Failure. It is a word that every successful person has faced and learned to embrace in order to overcome. I onced worked for a corporation where it was considered a strength if you admitted your failures and asked for help in order to succeed. It was looked upon as a moment of vulnerability in order to become great. We are told this is what we should do (ask for help), yet we are seen as weak if we admit anything less than perfection.
So how do we embrace our own failures in order to learn and grow? Here are a few ways I recommend:
- Mindset – if you believe that your failures are the end, then they will become “the end.” Don’t let your mind trash become your reality.
- Realistic Expectations – the bigger the try, the more you risk. Rarely is it a success on the first try. And if it is, many times it is because you played it safe to begin with. Go big, prepare for the worst and ready for the best.
- Perspective – failures are only failures if you either give up or don’t learn from them. I look at failures as notches on the experience belt. They build character and teach me things I could have never learned anywhere else. Failure is often my best teacher.
We say learn from your mistakes, but besides the obvious ones, how do you do that? Often, they are subtle things that you do to sabotage yourself for which you are not even aware. My recommendation is that you keep a log. When things don’t go right or could have been done better, write them down and categorize the failure. Was it operational? Was it communication- based? Was it a financial miscalculation? Over time, a pattern may emerge and show you opportunities where you can both learn and improve.
Look at each failure as a success toward your greater good. It teaches you humility, perspective and patience. And when you break through to a success, celebrate the moment as well as the journey that brought you there.