HOW TO FAIL WITH STYLE
I am a sore loser. I think most ambitious people are. Over the years I’ve found that moping over that loss or failure does nothing for my future successes. Feeling the initial sting of the failure can help propel you in the right direction, but staying there, in the mope, does nothing.
Our greatest growth typically comes from learning through our (or preferably) other people’s experienced failures. But, failure can be debilitating, so how do we keep this inevitable occurrence from derailing us?
Here are my top 3 ways to fail with style:
1. Stop dwelling.
Not only does dwelling on the failure not change the outcome of the failure, but it delays your success (and makes you really annoying to be around). We currently have no way to change the past, so your time and energy will be better spent on redirecting the future. Forgive yourself and move on!
Sure, take 24 hours to feel the emotions (in both instances of successes and failures) and then move forward to focus energy on the next big challenge!
2. Consider failure you’re greatest form of feedback.
Assess the failure. Spend some time understanding why the failure occurred. Learning why you failed is your pathway to success. Now adjust. How can you take what you’ve learned and improve on the next attempt? If you change nothing, you should expect the same outcome.
Many times friends or supervisors are reluctant to provide us with constructive criticism for fear of hurting our feelings. They want to protect us from ourselves, but in actuality they are doing us a great disservice. Failure is the perfect opportunity to gain constructive criticism – use it to your benefit!
3. Don’t take failures personally.
Not succeeding at something (yet) does NOT mean you should brand your identity and forehead with ‘failure’. You are not a failure. Personalizing the failure can wreak havoc on your confidence and your ability to move toward the success.
In this social media era, it’s easy to feel like everyone else is succeeding and all you’re doing is failing and being a bore. Most success stories begin with lots of failures. That does not make those people failures, it makes their first attempts unsuccessful.
Here’s 3 of my favorite 'successful failures':
1. Steve Jobs – removed from the company HE STARTED at age 30…and we all know how that story ended up...you're probably staring at the success now.
2. Dave Ramsey – a real estate millionaire by age 25 who then loses it all and files bankruptcy. Dave used the bible to figure out how to handle money the right way…he now teaches millions of people how to get out of debt and is a multi-millionaire AGAIN.
3. Walt Disney – fired from a newspaper because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” He then had several more cartoon business failures before reaching his biggest success. You know, the one that your childhood wouldn’t have been the same without?!
Use failure as a teaching tool and take comfort in the fact that with each failure you’re one step closer to success!
What are some ways you've failed with style?