I hope that you succeed in all of your endeavors. However, this expectation is unrealistic. You, me, and everyone else will at some point suffer a setback or failure. So, how do we deal with the inevitability of our own failure?
It is important to remember that the possibility of failure should not prevent us from reaching for our dreams. The fear of failure does not have to be a weakness. Rather, you are better off using the fear of failure to motivate you to work harder and more efficiently to maximize your chances of success. This allows you to use fear as a motivator as opposed to as a justification for inaction.
So, you started a project, worked hard, and efficiently and you still failed. What can you do when you fail?
1. Recognize that all failure is an opportunity to learn not afforded to those who succeed. This means you now have a greater opportunity to succeed in the future if you are able to learn from the mistakes that you made.
2. Look inwards. Do not externalize blame. It is important to focus on the things you control.
a. What did you do wrong?
b. What could you have done better?
c. What decisions would you change in hindsight?
d. Why would you change these decisions?
e. How would you have done things differently?
f. Why did you make poor decisions?
g. What will you do in the future to prevent these mistakes?
h. Seek honest feedback from customers, participants, friends, and family. (See the post on how to receive criticism.
If you are able to answer these questions, then you will be well on your way to succeeding in your next pursuit.
3. When considering starting a new project, do not let your past failure hold you back. You now know more than you did before. And if you happen to fail again, there is nothing keeping you from trying something different in the future.
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
- Winston Churchill