Can I be honest? I’m not perfect. Sometimes I make mistakes. I mess things up. I get in my own way. And I’m guessing you do too.
Every single one of us has failed at something either professionally or personally, or most likely, both, and often. Of course, no one likes to fail, especially since so many of us are Type-A driven individuals. But the truth is that if you try, sometimes you will fail. The key is how you deal with situations when things go wrong or sideways whether they are in or out of your control. Your failures can either hold you back or propel you forward to great things if you use them as learning experiences.
I came across a quote the other day from Dimitri Mastrocola that really resonated with me. It said, “If you want to be truly unstoppable, look at each so-called failure for what it really is: an opportunity to learn and grow. See it as a learned lesson that can drive you forward and ultimately get you to where you want to be.”
I think this is a great way to reframe things when they don’t go your way or turn out as you had hoped. You can learn a lot from your failures, if you really are honest with yourself and take an introspective look at the situation and how you could do better next time. Taking responsibility for your role when something fails is how you’ll grow and become a better version of yourself.
To do this, look at a specific situation that’s bothering you as if you were an outsider. Make a bulleted list of what went right and what went wrong, and which of those things are your responsibility. Then really take an introspective look at yourself to see if these issues have come up before – have you heard the same feedback? Have you been in a similar situation? What can you do to avoid this outcome again? You must put your ego aside and be honest with yourself if you really want to become a better version of yourself. You also need to stop beating yourself up for past mistakes – learn from them and move on. I know it’s easier said than done, but remember, it is what it is – you can’t change the past – you can only control the here and now and your responses to adversity and challenging times. Use them as life lessons that will help you be more successful.
Remember, it’s never too late – or early – to adopt a positive mindset to think of our mistakes as learning experiences. Also, please don’t beat yourself up too much when failure happens to you – take positive actions to learn from it but the answer is not to wallow in the negativity associated with failure. Ruminating about it can hold you back from moving forward – trust me, I’ve been there. Be kind to yourself but hold yourself accountable for the decisions you made and the actions you took.
Like I said earlier, failure happens to everyone at some point, even to Oprah and Steve Jobs, who count their failures as the watershed events that helped push them to achieve great success. With success comes failure – use those lemons in life to make not only lemonade but ways to make you into a stronger, smarter, better version of yourself.