I have been quietly reflecting on this question for over 2 years now. I wanted to understand what was it that led to each outcome and going forward what can I learn from these experiences. I have finally come to see that when I have succeed, I have met 3 critical aspects and none have to do with my intellect, skills and abilities. Here they are:
Clear Vision: I could see clearly my desired outcomes (goals), see myself doing what needed to be done, who I was serving, what value I was delivering, how I was delivering the value, the business strategy (road map), to name just a few of these elements under vision.
Strong Belief: I firmly believed in the business, the business model, the team, the value being delivered, and how in the process I, my team, my family, and my clients were benefiting.
Outcome Oriented Focused Action: Upon the foundation of clear focused vision and strong belief, I was able to act with conviction. Bumps, while stressful at time, didn't throw me off course. And the more I succeeded, the stronger my beliefs became, energizing me even further. Nothing could shake me from my path.
On the other hand, when I have failed, I now realize that each of these aspects were missing. My vision was cloudy. I didn't have a strong sense, and therefore belief, of who I am serving, what value I am delivering, and the business model. In the absence of these factors, my efforts were half-hearted at best. No wonder I failed.
While experiencing failure by no means was a pleasant experience, and I don't wish it on anyone, looking back I am thankful for having gone through such experiences. I believe that today I am a better person because of it for I have learned invaluable lessons in the process. And I see these experiences as having provided me with inner growth and now serve as stepping stones into my next phase.
So if you're in a place where things just aren't working out, ask yourself, with brutal honesty, are you clear about your vision, do you believe in that vision as well as in yourself, and are you willing to do whatever it takes. If you lack in any of these, I urge you to step back for a moment and do the work necessary, starting with within yourself, to achieve the clarity and conviction you need and then start again from that place.
Remember, to succeed, you need all 3, and that there are no short cuts. And when you do experience set-backs, have faith that they are there for a purpose, even though you may not see it just yet.