

I FAILED A LOT. I have come across so many people who have failed. I also sometimes succeed and witnessed so much success. One thing I learned from that is the mentality of someone who fails. I know how we think when we fail. I know how we feel when we fail. I can’t claim to be scientific but I will mention some of the observations that I personally felt and witnessed from others.

  • THOUGHT1: The first thought that comes to your mind when you fail is, “It is absolutely not my fault.”
  • THOUGHT2: Immediately after, you start thinking, “Whom should I blame?”

I liked a lot when Jim Collins said while describing level 5 leaders, leaders of the highest quality who can transform the organization from mediocrity to excellence. He said that when people fail they look out of the window while level 5 leaders look in the mirror. Instead of finding out what shortcomings I had that made me fail as level 5 leaders would do by looking in the mirror, I try to find out someone or something to blame. You will be amazed if I tell you that almost every one does that. Well, except the few level 5 I have seen in my life.
Allah in the Quraan mentioned this fact talking about some group that whenever something good happen to them they say it is from Allah, and whenever something bad happens to them they blame the Prophet (pbuh). Allah made it clear, “… whatever good that happens to you is from Allah and whatever bad is from your own self …” [Surat al-nesa2]
Also, Allah said in Surat al-shura, “And whatever problems happen to you is because of what you hands possessed and He forgives a lot!” Along the same lines, Ibn Khozaimah, the famous scholar of Hadith said, “some people fear the sins of other while being fearless of their own sins.”
So a recipe of failure is to keep thinking that way and you will always find someone to blame. However, you will never succeed. Looking in the mirror and blaming yourself for you own problems is THE RECIPE OF SUCCESS.
A very famous adage in my home country says, “Do not ask the doctor. Ask someone who got sick.” Well, although that is completely wrong to find out what the cure is, it is absolutely right to know how it feels when you get sick.
This is an advice from someone who experienced failure and that is how it feels. So, leaaaarn!

to be continues


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