Have you ever wondered why everyone faces failure but some people let it stop them in their tracks and others let it propel them forward? It’s all about mindset and how each individual thinks and reacts to failure that makes all the difference. Here are three tips for surviving failure and learning to fail forward.
- Learn from mistakes.
Human nature makes us want to hide in embarrassment if we mess up and make mistakes. Instead of doing that, view mistakes a stepping stone. There’s always growth to be made from a mistake(s)!
For example, let’s say you’re an online business owner and have just released a new information product. You thought the sales would come in quicker and that there would be more than there were. You made the mistake of not setting up a sales page and instead just wrote a quick blog post about it with a buy now button. So you know what the mistake was, it’s a matter of fixing that and learning that it’s a good idea to always have a sales page for every product you create. It’s all about testing and tweaking!
Let’s look at another example: say you’re a service provider and have taken on too much work. You’ve made a mistake and missed a deadline. Instead of being embarrassed and ashamed about the mistake, learn from it. You now know you can’t take too much on because you’re only one person and there are only so many hours in the day. This mistake can also be a great teacher of integrity and responsibility – you need to do the right thing, fess up and be honest with the client you missed the deadline with.
The best things about mistakes, aside from them being an opportunity for growth, is that once you’ve done it once you know what not to do again 😉
2. Letting go of what didn’t work.
Face it, not everything you try is going to work. That’s okay! It doesn’t have to be a stumbling block. Instead you have to learn to just let it go and move on. It’s not always easy to do this but once you learn how to do it and practice doing it regularly, it’ll be easier and more natural for you. There’s a lot more that can be said about this, but we’ll keep it simple and leave it at this.
3. Not beating yourself up.
The negative self-talk doesn’t do you any good. What’s the point of continuously feeding quarters to the butt kicking machine so you can keep beating yourself up? Is it helping you move on from the failure or disappointment? No. Instead, you’re spending valuable energy and time focusing on the failure and now you’ve probably escalated it into ‘oh well I’m a failure at everything’ or ‘I can’t do anything right’. Stop! You know as well as I do that’s not true. You’ve had your pity party now it’s time to stop beating yourself up and move along! Instead of beating yourself up, look at the positives of the situation – what you learned, the mistake(s) you don’t have to make again because it’s out of the way now, etc.
Just remember – failure is something that is going to happen, it can’t be avoided. But it’s up to you to choose how you respond – give up or keep going. These three tips can help you keep your momentum going and not let failure or disappointment stop you in your tracks, but instead help you fail forward!
And now I’ll leave you with this quote to think about:
“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley