How to Turn Failure Into the Greatest Teacher You Will Ever Have
Coaches, Mentors, and Teachers are important keys to success, but unfortunately, failure is still the best teacher. A good mentor will definitely help minimize your failures (this is the entire goal of Flourish & thrive Academy), but since every person and every business is unique…
no amount of experience can completely eradicate missteps.
This does not mean you should kick your coaches to the curb. It is good to find a happy balance between being educated and self discovery. But when failure comes knocking—and it will come knocking—you need to know how to take your moment of suffering and turn it upside down, look at it from a new angle, and learn from the lesson embedded within.
Let’s start with my story. I definitely did not begin with a balance of learning and setbacks. I it was just failure after failure. Finally, I decided it had to stop.
The worst of the worst happened. I ran my own business into the ground. It was a jewelry business that I had run for 11 years, and when it was over I was so burned out I was almost happy to fail. I tried to devote myself to a career in yoga, but that wasn't working either. I needed to design. So I found myself a business mentor, completely revamped my business strategy and hopped on the road to success. Most importantly,
I have continued benefiting from my failures the entire way.
While my success story may be inspiring to some, it doesn’t offer much value otherwise. Understanding that you must learn from your mistakes is not a revolutionary idea; it is chiseled into our brains at an early age. However, learning how to learn from your mistakes is a skill very infrequently taught. That is what I am here to explain!
#1 Identify the Failure
If you don’t realize when you fail, how will you ever succeed? You won’t. You will probably just continue taking the same wrong actions over and over again. Sometimes failure is blatantly obvious. Other times it may be flying under the radar. To prevent failures from sneaking past you, you need to ensure your results are measurable.
Make specific goals!
Even if you don’t reach the goals you set you will still be able to see progress (or the lack thereof). The whole aim for the stars, but land on the moon you are in good shape. But if you aim for the stars and land on the ground three feet away, it is safe to say there has been a failure of some sort.
But what really happened?
Next, you need to break down the specific factors that led you to failure. Pinpoint the roadblocks to success so you know what to change. This is not easy! There are too many factors of failure to count and every situation is different.
You will need to begin at the end, and work backwards. What was the exact failure? If it was cash flow, you can break it down into sales, marketing, and budgeting. If you struggled to make time for a personal life you can look at time management, outsourcing, employee management, and work efficiency.
Another major reason for a failure may come from your goal setting. It is possible you are trying to head in the wrong direction altogether. Compare the goals you set with your passions, skills and abilities.
#2 Deal With the Disappointment
The mourning process should not be skipped. It is healthy to reflect, and be sad, and work through the pain of failure. Trying to get back to the grindstone and form an entirely new business plan while spiraling downward into depression.
Find a friend to talk to, grab a bucket of ice cream and some chick flicks, take a trip to the countryside, or whatever you need to do to give yourself time to accept temporary defeat and move forward. Always keep in mind, you may have lost the battle but you can still win the war!
#3 Make Changes
This may be the hardest part. Many people do not want to alter the plan. They think their plan is a good one, despite the failure and want to try again. Do not do this! If you have already identified your failure, this should be the easiest part of the process.
Adjust your goals, modify your intentions and take as many steps away from your previous actions as necessary. Find a mentor, interview a guru, or join a community of peers.
There you go.
Learning from failure is both as easy and as complicated as all that. But once you get the hang of it, you will actually learn to love failure. That sounds counter-intuitive, but with each failure there is an opportunity to take one step closer success!
What have you learned from your failures? Leave us a comment below to tell us what happened and what you learned!
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