How could this have happened?
Maybe you weren’t prepared, maybe you didn’t prioritize your workload, or you just didn’t execute.
Maybe you chose the wrong people for your team, or you didn’t get the proper coaching or leadership.
Either way, you failed, you messed up, and you “dropped the ball”. Now what? Well a congratulations is in order. You have joined the ranks of a great group filled with men and women who have known the same defeat as you. A very important item to know is these men and women I speak of made a choice after they failed, which helped them on their path to becoming titans in their chosen field.
I want to indulge you with a couple of benefits I have stumbled across while lying face down in the mud as an A+ failure throughout my varying careers. Maybe next time you experience a loss and disappointment, you can use failure to your advantage, to turn something daunting into a learning opportunity, to guide you on the path to becoming a titan in your industry.
I had a football coach who used to say after every loss, “you have 24 hours”. We had that 24 hour period to be pissed off and lick our wounds before it was time to re-focus on our next opponent – to get back to work and prepare for success. For those on the path to becoming titans, this grieving rule can be helpful in the process of getting re-focused and getting back on a positive path. Too much time spent in this grieving period can be a time suck and turn into a death spiral of any positive progress.
It is in fact OK to fail.
If you have the opportunity to work with a great leader, coach and or mentor, you will learn it is ok to fail early and often – just don’t make a habit of it. Many would not or think this, but in certain situations, it will be expected of you. It is easy to stay focused and positive when times are good but in certain roles, leaders, bosses, coaches want to see how you react when adversity don’t fear failure. It is no different than a yield sign on your journey. Do what it says, check to your left and your right and move forward.
Don’t wallow in self-pity when you do fail, find the GROWTH opportunity. This gives you an opening to critically evaluate your own performance. We have all heard the saying, or seen the attempted inspirational MEME on Facebook and/or unfortunately LinkedIn, “Either you win or you learn.”
This quote forgets to mention an important piece of the growth cycle. Take it from an athlete, you have to lose before you learn and it needs to be recognized.
One cannot be too quick to forget that torn, discouraging feeling of failure, it is crucial to the growth, it’s crucial to the learning opportunity. It will not only make success that much sweeter, but it is a reminder for the future if you find yourself on the same path that brought you to failure. In fact, the only way a failure in life becomes permanent is when you let it consume you, learn nothing and give up.
I know, failure, if handled properly, can make people more RESILIANT. It is trait that can be built through hardships, not successes. It is in these times that you learn what kind of grit you have deep inside you, and each time you fail, there is a chance to build on that perseverance to make you more resilient. It gives you the advantage of knowing what failure feels like.
Failing is never fun nor is it an easy situation to deal with. Through becoming a more resilient person you will be able to bounce back and re-focus your energy on achieving success more quickly than those who can’t find the silver-linings in failing.
SO! The next time you fail, and don’t kid yourself, it will happen, I hope you will find some comfort in knowing that all the greats experienced hardships. Follow their path, grieve, accept, grow and become more resilient on your road to success.
Oh, and never, ever, ever give up.
Article by Jesse Lumsden.