By Gina Mullis, Stride Career Prep Success Coach
Think back to a time when you felt like you failed at something important to you. What words come to mind as you think about that situation? What do you feel when you recall the circumstances? It is natural to make mistakes; make poor decisions; and feel stress, sadness, embarrassment, or anger because of it. In the situation you thought of, how did you recover? How did you react? Did anything positive come out of it in the end?
When trying to turn a perceived failure around, resilience is important. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from frustrations and recover from setbacks. Resilient individuals can adapt to change, adapt to stress or problems, and can take things in stride. The result of this ability to bounce back from setbacks is a feeling of success and confidence. Of course, making mistakes happens, but what is most important is how you handle it and how you use the mistake as an opportunity to grow, learn, and create success from it.
When you find yourself in a situation that did not go as planned or that you feel responsible for mishandling, you have a choice to grow angry, frustrated, or a series of other negative responses. Or you can use the experience to fail forward.
Failing forward can be scary and requires bravery and courage to try something new, something you aren’t sure you will be successful with. But, on the other hand, it provides you with an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive and turn a failed attempt into a successful next step. Admitting you made a mistake or that a plan you crafted was unsuccessful can feel defeating, embarrassing, and difficult to own up to. However, the most important step in turning failure into success is just that: admitting you made a mistake.
Once you can bravely admit your mistake, you can take the positive steps to turn your failure into success.
7 Steps to Turn Failure into Success
1. No Regrets: It’s okay to feel bummed about the situation, but don’t regret it. You are, after all, using it to grow and better yourself and others involved, which is a positive thing.
2. Be Focused: It’s time to focus on how to move forward, make changes, and eventually find success.
3. Be a Strategist & Seek Advice: Use others’ knowledge and skills to help you better educate yourself and grow your own knowledge and skills. Use this information to create a new plan and strategy.
4. Reflect: As you work through your new action steps, continue to reflect on what did and did not work in your failed attempt to avoid repeat failures and repeat successes.
5. Anticipate Obstacles & Challenges: Use what you know and what you’ve learned from your failure to anticipate potential obstacles or challenges that may prevent success in your next attempt. Strategize ways around those obstacles.
6. Be Open & Honest: The best way to find success is to admit when something isn’t working and be honest when you make mistakes. This will allow you to pinpoint what needs adjusted and learn how to correct any issues.
7. Celebrate Wins: Just because a situation did not go as planned does not mean there weren’t positive aspects. Don’t forget to focus on what did work, what went well, and the positives from the situation. Use those in your next plan of action, and don’t forget to continuously celebrate the wins along the way!
So you see, a failure isn’t an endpoint. It isn’t a reason to stop or give up. Instead, it is a way to learn, grow, and find new success.
And, if you are already a Career Prep student, did you know you can get up to 5 free 1:1 coaching sessions with a Stride Career Prep Success Coach? Visit here to learn more.
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