Success begins with failure. This is truer than any of us would like to admit and yet is something we constantly resist. Mistakes make us feel bad, so then we often miss out on the great benefits of failing (yes it’s true – benefit!). Failing means that it gives us the great opportunity to bounce back with a clearer, more focused and smarter approach.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison
Failure is the best teacher.
What is failure but a series of turns in the road towards a goal or a desired feeling that didn’t pan out as we expected. But is this in fact really failure?
If I counted the number of times I attempted to do something, whether it was to reach a new goal in my business or even launch a new business, what I have seen time and again is that the learning was always so much more valuable than the actual outcome. Some of the human reactions to failure are to protect our ego, justify our failure and deny our failure.
Remove your ego and let failure do its magic.
Fragile egos are the main reason we react badly to our failures. When things go wrong it’s a reflex reaction that provokes us to go into a series of activities to avoid humiliation. We’ll do just about anything to save face and protect that ego.
The typical human reaction can be total denial, justification and defense, chasing losses, trying to fix a broken idea and more. Every one of these reactions inhibits our natural ability to create a better outcome.
Justification kills adaptability.
An example might have you defending it with saying “I did what I did for good reason so I am not going to change”. We’re so fearful to lose face we keep coming up with justifications so we simply don’t have to admit failure. So we gloss over these mistakes trying to prove we are right.
Denying your mistakes stops your engine.
One of the most difficult things is to own up to mistakes and yet doing this opens the door to finding another way to achieve our desired goal. If we deny we’ve made them we’ll just repeat these same things over and over.
Denial puts the brakes on your inner engine and nothing can happen when you are at a standstill. So how do we deal with failure?
Accept when you need to completely surrender.
This is the most difficult one of all. If you’re able to listen objectively and release any attachment to the idea, you can still win.
Being able to surrender and accept failure means that you can take these new lessons and transfer them to a project. This way you leave a bit of room for it to materialize without the irrational “throw everything at the wall and hope something sticks approach.”
Gather support and feedback.
Great feedback is essential and not just from one of your pals, but from several people that will give you honest support and constructive criticism.
All of this helps to make adjustments to your product, service or business concept. Forget whether you’re ahead or behind schedule and continue from where you are today. Remain very detached from the plan you started out with.
Success begins with failure.
To learn more, how I can help you see the benefits of failure in business, contact me for a free consultation.