Maybe you didn’t get a promotion recently like many of your fellow team members. Or maybe you entirely forgot about an important deadline. Moments like these are bound to happen at some point, and how you react to them makes a difference. Read on to discover how to reframe failure – and find success – in nine tips.
How to find success in reframing your failures
Learning from failure can be challenging. Here’s how you can find success and shift your mindset after failing.
- Celebrate the small wins after a failure
- Determine what created the outcome
- View failure as a stepping stone to future success
- View failure as a teachable moment
- Block out what others say about your failure
- Create a strong culture
- Be kind and positive to yourself
- Understand that failure can be inevitable
- Acknowledge that failing doesn’t mean you’re a failure
1Celebrate the small wins after a failure
If you fail, then to rise again, you should probably ditch the all-or-nothing attitude. Just because you didn’t receive a promotion at the same time as your partner doesn’t mean you never will! So don’t let the fear of failure stop you from reaching your goals. Instead, learn from it and find a way to prove your worth.
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2Determine what created the outcome
To achieve success and move on, you should reckon with your failures. First, create a list of possible reasons why you failed and try to decide which one led to your failure. Sometimes, you may have to go to the source to figure it out. For example, if your boss took you off a project, step out of your comfort zone and ask them why. What you learn can help you avoid the same mistakes in the future.
3View failure as a stepping stone to future success
Failures are inevitable. Everyone has failed at least once in their lives, even celebrities. For example, Oprah Winfrey was fired from one of her first TV gigs because the producer told her she was unfit for television. However, instead of playing the blame game, she got back on her feet and now is one of the most well-known TV personalities. Additionally, famous author Stephen King’s first book, Carrie, was rejected 30 times before taking on a second life as an iconic horror movie.
These celebrities and many others wouldn’t be who they are today if they didn’t rise after every fall. So, instead of looking at failure as an embarrassment, view it as a stepping stone to success.
4View failure as a teachable moment
Sometimes, you can learn more from your failures than your successes. This is because every time you fail, you learn what doesn’t work, so making the same mistakes becomes more preventable. The next time you try, you’ll know what not to do, which can lead you one step closer to success.
Of course, you typically can’t predict exactly how things will turn out. The only way you’ll know is to take on new opportunities to experiment. In some cases, you’ll succeed. Sometimes, you won’t. When you fail, use it as a strategy for learning.
5Block out what others say about your failure
Everyone is going to have an opinion no matter what you do. The minute you decide to worry and listen to what others say is when you miss the opportunity to learn from failure. Unless this person is your boss or someone who’s providing constructive feedback, you don’t have to listen to them. (Though sometimes, that sure doesn’t hurt!) Some people will offer you advice that doesn’t benefit you, so choose who you listen to wisely.
6Create a strong culture
There are a couple of things you can do to make your failures a learning experience. One way is to make peer feedback a part of your team meetings, where team members can openly discuss their problems. Another way is through reverse mentoring, where two people exchange skills and knowledge regardless of their roles on the team. This way, senior team members can learn while helping junior team members feel safe in their work environment.
7Be kind and positive to yourself
Often, people can be hard on themselves whether they’ve failed or not. If you fail, instead of being mean to yourself and throwing a pity party, use it as a growing point. It’s okay to be upset for a little while, but don’t let your sadness overtake you. You’re better off forgiving, forgetting, and moving on. Treating your body and mind with kindness and positivity can help here.
8Understand that failure can be inevitable
Although failure can seem embarrassing at the time, it’s kind of inevitable. You’ll only find success when you have more experience, and most experiences are incomplete without failure. Furthermore, some failures can be small in comparison to others. For example, you might encounter one “failure” if you choose the wrong person to be your partner on a project. Or maybe you were let go from your job. No matter how big or small, failures happen. How you choose to react to them is what matters.
9Acknowledge that failing doesn’t mean you’re a failure
Just because you’ve failed doesn’t mean that you are a failure. Instead, think of it another way. When you fail, you’re one step ahead of someone too scared to try something new because they’re afraid to fail. Your failure shows that you were brave enough to give it a go – and that means a lot.
Tips for shifting your perspective on failure
Do you view failure as a be-all-end-all situation, or do you see it as a stepping stone? Although failure can seem humiliating at the time, here’s what to know as you shift your perspective on failure to something more positive.
- View failure as a stepping stone to success
- Know that your failures don’t define you
- Stop thinking that your failures cancel your ability to succeed
1View failure as a stepping stone to success
There are two ways you can move in life. You can choose the safe route, or you can take chances. Any worthwhile accomplishment will force you to trust yourself a bit, risk mistakes, and reframe your failure. Most of the time, you’ll need to regularly step out of your comfort zone. That’s as true in a job interview as when you learned how to ride a bike for the first time. There’s a good chance you fell off your bike the first few times, but that didn’t mean you weren’t able to ride it ever.
How you choose to view your failures will either hold you back or move you forward in life. Only you can choose which path you want to take.
2Know that your failures don’t define you
Just because you failed at something doesn’t mean that the failure becomes your identity. For example, losing a job could mean that a position wasn’t right for you, not that you’re a failure. That doesn’t mean you’ll never receive the same position again or find one that’s similar. It means that the organization didn’t find you to be the right fit – and that’s okay.
Think about it like this: Before his invention, Thomas Edison got kicked out of school because he was “too stupid to learn.” However, he never gave up or let a school define who he was. Instead, he became famous for making a lightbulb glow.
“I never failed. I just found 10,000 ways that wouldn’t work,” he said. “Many of life’s failures are people who gave up too soon.”
3Stop thinking that your failures cancel your ability to succeed
If we all failed for the first time and then gave up on life, imagine what the world would look like now? We likely wouldn’t have lightbulbs. We wouldn’t have Oprah on TV. And you likely wouldn’t be in the same position you are today.
When you took your first steps as a baby, did you give up right after you fell down? Doubtful. When you failed your first exam, did you drop out of school? There are some failures that can appear worse than others, but failures are failures. You shouldn’t let one mishap stop you from succeeding in life.
Gather advice on how to succeed with Fellow
To inch toward success, you first need to admit failure and figure out when and how you failed. To do so, you’ll need a tool that can present you with helpful feedback. With Fellow’s peer feedback and 360 feedback tools, you can get your team’s feedback and advice on how to succeed. Overcoming your failures has never been easier.