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7 Ways to Overcome Failure and Use it to Your Advantage


John Maxwell states in How to become a successful failure, “to expect failure, to prepare for it, to be ready to turn it into a lesson and a stepping-stone to success. There is such a thing as a successful failure”.

Last week I talked you through three of the seven strategies to survive failure and thrive in success, here are the remaining four strategies to help you treat failure is just a detour to your success­­­:

  1. Take full responsibility for your thoughts, actions and reactions because you were involved, even if you were not the cause or source. It is so easy to blame everyone and anyone. Do not! Do not worry about anyone else, they must take responsibility themselves, you cannot force them, so don’t. Let me share with you a big secret, I wrote about this in my book Business Evolution. The biggest fear is being caught out, or being found out. As soon as you say, ‘it was me’ ‘I did it’ ‘I am responsible’ no one can ever accuse you of it, you must ‘out’ yourself. Trust me it is a relief and you will be able to move on having admitted responsibility.
  2. You have not failed! The business failed, the relationship failed, the machinery failed because these failures are not recoverable. You are different, because you are recoverable, you learn to do it better or different. You might feel like a failure, I understand how that feels. You must separate the feeling of failure with being a failure. Feelings are not permanent. How many times have you felt sad and someone made you laugh, it lifted your spirits and you no longer felt sad. Your brain tells your body what to feel. So, you can use your feelings as your security blanket and hide away and not be all you are here to be or you can change the feeling from failure to success. You choose!
  3. Failure is feedback you must discover what you have learnt. I believe challenges and failures are gifts, sent because there is something you need to learn, to change or to use in your next phase. Failure gives you the feedback to correct your ways and move towards your desired outcome. So, Ask yourself:
  • What would you do different next time and why?
  • If you were to do it again, what would you do different this time?
  • What have you gained that you can take forward and share with others?

You need to be able to talk positively about your challenging experience and comfortable to talk about your detour. For example: if you were to climb Mount Everest, it would be a gruelling near-death challenge. But the pure joy of reaching the top, knowing you conquered yourself and the mountain, this would out-way the gruelling experience, you would tell the world your story. You would tell your story sharing the insights of the incredible challenge and the lessons you had learnt.

  1. Fail your way to Success. If you have a growth mindset, then you use your failures to improve. I can best explain this with a quote by Michael Jordan “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” To fail your way to success you must be comfortable with the feeling of failure, knowing it is a necessary part of your success.

Well done now you are ready to put your action plan in place to move on from failure and to continue to attempt remarkable things knowing you can survive any challenge.  Surviving failure, is a mindset the will enable you to thrive with failure. You are here for greatness so embrace your failures with these strategies so you can continue to life your greatness and be the best you’re here to be.

If you missed part 1 click Survive Failure like a Seasoned Professional Athlete

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