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A few weeks ago on the blog, I shared my journey on failure with you; How I’ve learned to Embrace Failure & Create Success. Today on La.Rue, I want to take some of those key messages from the blog and talk about them openly and honestly so we can learn how to overcome failure. So the next time you encounter failure, you too can learn from it, move on, and embrace your future. I’ve pulled a few key points in that blog that I want to highlight for you. Like how I’ve acknowledged failure as a role in my past, present, and future, and how I’ve let it shape me.
Failure comes when it’s least appreciated and welcomed. But, if we can learn from our failures, we’re better people for it. I think many people look at failure in themselves and judge it as a weakness. This is not true. Failing is as natural in this world as breathing. WE ALL FAIL. If we didn’t all fail, life would be perfect, and a perfect life would be boring. Remember, without failure, we wouldn’t know success.
Healthy Ways to Cope with Failure
Failure, I think, is similar to processing a loss. And like loss, you move through the five stages of grief. We mourn our failures similarly to the ways we mourn the loss of someone we cared for. Starting with denial. Usually, denial happens in the form of an “undeserving” thought process. What I mean is that usually, we think we don’t deserve to be failing. This stage I am all too familiar with. We believe that because one thing in our lives happened, it should dictate whether we do or don’t succeed at something. For example, when I was still living in NY post-graduation and applying for jobs, I thought that this process should have been easy for me because I had gone through so much already in my life. Like I deserved some sort of free pass.
Next comes anger. Again, a stage we are all probably very familiar with. We often deflect our emotions of failure onto someone or something else, finding other ways to place blame rather than confronting possible things we may have done wrong. Next, we have bargaining. We decide through the anger that if someone can offer us a way out or past our failure, we will somehow be “ok.” Then we have depression. We reach a point where we begin to see our role in the failure, and we allow the depression and self-loathing to set in—until finally, we reach acceptance. Once we come to a point where we understand our role and evaluate what we did, we can move forward.
Despite how messy and emotional this process is. I think going through and understanding how you process failure is healthy. And I don’t know about you, but for me, it often looks exactly like this. I mourn my failure because often, it’s a loss of an opportunity. Failing at one thing can often overshadow the big picture that you now feel you’ve failed to reach because you’ve fallen short at this moment. But what we don’t realize is that there will be other opportunities and other moments.
Understanding Your Role
Once we reach the stage of acceptance, we’re willing to look back at the situation and understand our role. Once you’ve reached this point and you’re ready to look at your role, evaluate, and move on, I have one piece of advice for you. Humbly, step back from the situation and look at it objectively. It takes a lot of courage to have humility in a situation where you failed. So when you’re ready, have that courage, and as objectively as you can, look back and understand what happened in the situation. I am not the most excited person to admit when I’m wrong, but I can look at a situation and understand my role. So whatever it is you’ve failed at, remember, it’s one step closer to success, and your opportunity here is to learn.
Learn From The Situation
Our greatest ability in life as human beings is to learn from our mistakes, gain knowledge from those mistakes and failures, and make changes. Sometimes, we fall short of realizing that it is truly a gift that we get to take those lessons, learn from them, and TRY AGAIN. I’ll be very frank here. It takes a lot of courage, integrity, and frankly, balls, to get up, wipe your tears, and put yourself out there after failing, to try again. People will have so much respect for you in your life and your career if you can learn from your failures, turn them into lessons, and turn those lessons into success. So my absolute best advice for you today is to go back and look at where you may have failed in your life. Deconstruct your role in that failure, and learn a lesson.
Where do you need to change? What can you do differently? These are the questions you need to be asking yourself, maybe even someone else. Did you fail at work? Ask your boss these questions. Seek out advice, criticism, be vulnerable in the situation, and learn. Trust me, I know how incredibly difficult all of this sounds. But, I promise you, it will make you a stronger, more confident person when you approach failure with a bolder, more vulnerable attitude.
Create a Plan to Move Forward
You’ve taken so many steps to get here. You’re moving forward now. You’ve processed and mourned your failure, you’ve acknowledged your role and learned from it, now you need a plan of action to continue moving forward and try again. Start by printing out the La.Rue Goal Setting Guide. Moving forward from failure means never letting go of your goals and of your dreams. So start with the guide. Once you’ve got your guide, head over to the blog, 4 Ways to Set Small & Achievable Goals in Your Life, and read up on how to begin setting new goals to achieve your dreams.
Failure is difficult. Unfortunately, it’s something we face throughout our entire lives, and as much as we try to avoid it, we can’t. Your goal should never be to avoid failure, but embrace it. We must overcome the difficulties and emotional burdens our failures leave us with and embrace the lessons and future success it can bring us when we approach failure as an opportunity.
“Failure is an option whenever you take a leap of faith. In every risk, there can be success or a lesson. “