Failure is not a word many of us like to hear. Just reading the word makes us cringe, forcing us to think back to a time in our life where we may have failed. Usually, not a time we think of fondly.
In truth, failure gets a bad rap. It is a completely normal part of life, a reality we all face at multiple points in our lives. By rethinking the meaning of failure and changing our perspectives, we can use these situations to our advantage – regardless of where the failure occurs.
Failure is an opportunity to learn, and you have the power to use the lesson to your advantage!
Start your journey to rethinking your failures with the following thoughts:
Ask yourself, what can I do differently next time?
Since failure is an opportunity to learn, you can use the so called ‘failed’ situation to help develop a plan for next time. Think about what went wrong. Where did it go wrong and how? What measures could be put in place next time, to prevent another possible failure? By applying the lessons learned, you create a better project, build relationships, and open yourself up to more opportunities.
Failure boosts your self-esteem
By learning from failure, you explore your own capabilities and rely on yourself to make the necessary changes to assure your success. When you apply the lessons learned, you take back the power. You take more personal responsibility from these scenarios, which results in higher self-esteem.
Fake it ’till you make it
Part of failure is putting a smile on your face and handling it in a professional and respectful manner. Smiling your way through a failure shows perseverance and dedication, which boosts your self-esteem. Also, if you are smiling, you are subconsciously telling your brain I can do this. See next point on positive self-talk! 😉
Positive self-talk is important
That I can do this thought process retrains your brain to think about what you can do rather than what you can’t do. By forcing yourself to look at the lesson, continue trying, faking it ’till you are making it’, and reminding yourself every day you can, your failures will not seem as bad.
Rock bottom is another stop on your journey
J.K. Rowling, famous author of the Harry Potter series, once said: “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” That is a powerful example of one woman taking multiple failures, persevering, and continuing to work until she landed on both feet. The toughest part of the journey could potentially be your turning point.
Find support from others.
Talking through your perceived failures with another person provides you both support and an objective response reminding you that it is not the end of the world. Whether it’s a friend, family member or business coach, we all need that person in our corner reminding us of how awesome we are!
Failure gives us strength to fail again
With each failure in life, we continue to grow as individuals. It shapes our character, providing lessons we can use in the future. That said, when you fail, you discover how strong you are. When you fail again, it is frustrating, but you are not afraid of failing anymore. You have had the practice. You know it is a lesson. You pick yourself up, brush yourself off and keep going.
Sometimes you are not a good fit
Losing a job, or letting go of a business is not a failure. Sometimes it might mean that you were not a good fit for the job, or the business didn’t quite fit with your values. Failure may mean the end of something temporary, but it does not mean the end of the world. It is an opportunity to find something better, that aligns with your skill set, values, or your work ethic.
Failure is about the lesson, and you have the power to use the lesson to your advantage. Take what you have learned and put it into practice. In the words of Henry Ford, “Failure is simply an opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently”.