The Secret for Turning Failure Into Success

Confetti falling over a cheering stadium crowd after they turned failure into success

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What if, starting today, you weren't afraid of failure and the word 'no' didn't stop you anymore? What if you realized that failure is the secret to success? As a matter of fact, it often is. Ask any high achiever in business (or in life) and they will likely tell you that some of their greatest accomplishments came from turning failures into successes. 

The word 'no' doesn't have to debilitate you. In fact, it can empower you to achieve a whole new level of greatness you never dreamed possible. You might think this is just a sales strategy, but in fact it is a life philosophy as well.

Whether we define ourselves as salespeople or not, we are all engaged in the sales process. We all must overcome fears of failure and rejection to be successful and achieve what we want. Here are five top secrets to help you turn failure into success immediately!

Change Your Mental Model of 'Success' and 'Failure'

Most people operate with the following mental model:


They see themselves in the middle, with success on one end and failure on the other. They do everything they can to move toward success and away from failure. But, what if you reconfigured that model?


Instead of viewing failure as something to be avoided, turn it into a "stepping-stone" on the path to success and gratification. In other words: Success is the destination. Failure is how you get there.

To achieve significant success in today's world, failure is not just a possibility. It's a requirement. We must see success and failure for what they truly are. They're not opposites but instead opposite sides of the same coin.

Intentionally Increase Your Failure Rate

If it's true that the more we fail, the more we succeed (and it is), then your immediate goal should be to intentionally increase your failure rate! With this thought in mind, you're succeeding even when you fail. Yes, this is a counter-intuitive, reverse thinking philosophy, but believe it or not it works!

Intentionally increasing failure is the basis for the "Go for No" concept. "Go for No" means the more people tell you "no," the closer you will get to ultimate success.

In other words, the more people telling you "no" now, the more people will say "yes" in the long term. If they actually counted the number of times they hear "no" during a typical day or week, most people would be shocked to see how low the number actually is. Go ahead and try it!

Set 'No' Goals

Everyone sets success goals. But how about setting goals for the number of times we fail? For example, rather than a salesperson setting the goal of having two prospects say "yes" to them, they set the goal of being rejected (hearing "no") 10 times. Imagine the first two prospects they called on said, "Yes!" Rather than being done (having hit their "yes" goal), they'd actually be behind because they still have 10 "no's" to go!

The other exciting aspect of this strategy is how it keeps people "in the game" when they're "red hot." If all you have is yes goals and then you slow down (or quit) when you're successful, the hot streak ends. But if you keep going when the yeses of life are falling at your feet, the sky is the limit!

Celebrate Your Failures, Not Just Your Successes.

It's natural to be excited about our successes. Yes, you want to celebrate them. Yes, you want to give yourself a reward or even throw a party. But, if the key to success is to increase our failures, then it only makes sense to celebrate our set backs as well.

Yes, you heard right: if someone turns you down, instead of mentally punishing yourself for not succeeding, reward yourself for making the effort by buying an ice cream cone or specialty coffee and say, "I'm one step closer to success!" Stop letting failure have the negative hold it has on your thoughts and emotions.

See Courage as a 'Muscle'

If failure is a vehicle that can take you to success, then courage is the fuel! Courage is a muscle. And, like any muscle, you must develop and strengthen it with lots of exercise.

As the saying goes: Use it, or lose it. It's no different with courage. Use and develop your "courage muscle" by looking fear in the eye and taking action anyway. Each time you take action, the courage muscle gets stronger and your confidence and self-esteem become less fragile.

When you don't, it atrophies. And before you know it your courage is gone. But it doesn't have to be this way. All the courage you could ever want or need to achieve every goal you have is already in you, just waiting for you to take action.

Just Say No

So, change your mental models, intentionally increase your failure rate, set "no" goals, celebrate your failures and see courage as a muscle, and you'll significantly increase your success rate in six months guaranteed. Remember, this strategy is not just a sales strategy. It is not just for businesses. It's for every aspect of your personal and professional lives.