What separates people who enjoy success from the majority who end up never getting what they want is how we respond to failure. It is what we do about failure that makes a big difference.

There are three ways in which people respond to failure.

Pattern 1: Give Excuses, Lay Blame & Give up

What do some people do when they don’t get what they want? They will start giving themselves lots of excuses and blame everything and everyone around them. They say things like, ‘it’s not fair’, ‘ I’m just not smart enough’ ‘It’s just too difficult’, ‘ I’m too young’ or ‘I’m too old’, ‘ I just didn’t have the luck’, ‘ the depressed economy affected me’.

Feeling helpless and frustrated, this first group will stop taking action and give up! They will resign themselves to their goal being out of reach and live a life of mediocrity.

Pattern 2: Keep Trying the Same thing Over and Over Again

These are the people who have a lot more determination than the first. When they don’t get their outcome, they will not quit. They will get themselves to take action again. The motto of this group is, ‘I failed because I did not try hard enough’ ‘If I keep trying, I will eventually succeed’. So they keep taking action, putting in more time, energy and effort. No matter how many times they fail, they just keep trying harder and harder.

Will they eventually achieve their goals? It depends. If they set small, incremental goals, they may, with enough time and effort eventually succeed. However, if they set big and exceptional goals, like becoming the top in their field, they will never be successful by just trying again and again. They may experience a better result, but they won’t reach the goals they desire. Why?

Because, although they keep taking action, they do not change their strategy. If you keep using the same approach, you are going to keep getting the same result. There are so many professionals and businessmen repeat this limiting pattern.

There are many businessmen who fail in their business only to start again and do the same thing. They keep putting in ads that don’t work, they hire ineffective people or they use the same business model.

Pattern 3: Get Feedback, Change Strategy and Take Action until you Succeed.

So what is the pattern that all successful individuals exhibit? When they don’t achieve their goals, they don’t think of it as failure. Instead, they perceive it as feedback. Either feedback that the strategy they used was ineffective or that they did not take enough action. They then use this feedback to immediately change their strategy and take action again.

If they still don’t succeed, they will get more feedback, change their strategy and take action again. They keep repeating this process until they get what they want. They do whatever it takes. So, remember, every time you don’t get what you want, it is life giving you feedback. It is this continuous feedback you need to help you adjust your approach until you hit your target.

Thomas Edison took almost 10,000 attempts before inventing the light bulb. When asked how he did it, he said that he had to first find 9,999 strategies of how not to invent the light bulb. He then used this feedback to change his strategy until he got what he wanted.

Successful people re-look and change their strategy whenever they encounter ‘failure’. They understand that failure is feedback. Understand this principle and you will overcome failure and achieve success in no time at all.