How You Deal With Failure

Failure is inevitable. We will all face a situation we cannot overcome.

A project may be scrapped. A relationship is lost. Or you burn the cheesecake you were baking.

These are all seen as failures in one way or another.

Think about how you would react in each situation? Do you get angry because the big project you’d worked on for months was scrapped for a solution that was only recently proposed? Do you look at the time spent in the relationship as wasted time? Do you throw a hissy fit because you won’t be able to enjoy the creamy-rich delicacy that is a cheesecake and have to start over?

We may not think our reactions to these situations significantly impact our success. They do.

Dan S. Kennedy once said:

How you deal with failure determines whether or not you ever get the opportunity to deal with success.

Lofty words, my friends.

How You Deal With Failure

I’ve seen these words shine true on more than one occasion. The people who deal best with failure often see the most success in their lives.

But, the question remains, how do you deal with failure?

I have 3 suggestions for you today. These suggestions will help you get through failure and on the way to success.

1. Evaluate what went wrong:

A post-mortem of a failure is the best way to recover and move on. You can look back on the situation and see what went wrong and, just as important, what went right.

After evaluating what happened, you can begin working on the next project. You will use what you learned to avoid the same mistakes you made in the previous attempt. You will also be able to apply the things that went right. This will leapfrog your efforts.

Make sure you take a good look at your failures. Use it to help you understand what happened and what you can do to avoid the failure next time.

2. Don’t take it personally:

It is easy to see everything as an afront or attack on us personally. Even when what happened had nothing to do with you or how people feel about you.

We need to get thicker skin. We must ensure we do not see the situation through a wrongly focused lens.

Most failures aren’t about you. Most people don’t blame you. Yet you see it as all your fault.

Push aside the desire to take on all the guilt and shame from a failure. It’s not personal.

3. Look at famous failures:

We can begin to think we’re the only ones who fail. Or, maybe, you think only failures fail.

Did you know there are famous failures? These famous failures then went on to become famous successes.

Who are some of these famous failures? They include:

  • Henry Ford: Before his success with Ford Motor Company, Ford had two other automotive companies fail.
  • Steve Jobs: The founder of Apple saw his company sink so low that he was dismissed from the company. Years later, Jobs returned and took the company to new heights.
  • JK Rowling: She was once a divorced young mother who was almost homeless. Her situation sounded hopeless but then she turned it around. She wrote the Harry Potter book series.
  • Martin Luther King Jr: The man who so eloquently spoke on the rights of African-American people once received a C in his speaking classes. He could have seen this as a sign that he couldn’t share a powerful message. Instead, his voice was one of the loudest and still heard voices of the Civil Rights movement.
  • Dr. Seuss: It’s hard to imagine a world without The Cat In A Hat or Oh, The Places You’ll Go! It was almost a reality as his first book, And To Think I Saw it on Mulberry Street, was rejected 28 times. While he passed away in 1996, Dr. Suess’s books have sold over 700 million copies.

You cannot let failure define you. And I know failure will not stop you. Keep moving forward today. When you face failure, remember, you’re not alone. You’re in good company.

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