Failure: Everybody deals with it. Sometimes it’s small – we burnt the cookies; sometimes it’s not-so-small – we forgot a friend’s big event and “failed” to provide the support he/she needed; sometimes it’s huge – we lost the company’s biggest account. The point is – you’ve blown it in the past and you will blow it again. The solution is not living without failure – it’s dealing with it in a growing way when you do.
5 key steps to rising above the failure wave and reaching the shore – still standing on your surf board.
Accept the emotions that accompany failure: being tossed in the waves and slammed on the bottom hurts. In fact, sometimes it hurts for a long time. That’s ok – you don’t have to pretend. We’re not saying to wallow in it, but be honest about it and know that eventually it will heal.
Acknowledge it: Acknowledge it to yourself – failure is common to all and knowing you are not alone can be a boost to your morale. Acknowledge it to others – everybody knows that everybody fails some of the time. If you try to pretend otherwise, you only hurt your personal integrity. Your colleagues will hesitate to trust you in other areas.
Make an honest examination of the situation: It’s a two-pronged process.
• Be brutally honest with yourself. Where did you make wrong decisions or fail to take appropriate action? What could you have done different? Taking personal responsibility is the first step to wholeness. Only then, can you make a plan to prevent making the same mistake twice. Only then, can you be ready to apply lessons learned to your future.
• Be honest about the role others played in the failure. If there is a serious issue, you may need to talk about it with the individual. For the most part, however, accept that they too have made mistakes before and will again. Give them forgiveness and grace. Letting go of what others did – or anything else you couldn’t control – sets you free to rise up and go forward.
Move forward: Failure is temporary. Now it’s time to make constructive choices for the future. Ask yourselves these questions:
• What is one thing I can learn from what has happened?
• What is one thing I want to do differently the next time?
• What is one small step I can take to move forward today?
Use your answers to create your forward movement – to get back on the board. The best ride often follows the worst spill.
Use the experience for growth: Use it for your personal growth, of course, but use it for others also. Share your experience. Talk about what you learned and how it changed you for better. Honest sharing provides hope and strength for others – giving them the courage to move forward themselves.
Springborn Staffing doesn’t like failure any more than the rest of the world, but we choose to focus on moving forward – which sometimes means a new position. Contact us for help – we specialize in matching top talent with great companies. We’ll get you back on the board and enjoying the ride.