No one likes to fail. But sometimes failure can be a great learning experience, especially in business. The key is being able to take a step back and look at the failure objectively and figure out how to move past it.
“Understand that failing is not equivalent to being a failure. Failure only happens from not trying at all,” notes personal growth and relationship coach Dawn C. Reid of Reid Ready Coaching, LLC. ” Learn from the mistakes that contributed to the failed situation so that you are not doomed to repeat them.”
It is not every time you will hit a home run. “Accept failure as one potential outcome; simply bring it into your consciousness. Don’t dwell on it or wish it; just recognize and accept that your actions may not produce the desired result. In other words, failure is not your final destination, but it may be a place you visit on your journey,” adds Angela Winfield, successful blind, attorney, inspirational speaker, certified coach, author and entrepreneur.
You don´t have to make failure your best friend, but you will need to recognize (or embrace) it–and not ignore the failure. Part of embracing it is looking at your role in the failure. “Own it – What was your role in the failure? Yes, you had something to do with it. Examine your responsibility in the matter, acknowledge it and breathe through your disappointment in self,” explains public relations strategist Holly Rodriguez, founder of H-Rod & Associates.
Tips On Moving Beyond Failure
Keep the big picture in mind: “Failing is not personal. Some things simply do not work out as planned. That’s okay. You are not a failure because you failed at something,” says Reid.
Recognize your effort: “Be proud of yourself for making an attempt to step out and try,” Reid points out. “You would never have known what you are capable of, or what was possible had you not tried.”
Where you are, where to go: Examine the situation from all sides. “Take stock of where you are to begin figuring out your next move. Call on your network for support – either a shoulder to cry on, or that friend who will tell you, in a straightforward way, how you messed up. From there, you can re-build,” says Rodriguez.
Give yourself some time and space: Don´t rush a comeback. Reflect first. “Many people will tell you to´just get back out there!´, but without introspection, how are you going to do so and not repeat the same mistakes? Give yourself some time to grieve for your loss/failure. Write in your journal about your disappointment and hurt, talk with a friend, and if necessary, see a therapist to get past it. Treat yourself lovingly – a massage, pedicure, round of golf – whatever will help revive you. But don’t hang out in this step for too long – dealing can turn into dwelling very quickly,” suggests Rodriguez.
Look for the lesson: There is something to be learned from every experience, even failure. “Be willing to learn from failure. To get what you want, you have to move from self-consciousness to self-awareness. Get really real and curious about what worked and what didn’t. Failure is your teacher. If you pay attention to it rather than run from it, it will give you valuable information and help you improve so that you have a better chance of succeeding,” says Winfield, author of the forthcoming book, OPEN: How to Create A Life You Absolutely Love Living.
Get another opinion: Open up to your trusted circle–friends, mentors, colleagues. “Failure makes us more open to guidance. Use this ‘open period’ to seek and form new relationships that can help you get to the next level. Develop a strategy to stay there and cultivate those relationships. Failure makes us feel alone, but with the right network in your corner, you are never alone,: says Maryann Reid, senior marketing coach, Books & Buzz.
Never be afraid to fail: “It’s really only failing if you stop there instead of continuing to take action until you succeed. If you’re afraid to fail, you’ll never succeed and, when you do succeed, your past failure doesn’t matter,” says Winfield.
Reconnect with your end goal: Just because you failed doens´t mean you have to give up your dream.