As the illustration suggests, learning is the best way to leverage perceived failure.
Like beauty, failure is in the eye of the beholder. Some may dread it while others will actually welcome it. One of my popular sayings to business folks looking to succeed is to fail fast and often. Inherent in that statement is taking action and then leveraging and learning from it when perceived failure does occur. In my eye, properly responded failure is not really failure, but a fast track to success – a detour if you will. Unfortunately there is often a widespread fear of failure, an embarrassment and shame in our society. That may apply to you only should you not learn from your experiences.
By leveraging failure, I mean to focus focus on the growth while acknowledging reality in a totally constructive, positive manner. That means being brutally honest with yourself or organization and identifying exactly why things went as they did. And yes, this can equally apply to any part of your life, not just your business.
Here are several key points you may consider to help you.
Use a third party (trusted impartial friend, consultant, coach, family member, supplier, customer, etc.) to give you feedback and insight.
Don’t lose hope. Look for the blessings in the lessons, and move on.
Embrace any fears by defining and debunking them. By shining the light on them and also by dissecting your failures, you can move forward with renewed confidence.
Remember that failures can get you closer to real discovery and progress when deployed as a learning tool. Otherwise, if you become fearful and shamed, you have just elected a path of more resistance and disappointment.
I have yet to meet a very successful person who has not failed, and usually often. We all do, but it is how we learn and rebound that spells a more promising destiny. As the old saying goes, remember: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”