This simple 5-minute Pre-Failing exercise can help you reduce frustration, anger, stress and disappointment every day, as well as increasing your chances of creating real, lasting success.
People really are overwhelmed by the demands of modern life. It seems the only thing we have left is hope and faith. That it will get better eventually. Now therein lies the problem, the hope and faith. Not that I am against hope and faith. I am the first person to read and review my intentions and goals every day. That is an exercise in hope and faith.
But, there is a difference between expecting something and working towards something. My intentions every day are clear. I intend on having a great day. I intend on signing up new clients. I intend that my children will listen to me and clean their rooms. I intend a day filled with successes.
However, you, me and the rest of the world knows that is a pipe dream because something else happens. Life. People, cars, bosses, politicians and the economy happens.
The root cause of our anger, frustration
See, the problem is that we expect too much and then things do not happen and we are disappointed. That leads to anger, frustration. And what do we do tomorrow? We rinse and repeat and we do the same thing again. Expecting great things, sitting waiting for it to come and BOOM there it all goes up in smoke. We are disappointed, feel like a failure, get angry and frustrated.
Remove disappointment and you remove anger and frustration
It is our over-expectation that causes the problems. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not asking you to expect less, that would not be a good strategy if you ever want a slither of success.
Go ahead and have high expectations. In fact, have very high expectations of yourself and your success. Imagine the success you want. Plan it and live it.
However, before you start living it I want you to do the following.
Pre-Failing all of your high expectations
If you already failed at something or something failed you, then how can you feel disappointed? And if you do not feel disappointed then how can you feel angry and frustrated?
So before I interact with my children in the morning, I think of all the things I expect them to do or achieve and then I think to myself how it would feel if it never happened. If they did nothing.
I would ask myself, what is the real result of this? Will it end my world? I doubt it. In my mind’s eye I then see how I address the issue if it didn’t happen as planned. It calms me. I am prepared. I am less anxious about what might or could happen. I am calmer with my children and I already have a solution for when it does not happen as planned. Thus it actually sparks creativity within me while building a greater loving relationship with my kids.
Remember earlier in the article, I made the following statement: “there is a difference between expecting something and working towards something.”
Not pre-failing I simply expect and hope things will go as planned. Rarely it does, I am unprepared for it, and it never happens anyway and thus that expectation of success disappears and my life does not grow.
But when I pre-fail and my expectation does not happen, I am prepared for it – I am calm and I already have a solution on how I will move forward to make it a reality and my life grows and I edge one step closer to my success.
Pre-Failing step-by-step guide
- What am I expecting?
- What would be the result of it not happening?
- How will I deal with it?
- What can I do to get the result I expect, doing something else?
I bet you this is what Elon Musk and other successful entrepreneurs do. They do not bemoan the unfairness of life and the world. Instead, they look at it, ask what would happen if they do not get what they want and they find a new way of getting what they want. It is not a process of victimhood – instead, a process of relentless creativity and opportunism.
So, now you have no excuse not go and get your own success. Let Pre-Failing prevail.